We ain’t afraid of no ghost! In it’s first weekend at the theaters, Ghostbusters: Afterlife brought home $68,508,129 internationally, with more certain to come in over the long Thanksgiving weekend. The movie is funny, charming, and in parts, it pulls at the heart strings. Additionally, and as you may expect, the film includes several callbacks and easter eggs to the original films. If you haven’t seen the movie and plan too, now might be a great place to stop reading and come back after you’ve seen it, as the rest of this article, as you probably guessed from the title, contains tons of spoilers and easter eggs. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
The Original Plot Continues
Ghostbusters first entered our hearts in 1984 and was an instant success. The movie followed Ray, Egon, Winston, and Pete as they faced a spiritual threat the likes no one had seen before, a threat which as we find out in Afterlife is still around in rural Summerville, Oklahoma. Ivo Shandor, the metalurgical madman who we hear a good deal about, but we never meet in the original film, created an entire other location for his rituals. Everything from mentioning selinuium, it’s use in steel and metalurgy, The Gatekeeper, The Keymaster, the demon dogs, the temple, and Gozar, all of it, is from the original film. Afterlife even includes some answers to previosuly unanswered questions, such as what would have happened had one of the demons been trapped after Gozar emerged from the portal.
The Philadelphia Mass Turbulence of 1947
In the 1984 paranomal comedy hit, the first time we see the team investigate, there is a stack of books that are symmetrical stacked in the library. Ray refers to this as “symmetrical book stacking, just like the Philadelphia Mass Turbulence of 1947.” Venkman has a classic response to this, “You’re right, no human being would stack books like this.” We see the same ‘phenomenon’ in the background of the ‘dirt’ farmers house in the background, and it is featured more than once throughout the film. Podcast also mentions The Manhattan Cross-Rip which was another event mentioned in the original film.
Nice and simple. The original headquarters for the team was in an old fire station in , and what sold the purchase of the building (Egon felt it was substandard) was the good time Ray had sliding down the pole, excitedly saying “you guys gotta try this pole.” Egon’s farmhouse, as unassuming as it looked in Afterlife, held many secrets underneath the ground and to get to those secrets, one would have to ride the pole.
There weren’t many easter eggs alluding to the second film, but there were a couple. The toaster that loved Jackie Wilson was seen in the background of the kitchen in the farmhouse. This time, no one pretended the toaster bit their hand off. Bummer.
Does someone need a brew or potion to have a Penthouse Pet fall madly in love with them? Ray’s Occult would have perhaps had the perfect solution. In another brilliant easter egg, the first time we see Ray, he answers the red phone from Rays Occult in New York. Next time you need an item of mystery, stop by. Don’t worry about Ray, he’ll turn a profit one day.
Ghostbusters just isn’t Ghostbusters without proton packs, ghosts, and of course the Ecto-1. A Miller-Meteor 1959 Cadilac amubulance/hearse combination vehicle, Afterlife’s Ecto-1 featured a gunner seat and a trap door for deploying the mobile ghost trap. Something eagle-eyed fans may have noticed about the vehicle was brought up in an interview from Uproxx.com when Mike Ryan interviewed Jason Reitman. We know, Ghostbusters II is canon because of the dancing toaster and Ray’s Occult, both mentioned above. If this is the case, Ecto-1 SHOULD have the famous Ghostbusters logo holding up two fingers. It does not. When asked why Egon may have removed this when he moved to the farmhouse, Jason Reitman did not elaborate and indicated it may be a future plot point.
Mr. Stay Puft
Apparently, Mr. Stay Puft, also known as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, may be related to rabbits. They like to multiply you know. A much smaller and cuter merchandising oppurtunity shows up during the Wal-Mart scene and those little things are everywhere. Their mischief actually brings to mind the Gremlins sequel when the gremlins are attacking and playing with each other all over the news media building.
So, not a direct call back to the original film, Muncher did serve as the Slimer of this movie. Slimer was used as the orignal teams ‘warm up bust’ much in the same vein as Muncher is for Phoebe, Trevor, and Podcast. Hey, once you meet one gelatinous, disgusting blob, you’ve met them all.
A frequent, and funny occurence in the original films was Bill Murrays fantastic improve towards the villains of the original movies: Gozar and Vigo. During moments when hope seems lost for the team, Venkman uses his psychology and parapsychology as distractions, and the move usually bought the team some time, much as it does here. Next time you’re in a fight, confuse your attacker. It works…maybe.
When Someone Asks if You’re a god
You say yes! Ray, after some glances from Peter and Winston, quickly fixes the mistake he makes in the first film. As you may recall, Gozar asks if Ray is a god in the first film. He says no and he and team are prompty dispatched. Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Earlier in the film, we are led to believe the old fire house is a Starbucks. The after credit scene shows this as not accurate. We also learn Winston will essentially become Bruce Wayne of the group for the future of the franchise, as he is filthy rich. Winston always did have the tools and the talent. He makes good on his promise to fix Ecto-1 from its battle wounds and we see the old Caddy rolling into the fire house, which also looks as if it has seen better days.
The mid credit scene calls back to one of the first scenes we see in the original film. Peter, who admits he only shocked the guys, studying the effect of negative reinforment on ESP ability. In the Afterlife scene, the roles are reversed and we witness Dana Barrett reprised by Sigourney Weaver, shocking Pete. He cheated after all and marked the cards! The scene from Murray’s end is all improve and is a great riff to the original scene all those years ago from the grounds of Columbia University.
The shy and subtle charm of Harold Ramis’s Egon Spengler ressonates in the third act, including the final battle where we see a CGI version of Harold in a series of moments that pulls at the heart strings. This includes an after credit scene featurung Egon receiving a coin from Janine. She says the coin is from the 1964 World’s Fair. The scene is an actual deleted scene from the original film and once you realize that, your heart melts.
There were a lot of call backs and easter eggs in the film, and in fact, this list may not have gotten them all, but I think we were able to capture most of them. If you didn’t see them all at first, make sure you catch them on rewatch because Ghostbusters:Afterlife is full of rewatchability. What did we miss, if anything? Drop your comments below, and until next time, who ya gonna call?
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About The Author
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Gary has an extensive informational background in sports radio, where he also wrote sports stories before transitioning to entertainment with MovieWeb.
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