What Is Ghostbusters Really About?

Slate's Culture Blog
June 11 2013 10:38 AM

What Is Ghostbusters Really About?

ghostbusters
What were they reallyafter?

Columbia Pictures

The trailer below made the rounds online yesterday. It’s for a movie called Spook Central, a name taken from Ghostbusters, which this film obsessively analyses. (“Spook Central” is what one of the Busters calls the Shandor Building—i.e., 55 Central Park West—where the characters Dana and Louis live.) Is the 1984 comedy classic really about sex? Obesity? The ostracism of smokers?

As you may have guessed, this trailer is almost certainly a joke—albeit one that several people seem to have missed. And it’s a pretty good one! The butt of it is Room 237, or, more precisely, the slightly nutty Shining fans interviewed extensively for that film devoted to the Kubrick classic. Presumably, none of the voices we hear in the Spook Central “trailer” actually believe any of these crazy theories—though they do a pretty excellent job of pretending they do.

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And I don’t expect we’ll get any more of Spook Central than the two minutes above (though I for one wouldn’t mind seeing the joke stretched out some more). As for who’s playing the joke? My guess is it’s Michael H. Beck, whose name appears very briefly (and very small) in some credits at the end of the trailer. He has one documentary short to his credit on IMDb, and appears to be Australian, like the voices we hear in the trailer.

Whoever sent the trailer out to at least one website apparently identified himself as “director Ivo Shandor,” but as other Ghostbusters fans have noted, that’s the name of the insane, fictional architect who designed Dana and Louis’s building in the world of the film.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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