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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

We need to talk about the New Ghostbusters film and confront the haters!

The latest Ghostbusters 2016 Character Poster
The latest Ghostbusters 2016 Character Poster


There’s something dark in the neighbourhood. And I’m afraid it ain’t no ghost.

In the past few months I’ve never come across such acidic, vitriolic criticism over any pre-released film more than I have with the upcoming Ghostbusters.

Paul Feig was given the reigns of this film and decided to spin the concept on it’s head. Nope. Not set it in space, or the future, or LA. Nope. He’s cast an all female Ghostbusting crew.

My reaction?

“Intriguing! He’s picked a crop of current women actors with a background in comedy and given them the keys to ECTO 1. What’s more there to say?”

Yet in nearly every comment section of every social media post reporting on any facet of the upcoming film you will find a barrage of scathing criticism of a film that people haven’t even seen yet. And it makes me ashamed to call myself a nerd.

Nine times out of ten I do the sane thing, shrug my shoulders and move on. But it was one post from a popular (and I will leave unnamed) Facebook “Geek” page in the form of a meme showing photo the new cast with the words “Not calling these guys” that really got me mad. I just said it like I saw it. This was nothing more than blatant misogyny. A barrage of angry Facebookers took to this like a red rag. And in turn I called out each and every person on their gripe with this film.

Here’s some of the common argument I encountered most of them beginning with that old adage “I’m not sexist but….”

“Paul Feig is ruining my childhood!”

How exactly? I betcha tonnes of your favourite films have been revamped in recent years. Didn’t hear people going nuts when the announced the new Star Wars. There wasn’t anything like this kind of hate when Star Trek got renewed in 2009. I’m a Trekkie and we’re the most precious fanboys out there. And yes, we’ll tell you if an instalment is sub-par. But we’ll certainly wait to see it before ripping into it.

And lets face it. The original 1984 release was a classic comedy film. Not denying that. But Ghostbusters II kinda sucks. (Don’t take it from me, Rotton Tomatos has it at 50%.) You had the Saturday morning kids show from the 80’s and a reboot from what I can remember in the 90’s and that’s it. Feig is not exactly crapping over a wide oeuvre of work here is he?

“Feig is only casting women to be politically correct.”

So what? I think this is a fresh and unique take on a much loved plot. We’ve never had problems with strong female leads like Captain Janeway, The Bride from Kill Bill and nearly every Josh Whedon female protag. What’s so wrong with four ladies with the overalls and proton packs? In fact I quite like that Feig hasn’t over sexualised them in anyway shape or form. I think they look bad ass to be frank.

“You’re just jumping on your keyboard to try and score points from the “feminazis out there.”

Wrong. Who am I to turn around to my girlfriend or my sister or any of my female friends, look them in the eye and tell her them they can’t play Ghostbusters with the rest of the guys just because they don’t have a physical pair down there? I’ve never classed myself as a feminist but if believing that my female peers should have the same equal opportunities as me then call me a feminist. Why should a person’s gender disqualify them from becoming president, a CEO or a Paranormal Investigator?

I get it. Being a nerd is all about wearing your love for your fandom on your sleeve. Being a die hard fanboy/girl can be exhausting with Hollywood repackaging and re-churning our your favourite films over and over. I remember leaving the cinema after seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and I felt numb. What did they just do? Aliens? CGI Gophers? Nuclear fridges? South Park summed it up the best going as far to depict Lucas and Spielberg gang raping Indy on a ping pong machine. Don’t even start me on the Star Wars prequels and the mess made there.

However one of the down sides of being an opinionated nerd in the 21st Century is that to prove you love something so much you have to show you hate any slight deviation from the original. I know plenty of people who are angry at Han shooting first but not really sure why. Most people my age saw the special editions in the 90’s and never really noticed yet throw a shit fit every time the new CGI sequences. I feel that displays of this nature show a very unflattering snobbishness that exists within the geek community; one that unfortunately flashes shades of sexism time and again.

I know people are already entrenched with their views on this film but to them I say catch a grip. You’re hating on a film that hasn’t (as of time of writing) even had a trailer released yet. My advice? Take a long look in the mirror and tell yourself, “it’s just a movie.”

I really hope Ghostbusters is good. In fact I’m praying it’s going to be great. Now to sit back and read about how horribly wrong I am in the comments section. Bring it on!!

The all new Ghostbusters is coming to the UK on 15th July 2016

Mark lives in Belfast where he runs a ukulele club, plays board games and watches old TV shows. His interests include Cold War architecture, trawling for vintage toys on eBay and reading Starship schematics on Memory Alpha. He was a finalist on the UK version of King of the Nerds.

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