Sunday, 3 February 2008

Bill Murray Wins This Part Of The Internet

Was there ever any doubt? It's been years since he got slimed, but he finally gets his reward. Well, winning this definitive vote and winning the heart of Dana Barrett twice. Which is nice going.

  • Dr. Peter Venkman - 5 (38%)
  • Dr. Egon Spengler - 4 (30%)
  • Dr. Raymond Stantz - 2 (15%)
  • Winston Zeddemore - 2 (15%)
  • Louis Tully - 0 (0%)

When I had the idea for the Ghostbusters poll, Canyon thought it pointless. Who wouldn't vote for Venkman? He gets most of the good lines and moments and does that silly one-foot walk thing outside the Lincoln Centre. Plus, it's Bill Murray! Emissary of the Umami fairies! However, Venkman's also a creepy stalker whose disrespect for those in a position of power is so strong that you have to wonder how the guy got anywhere in life, especially when his scientific knowledge appears to be lacking compared to that of Stantz and Spengler. But he has heart, and a bit of courage, and a grading system for the dirtiness of his clothes. In the world of paranormal bounty hunting, perhaps that's all you need. Plus, the people in a position of power who get insulted by him (Dean Yeager, Jack Hardemeyer, and Walter Peck) are the worst kind of jellus and officious assholes who deserve his wrath, so bless his irreverent ass and the amusing gibberish he spouts.

Second place goes to Egon Spengler, who comes across as so enormously stiff and inept at human interaction that I honestly thought for years that Harold Ramis was just the worst actor imaginable and that he only got to play the character because he co-wrote the film, but having seen him since (most recently as the Jewish record mogul L’Chai’m in Walk Hard), and realising that he can be a very likeable comic actor, makes me retro-actively damn myself for being so bitchy. Ah well, they call it hindsight for a reason.

Then a couple of votes for Winston Zeddemore, one of them mine. Yes, he was my favourite Ghostbuster, mostly because I loved that he was just a guy thrust into this quirky world for no reason other than that he needed a job. As a result he was perhaps more sympathetic than the other characters, who were funny and likeable but had an eccentricity that could be somewhat distancing. He was down-to-earth, and also got possibly the best line of either film ("Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say 'YES'!"). He also walks away from this photo with his cool relatively intact.

There were also a couple of votes for Ray Stantz, and perhaps he would have received more if it wasn't for that creepy sex-dream scene with the ghost from the first film. That still icks me out a bit, and I have difficulty figuring out which part is a dream, and which isn't. I'm not sure that's reason enough to gloat about him not getting enough votes, but I just can't help the way I feel, man. Stop judging me! And no votes for honorary Ghostbuster Louis Tully! That didn't surprise me either. He throws the worst parties ever, and brags about how he can get cheap Nova Scotia salmon; a classic indicator of douchiness that has served me well in life.

So, with that settled, I should come up with another poll, but right now all I can think to do is one about how awesome the first episode of Lost season 4 was, but it was SO AWESOME there really isn't any point. Anyone who disagrees probably loves Torchwood or works for the Guardian Guide and is therefore beyond help. [/mean-spirited delusion] I'll come up with something soon. Hang tight, readers! In the meantime, here's proof that Ghostbusters lives on. Hallelujah! Can't wait.

ETA: Got my poll sorted! Which film are you looking forward to most this year? There are many choices, all of which are skewed to the nerd end of the spectrum, but hopefully you will find something there that you like.


Masticator said...

Astute analysis, with bonus points for use of the phrase "enormously stiff" in a non-sexual context. I appreciate the Zeddemore love in an ordinary-guy sense, but he loses points for being (a) the only character to refer to the zany ectoplasmic New York goings-on as Book of Revelation-esque, which they clearly are too wacky and fun-filled to be, and (b) being a crashingly obvious token black dude. I often thought that if Ghostbusters had been made only a few years later, the heroes would certainly not be three white guys from New York; they'd be one white guy (who got to do the properly heroic stuff), one ethnic guy (who would provide comic relief along with some flashes of inspiration and ultimately bravery) and an improbably beautiful woman (who would be somehow klutzy or socially awkward in an attempt to offset her potentially threatening combination of brains, pluck and pulchritude, and would get off with the heroic white guy after a rocky start to their relationship). All boxes ticked!

I wonder if that film will ever be made.

Admiral Neck said...

That assessment of the modern Ghostbusters format has depressed me terribly because you are absolutely right. And would the line, "Yes. This man has no dick," get in? Bah! Political correctness gone mad!

And yes, there was some tokenism there with Winston, which even as a kid smacked of dishonesty, but he was written as an equal even though he had no scientific background, and Ernie Hudson is a hugely likeable actor, so at least it wasn't a half-hearted, studio-mandated thing. He felt like part of the team as soon as he showed up. Go Zeddemore!

johnilf said...

Would the line, quoted by Winston, "I've seen shit that will turn a man white" get in a modern day ghostbusters film? It's the reason i voted for him.

Who ya gonna call?