Movie Memories: Ghostbusters

ghostbustersposterI was 13 when Ghostbusters was released in the UK and that is a very impressionable age.  Frankly, I loved it and everything about it.  I think I probably sang the theme tune for about 18 months after I’d seen it and I think I may have even had the 7 inch single.  I was probably just the right age to really find the film exciting, there was humour I wasn’t supposed to get (because it was a bit rude) but did, there was Sigourney Weaver looking hot (I was 13), there was some alien chick in cellophane who was maybe naked and maybe not, and there were truly amazing ground breaking special effects the likes of which had never been seen before.

I came away from that movie with a lifetime of quotes that have kept me going ever since (although they warp over time, naturally so please don’t correct them, I know they’re morphed),

  • where do these stairs go? they go up!
  • mother puss-bucket
  • what a lovely singing voice you must have
  • save some for me
  • woah, woah, woah nice shooting Tex
  • she sleeps above her covers, four feet above her covers, she barks, she drools
  • it sounds like you’ve got at least two or three people in there already
  • nimble little minx isn’t she
  • this is the last of the petty cash
  • i don’t have to take this abuse from you, i’ve got hundreds of people dying to abuse me.

And so on, and so forth.  Some of the lines from Ghostbusters have entered common usage in my age demographic (I dare you to find someone in my age group who doesn’t laugh when you say ‘Don’t cross the streams!’).  I even made a Ghostbusters backpack for a fancy dress thing we did that may have been that year or perhaps a couple of years later.

But all that asside, I have two lasting memories of this film.  Firstly, I remember being scared witless by the ghost in the library when she transforms into the evil version.  I think I remember talking to my sister about that on the way home from having seen the film.

And secondly, I remember being appalled when Ghostbusters was on TV for the first time, I think it may have been ITV, and it was edited, redubbed and cut to hell.  They changed mother puss-bucket to something totally stupid, and a bunch of other lines (like ‘thanks to dickless over here.  Is this true?  Yes, this man has no dick’ being changed to ‘yes this man is some kind of rodent’).  It was my first exposure to being ‘protected’ from evil movie content by having it badly redubbed to save me from myself.

Forget the fact that this was a PG in the UK and so by the time it came on TV any kid who wanted to had seen it in the cinema, but we had to be saved from the terrible language (like shit!) and the accusation of having no dick.  Folks, don’t be too surprised to learn that at 13, I’d heard words worse than that at school.  A lot.  I know, hard to believe, and I thank everyone for saving me from hearing it on the Television.  Ghostbusters was my first lesson in how the dialog can totally change a scene, how some words are just funnier than others, and that TV censors were hypocrits.

So, Ghostbusters, awesome movie which I love to this day that sticks in my mind because it was butchered by the censors.

One thought on “Movie Memories: Ghostbusters”

  1. Ghostbusters was also an odd first for me – it was the first time I actually noticed the conversion from big screen movie to small screen pan and scan – it was done so badly on the small screen version that it made me think about something that had never occurred to me before.

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