“Ghostbusters” and Protecting Women From Critics

Ghostbusters

by Gabriel Valdez

Ghostbusters led by an all-female cast. That’s the news. I’ve heard the notion in a few circles that, if the film’s a failure, it’s going to be used as an argument against casting all-women ensembles in the future…so it shouldn’t be made.

Clearly, we’ve got to protect women from bad reviews, everyone. They can’t handle it. Let’s not take that step forward – there’s a danger in misogynists being vocal. Because they were so quiet before.

Look, if us guys get to make Marvel Movie Starring a White Guy Named Chris 12 and conclude Expendables 3 with a fistfight between two guys who beat their wives and not worry about the reviews, I think women can hack Ghostbusters: Subtitle Here.

I love the original, but we act as if the franchise is untouchable, as if it was delivered to the brain of Dan Ackroyd fully fledged by God on stone tablets. The 1984 film certainly wasn’t influenced by the 1946 film Spook Busters or the 1975 TV show The Ghost Busters.

It certainly hasn’t been adapted into an underwhelming sequel before, like Ghostbusters 2, or into countless video games and TV shows of mixed quality. No, it is a pristine property and, like the driver’s seat of a car in Saudi Arabia, it is something that powers beyond us have dictated a woman’s hand shall never touch. I mean, to even think of challenging such supernatural forces, we’d need, like, some sort of Ghostbuster.

No film is pristine. Hidden Fortress became Star Wars, royalty-free. Yojimbo became A Fistfull of Dollars. The Wizard of Oz, John Carpenter’s The Thing, 90% of Star Trek, True Grit, The Fly, Sorceror, The Birdcage, John Carpenter’s The Thing, 22 James Bonds, every comic book adaptation with a number or subtitle, Seven Samurai, Aliens, Lord of the Rings, Terminator 2, Back to the Future, and John Carpenter’s The Thing are all sequels or remakes. Did I mention John Carpenter’s The Thing?

We don’t have many rules for this site. We have the Sharni Vinson Rule and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt Bylaw, which basically state we bring them up as often as possible. We typically have a one cuss word-per-article maximum – you try editing Vanessa Tottle’s stuff that way. Here’s the third: any argument that means John Carpenter’s The Thing wouldn’t exist is unacceptable. And you know what they did? They made a prequel to JC’s The Thing, the most bearded up Kurt Russell movie ever made, it starred Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and it was pretty fucking good.

Turns out when you’re frying aliens with a flamethrower, it doesn’t matter what gender you are. I don’t think ghosts care either.

Regardless of who’s cast, I’m pretty sure Sandra “who else could have pulled off Gravity that well” Bullock or Tina “I carried Saturday Night Live on my back for years” Fey can equal the magic of Dan “don’t look at my IMDB page and realize how many terrible movies I made” Ackroyd and Harold “how do you want me to act? Just like I have in everything else?” Ramis. And if Ghostbusters director Paul Feig even thinks of hiring Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates), I’m calling it right here – there’s a real chance it’s better than the original.

So can we please drop the “Oh, what if Ghostbusters flops, women will be set back a thousand years” argument? Because that argument is a catch-all that works against against increased roles for women, minorities, or any group cast in a film you don’t want to see them in. And even if it does flop, the only critics using that logic will be the ones who will never stop doing so.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start the Jessica Walter for Ghostbusters campaign.

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