Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is the definitive documentary about the making of the classic 1984 horror comedy.
Where Ghostheads is a documentary about Ghostbusters fans, Cleanin’ Up The Town is about the film itself. This is an extended cut so that speaks to how many people were interviewed and the type of never-before-seen footage available. You could make this film three hours long and people would still watch it.
Produced on a $25-30 million budget, Ghostbusters was also the first film to really spend money on visual effects. Yeah, that’s right. You would probably think that Star Wars would be the first but nope. Meanwhile, Columbia Pictures had no faith in the film. And yet, it would become a sleeper hit, grossing some $282 million during the initial run. Seven consecutive weeks as the top box office earner and one of four films to top $100 million in 1984. Two sequels and a reboot among other forms of media. If you do not think that Ghostbusters is popular, please think again!
A lot of the essential people are on camera for interviews. They include Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and director Ivan Reitman. If you don’t get Dan Aykroyd on camera, there really isn’t a film. I mean, Ghostbusters really does not happen without him. Bill Murray is always a tough interview let alone filmmakers needing a contingency plan on narrative features. You never know if he’s going to show up. But in as much as this film is about the people in front of the camera, it is also about the people behind the camera. The people working behind the scenes never really get the credit. You cannot make a film of this nature and not give credit to everyone working on the visual effects. It takes an ambitious film (over ten years in the making) to give everyone their due.
A documentary of this nature is certainly a lot of work. Without filmmaker Anthony Bueno knowing John Landis from a previous documentary, it’s probably impossible to make this film. The Landis connection also leads to Aykroyd, Reitman, Weaver, and Ramis. Harold has been dead for a number of years now so it really speaks to how long they’ve worked on this film. There are so many interviews and one film is not enough to do justice to the two films together. As such, the Buenos have another film about the sequel: Too Hot To Handle: Remembering Ghostbusters II.
In addition to interviews, there’s also a lot of never-before-seen footage that hasn’t even made it onto the Ghostbusters 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray bonus features. Listen, it’s one thing to watch bonus features on a Blu-ray but this film certainly goes above and beyond what you’d usually find there. Chances are if somebody had any kind of involvement on Ghostbusters, they can be found on camera in this film. Unfortunately, a number of people have since died since production started on the documentary.
Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is a must-watch for Ghostbusters fans. This is the perfect documentary to get you ready for Ghostbusters: Afterlife in November.
DIRECTOR: Anthony Bueno
FEATURING: Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Ivan Reitman, Annie Potts, Richard Edlund, John Bruno, William Atherton, Steve Johnson, Joe Medjuck, Randy Cook, Michael C. Gross, Alice Drummond, David Margulies