The Ghostbusters reboot is finally upon us, and it turns out that it's not that bad at all, which is something that will probably dishearten some tiny minded die-hards of the original. Obviously, since it was inspired by the original films, the Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon-led version had to tip its hat to its predecessors with a plethora of references.
Some of them were instantly apparent, such as their costumes, the return of ECTO-1 (this time as a hearse), the use of Proton Packs and Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott teaming up for the new version of the Ghostbusters theme song. However, others might have passed you by. To help, here are some noticeable and hidden Ghostbusters Easter Eggs that deserve to be celebrated.
Needless to say, there are some spoilers ahead!
Of course, we have to start with Slimer. Easily one of the Ghostbusters franchises' most endearing and iconic creations, Feig's version is somehow even more disgusting than its predecessor. Not only do we get to see him munching down on hot dogs just like he did in the original Ghostbusters, but he just seems to be a lot stickier and gooier, while he's still the same maniacal reprobate that we all adore and would even consider having as a pet. This time around, though, Slimer has somehow found himself a girlfriend. Well, it could actually be his sister. It's hard to tell.
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
It was always going to be hard for Paul Feig to try and squeeze in a reference to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, who emerges in the original after Gozer decrees that the "destructor" will take the form of anything the team thinks of, which provokes Ray to think of him. When a haunted Thanksgiving Day Parade materializes in the new movie above a terrified Times Square, there was only going to be one balloon at the front and center. It almost squashes Abby, Holtzmann, and Patty, too, before Erin saves the day. Another nifty confectionary based Easter Egg to look out for is a giant billboard in Times Square that reads, "That's a giant Twinkie," which is a reference to Winston's line following Egon's metaphor.
As the co-writer, co-creator and Ray Stantz from the originals, it really wouldn't have been a Ghostbusters film if Dan Aykroyd wasn't involved in some way, shape or form. Thankfully, he appears at the beginning of the film's final act. After Kristen Wiig approaches a taxi-driver and pleads with him to take her downtown so she can help to battle all of the ghosts that are suddenly invading the Big Apple, Aykroyd's unimpressed driver glibly responds, "I ain't afraid of no ghosts." Which, of course, was also a delicious tip of the hat to the original theme song, too.
Sadly, Harold Ramis died before he had a chance to see the remake of the hit film that he co-wrote alongside Aykroyd, succumbing to cancer in February 2014. Not only is the film dedicated to his memory, but, during a scene at Columbia University, there's a loving shot of a bust of his head that lingers just long enough for fans to pay their respects to a movie-master. It was a touching and emotional moment. Columbia University itself was another homage to the original, as this was the institution where Stantz, Venkman and Spengler were employed before they became full-time Ghostbusters.
Admit it, this was the cameo that you were the most eager to see. Bill Murray has never been cooler on screen than when he portrayed Peter Venkman in the original films. So it was a delight to see him playing the polar opposite in the reboot, as he depicted Dr. Martin Heiss, a supernatural debunker that pleads with the Ghostbusters to see proof they exist. Things don't end particularly well for Heiss, but that doesn't mean that Murray won't be able to return in future installments, though he could just as easily portray him as a ghost.
While it was brief, Annie Potts cameo as a hotel receptionist featured pretty much everything that you'd want from her tribute to her role as Janine Melnitz in the originals. This is because she abruptly declares to Abby, Erin, Holtzman and Patty as they approach her, "Whaddya want?" much in the same way that she uttered it in the 1984 film as she answered the phone. Those of you paying extra close attention would have also heard that Chris Hemsworth's Kevin outgoing answering machine message referenced this line of dialogue, too, as he declares, "Ghostbusters: Whaddya want?" However, his is said in a much sweeter fashion.
While Aykroyd and Murray's cameos were brief, the appearance of Ernie Hudson right at the end of the film, as well as the revelation that he's Patty's Uncle Bill Jenkins, suggests that, if Ghostbusters makes enough money, he could easily be included in a sequel or two further down the line. This would help to make up for the fact that scenes featuring Winston, his character in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, were drastically cut down once Eddie Murphy decided not to take the part. Well, it would compensate a little bit. Either way, it was a delight to see Hudson and Jones bringing the two generations together.
Just like Hudson, there's every chance that Sigourney Weaver's Rebecca Gorin could return further down the line if the franchise is expanded into more films, too. We had to wait until the start of the credits to see Weaver, who portrayed Dana Barrett in the original films, return to the franchise, where it was revealed that she was mentor to Kate McKinnon's Jillian Holtzmann. I think we can all admit that if, God willing, a sequel is ordered, then the pair's relationship needs to be explored in more depth, and they need to have a substantial amount of scenes together.
It wasn't just the actors from Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II that were brought back in for the reboot. Some of the ghosts were, too. After Patty (Leslie Jones) calls in the help of Erin, Abby and Holtzmann, she brings them down to the depths of the subway where they come face to face with the ghost of an electrocuted convict. There are rumors now circulating that this was in fact a reference to the Scoleri Brothers in Ghostbusters II, who, as luck would have it, appeared as ghosts and terrorized Judge "The Hammer" Wexler during a pivotal scene of the follow-up.
Rowan Turning Into The Logo
After taking over Chris Hemsworth's body, Rowan then begins to taunt and antagonize the Ghostbusters as he wreaks havoc in New York City. Part of his abuse sees him take different forms, one of which is the cuddly logo of the franchise, which at first is a cute homage, but then grows into an enormous, sky-scraper size version that they have to take down by shooting it in the genitals. That also probably works as a thinly-veiled insult to all of the naysayers that have insisted that a female led Ghostbusters reboot would be awful.
Any self-respecting movie fan visiting New York City immediately makes a pilgrimage to Hook & Ladder 8, the Tribeca firehouse that the original Ghostbusters used as their headquarters. It was a delight to see the ladies originally trekking across to the same location in an attempt to make it their own base, only to immediately learn that, because of New York prices, it now costs $21,000 a month to rent, which provokes Wiig to rightfully swear at the estate agent. However, by the end of the film, they're in their rightful place, and it was a sweet and touching way to draw it to a conclusion.
There are numerous lines in the new Ghostbusters that pay reference to the original. However, my personal favorite was when Cecily Strong explained that even though the government is aware of ghosts, they need to keep them a secret, "Otherwise there would be mass hysteria." This was eerily similar to Bill Murray's remark of, "Dogs and cats, living together -- mass hysteria!" It was also hilarious to see Chris Hemsworth mixing up his own senses (he covers his eyes when told not to listen), just like Dan Aykroyd did in the original with the line, "Listen, do you smell something."
Some of you might have missed this Easter Egg, which came all the way at the end of the film after all of the credits had rolled and most you had either grown tired of reading their names or just couldn't wait to go to the bathroom any longer. The post-credits sequence featured Patty listening back to the tapes that Abby and Jillian had recorded during a previous ghost encounter. She then asks her comrades if they've ever heard of Zuul, who just so happens to the demonic, shape-shifting spirit that was the main villain of the original. Could he be the villain of the sequel? Let's hope Ghostbusters makes enough money so we can find out.