The year 1984 was a treasure trove for movie lovers. Classics like The Karate Kid, Footloose, and A Nightmare on Elm Street made their way to theaters, but it was an especially fine time for comedies. The foul-mouthed Beverly Hills Cop, teen sex romp Revenge of the Nerds, Police Academy, Gremlins, and Romancing the Stone are just a few of the movies that debuted that year. But let’s not forget the film that combined elements of horror, slapstick funnies, big special effects, and some of the best comedic actors: Ghostbusters. This August, audiences will have the opportunity to catch Ghostbusters on the big screen. They’ll also get to enjoy a 30th-anniversary Blu-ray edition. To prepare for these moments, we’ve gathered 25 fun facts about the movie that you might have missed.
The film’s original title was Ghost Smashers.
Director Ivan Reitman voiced the evil Zuul and the ghost nicknamed Slimer.
The original ghostbusting cast included John Belushi (as Peter Venkman, played by Bill Murray), Dan Aykroyd, and Eddie Murphy. However, plans changed after Belushi died (before the screenplay was completed), and Murphy (up for the part of Winston Zeddemore, played by Ernie Hudson) wouldn’t commit to the part. John Candy was also eyed for the role of Louis Tully, but was unsure how to portray the character — who was then written as a straight-laced business man. Candy envisioned Tully with a German accent, toting two schnauzer dogs.
The original premise for Ghostbusters found the gang in tactical uniforms (like a SWAT team), with wands instead of guns and proton packs to fight paranormal entities. The original storyboards also showed the men wearing riot squad-esque helmets with transparent, movable visors. The story was set in the future, where Ghostbusters were like any other service worker (akin to firefighters and paramedics). That version was too costly, so star and co-writer Harold Ramis set the film in modern times.
During filming, Reitman remarked that ghost Slimer reminded him of Bluto in Animal House, John Belushi’s character. From then on, Slimer was frequently referred to as “The Ghost of John Belushi” by cast and crew. He was also nicknamed “Onionhead” due to his grotesque smell that he used to scare a couple in a scene cut from the original movie. Slimer is never actually named in the film. The ghost wasn’t dubbed Slimer until the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, came about in 1986.