All posts tagged: Ghostbusters

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In Memoriam: Harold Ramis (1944-2014)

If you were one of the many (and there were many) who found yourself delving into a list of actor-writer-director Harold Ramis‘ achievements upon hearing of his sudden death yesterday at the age of 69, you may be wondering where all that time went. One minute you were probably minding your own business, the next you were realizing that this seemingly unassuming, nerdy-looking Chicagoan had a hand in at least 10 of the most influential comedic institutions of the last half century. As if we could hold one over the other. Was Ramis best known as a writer, who cut his teeth in the pages of The National Lampoon and on the staff of SCTV before writing or co-writing the likes of National Lampoon’s Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Back to School, Groundhog Day and Analyze This? Was he most accomplished as the director of Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Groundhog Day or Multiplicity? Would he be immortalized for his acting work, whether Russell Zinsky, the withering straight man to Bill Murray’s off-kilter John Winger …

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Like, Omigod! Digging Through the ’80s Pop Culture Box, Part 20

Greetings, chronic argonauts! We’ll be stepping into the time machine in just a moment, and once we do we’re mostly going to let the music do the talking. But we wanted to take a moment to think some deep thoughts about history and nostalgia. It started when Friend of Popdose and All-Around Internet Swell Guy Andrew Weiss sent us a link to the archives of SPIN — their review of the Like, Omigod! box set, written by Jesse Berrett upon its original release in 2002. It’s worth reading in full, but a couple of lines jump out… … “Nothing about the ‘80s was naive.” Even pop’s exuberant synth-bleeps throbbed with dread. That may explain why the renewed vogue for those sounds coincided with an unwelcome ‘80s revival in the culture at large (Enron, terrorism, the threat of nuclear war). But of the 142 songs included on Like Omigod!, only one. Nena’s “99 Luftballons,” has much to say about apocalypse. As a result, Like Omigod! is a sunny retro fetish object itself — totally ‘90s, if …

Revival House: Thirteen Badass Cinematic Creatures

King Kong, from King Kong (1933). In terms of special effects, the big ape in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake might look better, but it’s hard to top the badassity of Kong 1.0, who leaves people flopping about like squished bugs after he steps on them. This Kong has no time for ice-dancing excursions. Pioneering stop-motion animator Willis O’Brien’s work is still an impressive sight after all these years. Badassitude Level: Eighth wonder, people. Godzilla, from Gojira (1954). A prehistoric mutant creature accidentally created by radiation from a nuclear explosion, Godzilla might be the most iconic movie monster of all time. As the series of Godzilla films progressed, he went from menacing threat to hero, and thus less badass (though in later films he was more of an antihero). But in director Ishiro Honda’s original film (not the “Americanized” re-edited version released here in 1956), the allegorical elements warning of the dangers of nuclear testing are much more prominent. Godzilla has admittedly never looked realistic — it’s all too obviously a guy in a lizard suit …

Way Out Wednesday: “The Happy Hamsters Go Ghostbustin'”

It’s Tony from Way Out Junk, and I’ve got another crazy one for you. Remember the high-pitched singing rodent craze started by Alvin and the Chipmunks and then all the rip-off groups that appeared afterward? This album is from the second renaissance of the Chipmunks, and features the Happy Hamsters. What’s their back story? Who knows? I don’t even know what their names are, or if they’ve got a human father figure or anything. Admittedly this is the Happy Hamsters’ second album, but I don’t think continuity is their strong suit here. Anyway, on to the songs! Well, since this album is called The Happy Hamsters Go Ghostbustin’, you have to expect the song “Ghostbusters.” The singing isn’t that bad, all things considered. The problem is all the jabbering they do during the instrumental parts. It’s just a little bit here, but it gets worse, trust me! Ghostbusters Next, as a salute (?) to Michael Jackson, here’s “Thriller.” Again, the singing’s all right, and there’s not too much chatter this time. Extra points for including …