Although there's been some backlash over the fact the beloved Ghostbusters has been rebooted with an all-female cast, the haters should know how lovingly director Paul Feig pays tribute to the original. He wants us to be immersed in a new version of the story, but he also knows how much love there is for the 1984 classic, and he fully embraces it.
Besides the obvious comparisons, such as the Ecto-1 hearse the Ghostbusters ride around in and their proton packs, this new Ghostbusters just oozes with Easter eggs and fabulous cameos. Here are the best ones, 10 to 1.
[WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD]
10. The bust of Harold Ramis
We are introduced to Kristen Wiig's character, Dr. Erin Gilbert, while she is trying to gain tenure at Columbia University, which is also where Bill Murray's Dr. Peter Venkman taught. If you pay attention, you'll see a bust of Harold Ramis outside Erin's office. The late Ramis was cowriter of the original Ghostbusters and played the geeky Egon Spengler (“Sorry, Venkman, I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.”)
Hmm…what have we here?
9. The moment when they turn on the proton packs
Kate McKinnon takes on the role of an Egon-like hilariously weird tech head, Jillian Holtzmann. During a test of a new equipment prototype in the alley behind their headquarters, the women quietly move away from the potentially deadly new gadget after Melissa McCarthy's character, Dr. Abby Yates, turns it on, and it menacingly hums. This is a nod to a similar scene when Egon and Venkman flip on Ray’s proton pack then move to the far end of an elevator.
8. Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson are back
These original cast members have two well-placed cameos. Aykroyd, who played the wonderfully gullible Dr. Raymond Stantz, shows up as a cab driver whom Erin tries to warn about the impending end of the world as the ghosts swirl around. He's now a hardened New Yorker, nonplussed by her news, telling her he “ain't afraid of no ghosts.”
It's nice to see these guys again, even if they're not busting ghosts
Hudson, who portrayed the fourth walk-on Ghostbuster Winston, is now the uncle of Leslie Jones' Patty Tolan, who is also a similar walk-on for the new Ghostbusters. Patty's uncle is the one who lent the group a hearse, which turns into the Ecto-1 mobile. Patty has to explain to him that it got sucked into a parallel-universe vortex.
7. The new and old headquarters
The new Ghostbusters try to take up residence in the same building the original Ghostbusters called home, Hook & Ladder 8 in Tribeca, New York – except the rent is way too expensive so the ladies have to settle for a dilapidated floor above a Chinese restaurant.
6. Annie Potts shows up
In the original, Potts plays the Ghostbusters' beleaguered receptionist, Janine Melnitz, who has “quit better jobs than this" — so naturally in this version, she plays a beleaguered hotel desk clerk who's on the phone when the Ghostbusters show up. She barks at them, “Whaddaya want?” like Janine says to the umpteenth person who calls the Ghostbusters hotline.
The receptionist, then and now
5. The Ghostbusters' Away Voice Message
In keeping with Potts' m.o., in one passing shot, you see the empty Ghostbusters offices as the phone rings. The machine picks up and you hear the new receptionist/himbo Kevin (played hilariously by Chris Hemsworth) say, “Ghostbusters: Whaddaya want?”
4. Bill Murray!
Once a firm believer in ghosts as Dr. Venkman, Murray now appears as a famed ghost debunker Martin Heiss, who discounts the lady Ghostbusters' claim they've captured an apparition. That is until Erin's ego gets the best of her, and she lets it out in front of Heiss. It doesn't end well.
Still green and gooey after all these years
3. Slimer, old and new
Ah, that devilish little green ghost who slimes Venkmen and eats hot dogs right out of the vendor stand, reappears in this Ghostbusters pretty much exactly the same. He does, however, take a lady friend on a joyride in the Ecto-1.
2. The Stay Puft Marshallow Man
“What do you do, Ray?” Yes, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man makes an appearance as a balloon in a haunted Thanksgiving Day parade, and because the Ghostbusters make eye contact, ol' Stay Puft attacks. He's ultimately deflated — er, defeated, so to speak.
1. Sigourney Weaver's awesome cameo
As our favorite cameo, there's Sigourney Weaver, who you hope will show up and finally does during the credits. Weaver played the levelheaded Dana in the original Ghostbusters, so naturally in this version she's a mad scientist – Holtzmann's mentor, in fact – and the little exchange between Weaver and McKinnon is pure gold.
Bonus Easter egg: Make sure to stay through the entire credits for a little Zuul-y zing at the end. We're thinking a Ghostbusters 2 is already in the works.
All gifs via GIPHY