Anthony Bueno’s Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is coming to select theaters on October 1 and on-demand on October 5. If you are a Ghostbusters fan, you probably won’t want to miss this look at the original film.
The documentary features interviews with actors Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, William Atherton, Alice Drummond, and Annie Potts. There’s also director Ivan Reitman, producers Joe Medjuck and Michael C. Gross, and visual effects crew members such as Richard Edlund and John Bruno, as well as editor Sheldon Kahn.
I don’t wish to give too many spoilers here, but I’ll give a few, just to give an idea of what’s in store. For example, did you know the Ghostbusters story was first inspired by Dan Aykroyd’s great grandfather, Samuel Aykroyd, who actually was a researcher of psychic/paranormal phenomena?
Or how about that there were originally supposed to be other Ghostbusters in the story as competitors? One more: The sound of the Ecto-1 Ghostbusters vehicle is actually the sound of a reversed and slowed-down leopard howl! Yes, I’ve probably already given away too much, but this documentary has so many interesting details, I could have really chosen any number of things to mention.
The best thing about Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Far too often in life, a great idea in the world mysteriously disappears, lost in the harsh and desolate mental wilderness. In many ways, Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters shows exactly what can happen if you have a little spark of passion, the right creative team, and you don’t let self-doubt get in the way.
Granted, Dan Aykroyd and the others already had some degree of success and certainly some luck, but these are all critical elements to success. It’s also still true that, had they lacked the creative spark and determination to keep going, Ghostbusters as we commonly know them, wouldn’t have been a thing.
Effects in focus
Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters also spends plenty of time looking at the effects wizardry that went into crafting the film’s supernatural craziness, including the supervillains of the piece and its two pet “terror dogs.”
As an example of some of the quirky facts, there’s one moment in Ghostbusters where Slimer is actually just a peanut they painted green! Whenever a documentary looks at effects, it’s a look at a film from an unexpected angle. There are even moments where the effects teams come across as real heroes, as silly as that sounds.
Companion pieces to Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
As the Ghostbusters universe expands, one already has plenty of material to draw from. But what if you want to pair this film with some other neat documentaries about horror films, or maybe even a few dramas, for sort of an extended marathon of such films?
Well, I have a few recommendations for you. Feel free to check out Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, as well as Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th.
Then, if you want to watch a non-horror one, but that is equally compelling (and perhaps mind-blowing, in some respects), check out My Best Fiend by Werner Herzog, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at that director’s tumultuous, at times disturbing, relationship with German actor Klaus Kinski. It’s compelling for different reasons, but also a real look at what can go into filmmaking.
Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is coming to select theaters on October 1 and VOD on October 5.