Tag Archives: Ghostbusters

Bustin’ makes Iz feel good

photo-mummyIsabelle, donning her The Mummy mask, saw Ghostbusters for the first time on Sunday, spookily it was also on Channel 5 later the very same day.

Isabelle loved the catchy Ray Parker Jr theme, although Iz thought that it was Blockbusters.

Apart from forwarding through the scene where Dana get grabbed by hands emerging from her chair and trundled into the fridge (that’s some big salad tray) Iz just lapped it all up, from the opening library scene mesmerised by the floating book and index cards that were spat out of their drawer to the doggies AKA the terror dogs that she thought were great.

zuul[1]The Mr Staypuft Marshmallow Man was also a firm favourite, Iz thought it was a giant snowman but she was sad when the giant snowman was blown up.

I told her they  were just being Zuul to be kind (ahem)

Hey you guys!

IMG_0503Shiver me timbers, it was pirate week all last week at nursery. Iz decided to be all post-modern and don a The Goonies t-shirt, if only I’d had time to buy a Baby Ruth chocolate bar to ‘complete’ the outfit. Although she does do a mean ‘One-Eyed Willie’ impression.

We spied the t-shirt in Next, from our crows nest naturally, the week before. They are doing some great 80s  retro t-shirts for kids at the mo (well for parents who still are kids to buy for them).

They’ve also got a Gremlins, Ghostbusters and er, Robocop one. Interesting choice that one. Mummy what’s a prime directive? Daddy why did that man have his arm blasted off?

Thankfully they only went for the poster design and not, say, the guy in the petrol station. I wonder if they’ll do Porky’s and Predator in their next wave?

IMG_0457 IMG_0458 IMG_0459

Ghostly goings on at work? Call the British Ghostbusters!

If your work place is more likely to be home to apparitions than apprentices then who you gonna call? Ghostbusters from the University of Essex and Bradford University!

Just like their filmic counterparts, Dr Kathleen Riach and Dr Simon Kelly are university academics, although they won’t be packing proton packs or ridding the world of giant Mr Stay Puft marshmallow men! However, like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis in the original film, they are interested in investigating stories about things that go bump in the night or day in libraries and hotels, as in the film, and other places of work right across the country.

So, if you have a spooky story to tell this Halloween about your haunted office or mysterious phenomenon in your place of work, a researcher at Essex Business School (EBS) at the University of Essex wants to hear from you.

Turning Mulder and Scully in researching these spooky goings on are Dr Kathleen Riach, from EBS, who is turning ghost hunter with Dr Simon Kelly, a colleague from Bradford University School of Management, for a study expected to reveal how paranormal activity in the workplace can impact staff relationships and morale, and ultimately productivity and turnover.

“One chef refused to go to a specific part of his workplace due to phantom footsteps, and another accountant spoke of avoiding a cold part of their office where a murder had apparently taken place years ago,” Dr Riach explained. It was these and other anecdotes from managers and employees with whom Dr Riach was working on other projects that have inspired her latest study.

Dr Riach and Dr Kelly want to interview anyone who has had mysterious or unexplained experiences in their workplaces.

“Whilst this may seem like a curious topic for a research study, by exploring the supernatural at work we might better understand the wider implications for how people experience work. Using the supernatural as an extreme example of the emotional experience of work may help to uncover how employees behave or react when faced with something that falls outside formal organisational practices or does not fit with their expectations or assumptions,” Dr Riach explained.

“Of course, having a paranormal experience may also bring business benefits. Not only is paranormal tourism on the increase, but organisational cultures benefit from the stories and tales that people tell and retell within their companies when people join. It may be that exploring these storytelling cultures surrounding the uncanny reveals one way that people socialise and bond within the workplace.”

The research team are looking for interviewees willing to speak about unusual or unexplained occurrences such as strange noises, moving objects, disembodied voices or cold spots; stories and urban myths about company buildings or history; and ghost stories that are used to promote an ‘experience’ such as a haunted room in a hotel.

To tell your story, contact either Dr Kathleen Riach, e-mail:kriach@essex.ac.uk or telephone 01206 872373 or Dr Simon Kelly, e-mail: s.kelly5@bradford.ac.uk or telephone 01274 238919.

All data collected will be anonymised and treated as confidential.

I ain’t fraid of no ghosts

So mused Ray Parker Jr, ghosts may have not given him sleepless nights but Huey Lewis and the News did when they sued him for the Ghostbusters theme sounding uncannily like one of their tunes.

We’ve got our first ever Fright Nights ghost hunting experience lined up at Oxford Castle, this was penned prior to but posted after that experience, and like the Ghostbusters we, myself, Sarah, my brother, Gavin, and his partner, Shona, are taking on the paranormal as a foursome, albeit minus matching jump suits.

Of course we will have maglites aplenty, doffing of cap to Mulder and Scully, along with some trusty chocolate and caffeine fuelled soft drinks, Mountain Dew with their luminous green bottles, a subconscious nod to Slimer no doubt, to get us through the night. We aired on the side of caution and decided to stay clear away from Stafpuft Marshmallows, just as a precaution you understand.

