Friday, May 1, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Movies That Made Me (Part 5)


Another one of my absolute favourite movies. Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters came along at just the right time for me, just as I was discovering the Saturday Night Live cast in other cool movies like Trading Places, The Blues Brothers, Caddyshack, and Stripes. Just as I was loving those comedies, along comes a movie with a load of my favourite comedy actors in a movie about hunting ghosts with high-tech equipment. Count me in!!

Ghostbusters didn't disappoint. Great special effects, great action, hilarious script, cool soundtrack. I loved it.

I may have become a little obsessed with it. I did my usual thing where I bought the novelisation so I could experience the film again after the movie left the cinema, and I bought the soundtrack. I still have the single as a shaped picture disk somewhere.

When the VHS was scheduled for release I did the stupid thing again where I talked to the lovely people at the video rental store and paid in instalments the £80 for a rental copy of the movie so I could watch it months before it hit retail.

I still have that somewhere too!

By the time 1986 came along, my obsession with Ghostbusters was fuelled even further when the animated TV series - The Real Ghostbusters - aired on kids TV in the UK. Though not the episode The Boogieman Cometh as they figured it was too scary for daytime TV for kids. I tried to record them all, but the scheduling was all over the place and I think I only got the first season and a half recorded.

That same year, West End Games produced one of my favourite roleplaying games of all time. The Ghostbusters Roleplaying Game - or should that be Ghostbusters: A Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game. One of the simplest, fastest, and funniest games I've ever played, and still a massive influence on me today.

I played that game a hell of a lot, and then I tried to get into game writing, sat typing away for hours on an old electric typewriter, submitting adventures to West End Games. I've written about that many times on this blog.

I spent so much of my teens wanting to be Peter Venkman. Venkman was the coolest - he was a bit of a doofus and really wasn't great at smalltalk, but in my head he was brilliant.

Ghostbusters II was great too, though not as amazing, and though I still loved Ghostbusters and was still trying to write for WEG, real life got in the way as I got a job and a lot of the roleplaying group went off to universities.

Ghostbusters will always have a soft-spot in my heart, and I'm really excited by the new movie coming next year - Ghostbusters: Afterlife. But whenever someone asks if I can do something for them, especially after I foolishly talked my way out of a brilliant writing gig, I always think of that classic line...

"If someone asks if you're a god, you say YES!"

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