Ghostheads
2016
Superfans of the monster 1984 hit "Ghostbusters" indulge their passion by gearing up, congregating at conventions and even doing charity work.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

I somehow got into my head that this was about the gender controversy over the new Ghostbusters, and I was looking forward to an exploration of that complicated and timely issue. Instead, this movie is just a celebration of fandom, interviewing major Ghostbusters fans about how far they've taken their love of the movies, and interviewing filmmakers and cast members about the fan worship that they experience. That makes it a bit of a let-down, even though I know I shouldn't hold it against the movie that it failed to be something that I wrongly imagined it was.

I've seen this kind of fandom documentary before (several times over) about Star Trek, and with Trek it always involves long discussions about what Trek means in our culture and why so many people have latched onto it as a "big idea" that gives hope or whatever. This documentary left me wondering, why do so many people love Ghostbusters? In nearly every case, it just seems to have come along at the right moment in their childhoods for them to form a lasting bond with it. But as the movie itself points out, plenty of popular titles came out around the same time, and they don't inspire fans to dress up in hand-made costumes and gather at conventions like this. The best shot the movie takes at it is a passing reference to the fictional Ghostbusters "emphasizing teamwork." Huh?

There's a whiff of corporate sponsorship here, with so much participation from the good people at Sony, who happen to have a new Ghostbusters to promote (and as I said, zero mention of the gender wars). But I can't find any connections to Sony in researching this. I did find that the director is a big Ghosthead himself who has made other films on the subject, and the production company is the same that made last year's Kickstarter-funded fan celebration Back in Time about a different lasting 1980s sci-fi franchise, albeit one that has (so far) survived rebooting. There must be a nostalgia saturation point, but somehow we haven't reached it yet.

− November 7, 2016 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

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