With a name like Ghostbusters, it'd be a little weird if some supernatural goings-on didn't... um... go on. As promised by the title, this comedy-horror classic is loaded with ghosts.
Spectral librarians, slimy green blobs, zombie cab drivers—ask and ye shall receive. Ghostbusters also has a few tricks up its sleeves, throwing in surprises like demigod terror dogs and the evil Sumerian god, Gozer the Destructor. One of the many cool things about this movie is that it takes supernatural figures from a lot of different genres, puts them in a blender, and comes up with a new mythology all of its own.
Ghostbusters should be considered a comedy-fantasy or comedy-adventure, rather than a comedy-horror since its ghosts aren't scary.
Excluding Gozer, the ghosts of Ghostbusters are far less destructive than the Ghostbusters themselves.
It's hard to miss all the talk about money in Ghostbusters. We hear it on the small scale with the Ghostbusters spending most of the movie scrambling for cash to spend, and the tax accountant Louis Tully bragging about his savings on generic Tylenol.
On the larger scale, we see big whopping symbols of overblown commercialism like the corporate mascot Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, who tromps through the Upper West Side, wreaking havoc like Godzilla. While nobody is going to label Ghostbusters as a political satire on the excesses and disparities of 1980's America, the financial concerns of the nation are on full display.
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is a symbol of the crushing power of corporations and capitalism run rampant.
The filmmakers made the Ghostbusters a private business to ground the movie in the common concerns of the decade.
There's a delicate balance of order and chaos in Ghostbusters. Though their mission is to bring order by busting ghosts, the Ghostbusters are constantly getting into trouble with every authority figure they come into contact with, whether its university administration, the cops, or the EPA.
Ultimately, though, they defeat Gozer, a god of chaos, whose only goal is to cause destruction on Earth. With the Ghostbusters, we see a journey from outlaws to heroes, from guys who disrupt the mainstream to guys who keep the mainstream flowing on its merry way.
Ironically, the Ghostbusters often cause chaos while trying to bring order.
By conquering Gozer, a god of chaos, the Ghostbusters ultimately become bringers of order.
Ghostbusters has a lot of love. We've got the usual romantic plots we often find in comedies, with the lead guy chasing after a girl who's way out of his league. Then that love plot is tied in with what we see in adventure stories, where he rescues her from a monster to win her love.
To top it off, we've also got a couple comic love-subplots going on. Whoa, who knew Ghostbusters was a romantic comedy? Besides romantic love, Ghostbusters gives us the brotherly love between the Ghostbusters themselves, while also rekindling a love of New York City that'd been lost in 1980's.
In many ways, the romances of Ghostbusters function like the ones in a Shakespearean comedy.
Peter's fascination with Dana is more lust than love.