The only real news outside of the infernal clown orgy of our 2016 election is that the gender swapped Ghostbusters reboot trailer came out today.
It opens with a cool little minimalist piano riff on the Ghostbusters theme song. It almost sounds too sweet to me, which is my dissatisfaction with this movie’s vibe. What I want to see is Rob Zombie’s gender swapped Ghostbusters. I want pure supernatural terror. When I was a little kid, the ghosts in Ghostbusters actually seemed a bit frightening. The slick specters in this trailer look like some bullshit from Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride fucked The Nightmare Before Christmas.
You get a few glimpses of familiar sites like the firehouse and a shot of a graffiti version of the Ghostbusters logo. This has millennial focus grouping all over it and is the first pieces of evidence I will advance to support my concern this movie will be a stinker. The second would be the look of the proton packs. The director has said in an interview he wanted the audience to see these women build these tools, not simply inherit them. For character development and such, it’s way better. Especially if this is actually a complete reboot. If it’s some kind of sequel, though, I think it would’ve been satisfying to see the old proton packs and traps.
From a few shots in this trailer it looks like there are some nostalgia cues. Ecto-1 is still an old Cadillac Hearse, which is still my dream car. I wonder if the EPA will remain a major villain? Considering the environmental lip service of Hollywood, I don’t imagine Leonardo DiCaprio would have allowed it.
I’ve wanted a hearse ever since I saw Harold & Maude as a tween. The idea of rolling around in a sweet 1960s hearse with a quaking sound system was an obsession of mine in high school. When I was a senior in high school, I found a running baby blue 1960s hearse in the paper for $1500. I had saved up enough for it over the summer working as a valet, but when my dad caught wind of the scheme he told me I wouldn’t be allowed to park on the block and he’d be very disappointed if I bought it.
I was going through a bit of a goth phase and I think my dad was worried I’d turn gay because I was wearing eyeliner. At the time I was dating a really hot girl three years older than me, so I don’t know why he thought some unfortunate fashion choices would lead to a homosexual lifestyle. Coincidentally, the guy who bought the hearse my pops was so opposed to was a bouncer at a goth club we used to go to. He mounted surfboards on the top, which was hilarious considering New Orleans is not well known for its surfing.
One thing I (and a few others before me) noticed is how much Kate McKinnon’s character looks like her male equivalent, Egon, especially in the Ghostbusters cartoon.Slimer, the green ghost from the first two films, looks pretty decent as well compared to the cartoon. Together, this makes me wonder if they’re actually rebooting the cartoon as a life action film rather than the first movie.
I’m never really surprised when misanthropic feminists and mens’ rights dorks take extreme views on film roles switching genders around. They seem hellbent on sucking the air out of the internet with their clashing. While the rest of the world seems like it’s bending slowly towards chillaxing on an arc of chillness, these people are going full Hatfield and McCoy over Evolutionary Psychology and the work of Judith Butler.
To me, gender swapping is always going to have a gimmicky feel unless it’s justified by the story or the characters are balanced between evoking the previous cast and expressing originality. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Gimmicks are not always bad. The new Star Wars films are basically one huge gimmick, and so far, they’re pretty good.
Also, I absolutely adore gender swapped cosplay. Bearded dudes playing Princess Leigh and hot girls dressed up like Mandalorian Bounty Hunters are awesome. It doesn’t even have to be overtly sexy or anything. Here’s a post from ion.com that shows all the cool gender swap Dr. Who cosplay. Sometimes I feel like cosplay is drag for nerds.
The trailer runs through all the women’s basic skillets and lays out a plot teaser; someone has built a device that amplifies paranormal activity. This is totally different and probably less creepy than the original film. What was cool and creepy about the plot of the first film is that it had a kind of HP. Lovecraft vibe. An insane doctor who lead a cult decided humanity must be destroyed and designed a building to serve as a portal to summon an ancient Sumerian god of destruction. This god manifests as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, one of the best gags of all time.
The supernatural forces in the first Ghostbusters make an effort to be menacing. The demon dogs are very cool monsters, Slimer was a totally original creature, and Gozer was pretty much a Satanic white Grace Jones impersonator. The Ghostbusters themselves seem like they are just buddies and the humor on the screen is shared between them as we watch from afar.
The ladies in this film are funny comic actors. I’ve been a fan of Kristen Wiig ever since I saw her in Knocked up. Even though she is very different, I can see how her quiet sarcasm might pull off a proper Peter Venkman vibe. The gender swapping isn’t just left up to the ladies, though. you get about two seconds of sexy ass Chris Hemsworth, who I believe is the secretary character.
It’s my guess that this movie will be utter garbage. And it’s not because the characters are women or these ladies aren’t funny. It’s because these Hollywood nostalgia products are almost always terrible. The only way this movie will be any good is if it’s self aware in the same way as 21 & 22 Jump Street. Those movies were made with a nod to how boring and cynical the concept of rebooting a 90s sitcom was.
The 21 Jump Street movie has one of my favorite scenes in any comedy of the last 10 years. The part where the cops first go back to high school with all the shit they thought was cool in high school does a flawless job of displaying the relationship between Gen X’ers and Millenials. I realized I was old and rapidly becoming out of touch with everything except my pure burning hate for the young.
Like the new Ghostbusters, Jump Street has a good cast and if it can make fun of itself, I predict it’ll be ok, but I’d lay a Jackson down to bet it doesn’t crack 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. Go watch the trailer and let m know what you think.