So, am I a believer or sceptic? Neither really, I’m not expecting rattling chains or Hollywood Paranormal Activity shenanigans, of course who hasn’t seen Most Haunted, who have even spent the night at Oxford Castle in the same areas we are set to tread in the dead of night, or programmes of that ilk.

I spent huge chunks of my childhood mesmerised by the likes of the Usborne Book of Ghosts, Peter Haining’s Book of Hauntings and Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World, so am faintly aware of my Borley Rectory to the Enfield Poltergeist, not to mention all things Amityville Horror.

Dean and Gav Winchester, I mean Newman

Back to the Ghostbusters side of things, my brother is certainly the Ray Stanz of the group, equipped with his night vision camcorder and several torches, including a wind up one if the spirits zap the energy in all the others. Not to be outdone, I’d like to think of myself as the Peter Venkman of the group, but with slightly better skin, although am sure the glasses and quiff is more Egon in nature, I’ve got a dictaphone and two stills cameras packed.

I’ll be leaving the likes of Poltergeist and White Noise at the door with the sceptical but open to possibilities me taking those steps into the darkness of Oxford Castle and the secrets that await…the only white light I plan to be walking into is the one into the burgeoning daylight of 4am in the morning.

Back in Time: Celebrating 25 years of Back to the Future

Seeing the 25th anniversary re-release of Back to the Future (BTTF) on the big screen is not unlike time travel itself as it took me right back to my childhood.

I had never seen the original at the cinema, only catching the sequels on the big screen first time round, although I had seen it more times than I cared to mention on TV and DVD. This mattered not as I approached the screening with the same excitement as if it were a brand new release.

And it can more than hold its own in today’s world of everything being released in 3D thanks to its simple but winning story. As a film it held up not just magnificently but majestically, both against those films touted as family friendly fair today and even those from ‘whence it came, circa 1985, such as The Goonies and Ghostbusters. They are both classic films but BTTF just raises the quality bar and actually, even today doesn’t look to have aged in the slightest in its pacing or any aspect of its unfolding story.

It was a delight to watch the familiar story unfold with characters we have got to know and love every nuance and line of and see them giant on the big screen. It’s of great testament to the writers, Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, that the story, a modern day Wizard of Oz of sorts, still holds true and is practically timeless, which is perhaps as much to do with its setting as much as its writing.

Script wise it is practically faultless and doesn’t miss a beat, the perfect movie script, nothing is wasted no plot thread is left hanging and each piece of dialogue dovetails into the next and has real meaning and consequence. It’s piece of storytelling without an ounce of fat. Everything occurs and happens for a reason, right down to the tiniest of nuances and should be high on anyone’s list wanting to study the craft.

It’s almost as if the film was not made in 1985 but set in 1985, new audiences scoffing as much about Marty McFly’s bulky walkman as much as we did first time round about there being no Diet Pepsi!

The film itself bounds along at a fair old pace, another sign of its unflabby script and it not out staying its welcome, and at 1 hour 40-something is practically short by today’s standards where we have become used to the somewhat ponderous unfolding of the likes of Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins and one Captain Jack Sparrow, part 2 of the Pirates trilogy even having an interval in many cinemas!

It’s also refreshing to see a film where everything looks real and doesn’t have that muted CGI feel to it, everything in both time periods look and feel real and solid, almost as if you can touch them. Sure, we know the Hill Valley of the 1950s is a film set on the Universal backlot but we know that it was all recreated for us to see up on the big screen and not rendered in some computer.

The cinema that we went to see it in was busy and jostling with people and although everyone else was familiar with how the film unfolded there were still laughs to be heard when it came to Doc Brown and his constant questioning of the use of the word ‘heavy’, guffawing at the really rather more excellent than you ever remember Crispin Glover as the hopeless George McFly and the feeling of excitement building in those key action sequences.

The viewing experience was almost akin to watching someone you know do well on the sports field or on stage. You know they were good last time you saw them and are pleased that they’ve given a barn storming performance this time round. Often favourite films or programmes viewed when growing up tend to lose their charm or appeal, but with this one it only grows. It’s as if you know the film intimately.

But the film also has its melancholy side as well, not so much in the feeling that this is a period that we are so far removed from – even when referring to the 1980s – and is almost unrecognisable but also in the shape of Michael J Fox. He’s never been more breezy and likable, well okay I’ve got a soft spot for The Secret of my Success as well, but with his absence from our screens due to his Parkinson’s it’s a reminder of the loss of such an effortlessly comically gifted actor.

He will forever be Marty, much like Matthew Broderick will always be Ferris Bueller. He is stuck, quite fittingly, in a time capsule for us to enjoy again and again.

The whole trilogy is being released on Bluray for the first time on October 25th. It’s an essential purchase of course, the sequel neatly inverting and adding a new dimension to the original and third and final instalment heading way out west. But before you buy Back to the Future on Bluray do yourself a favour and go Back to the Cinema to see the original as it was always meant to be seen.