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Ghostbusters II is a 1989 sci-fi comedy film and sequel to Ghostbusters. Produced and directed by Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters II follows the further adventures of a group of parapsychologists and their organization which combats paranormal activities ("ghostbusting"). The sequel was originally to be called Ghostbusters II: River Of Slime. The sequel had what was, at the time, the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history ($29,472,894, which is equivalent to $50,864,510 in 2009), a record that was broken one week later by Batman ($40,505,884). Despite the record-breaking opening, the film has received mixed reviews from both critics and viewers.


Five years after the events of the first film, the Ghostbusters are undeservedly out of business after being sued by the city for property damage incurred during the battle against Gozer, and have incurred a restraining order preventing them from investigating the supernatural. Ray Stantz owns an occult bookstore and does side-work with Winston Zeddemore as unpopular children's entertainers, Egon Spengler works in a laboratory conducting experiments into human emotion, Peter Venkman hosts a little-watched pseudo-psychic television show, and Dana Barrett works at the Manhattan Museum of Artmarker restoring paintings and raising her infant son Oscar at a new apartment, having broken up with Peter under acrimonious circumstances, but strongly hinted to be from Peter's fear of commitment. After a supernatural incident in which Oscar's baby carriage is controlled by an unseen supernatural force and drawn to a busy junction on First Avenue, Dana turns to the Ghostbusters for help, prompting an awkward reunion between herself and Peter. Meanwhile, Dr. Janosz Poha—Dana's boss at the art gallery—is possessed by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian, a seventeenth century tyrant trapped within a painting in the gallery. Vigo orders Janosz to locate a child that Vigo can transfer his consciousness into, thus gaining physical form upon the approaching New Year.

The Ghostbusters' investigation leads them to conclude that the supernatural presence originates from under the city streets, prompting them to illegally excavate First Avenue at the point where the baby carriage stopped. Lowered down on a wire, Ray discovers a river of pink slime filling an abandoned subway line. Attacked by the slime after obtaining a sample, Ray accidentally knocks out the city's electrical grid, and the Ghostbusters are arrested. At their trial they are defended poorly by Louis Tully and are found guilty, but the judge's emotional outbursts prompt a reaction from the slime sample presented as evidence; after a final tirade, the slime explodes, releasing the ghosts of the Scoleri Brothers, two murderers the judge had previously sentenced to death. The Ghostbusters agree to trap the ghosts in exchange for the dismissal of all charges and the rescinding of the restraining order; after doing so, they re-open their business and commence investigating the supernatural once more.

After the slime invades Dana's apartment, seemingly attempting to abduct Oscar, she seeks refuge with Peter; the two begin to renew their relationship. Investigating the slime and the history of the painting of Vigo, the Ghostbusters discover that the slime (which they find all over the city) reacts both to positive and negative emotions -- and even "dances" to music such as Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher" -- but suspect that it has been generated by the immense amount of negativity reflected in the attitudes of New Yorkers. While Peter and Dana have dinner together and Louis and Janine babysit (and become romantically involved), Egon, Ray and Winston explore the river of slime and, after falling in and barely escaping, discover that it leads back directly to the museum. The Ghostbusters go to the mayor with their suspicions, but are dismissed by the skeptical politician; his scheming assistant attempts to defuse them as a potential problem by having them committed to a psychiatric hospital. As they do so, a spirit resembling Janosz kidnaps Oscar, prompting Dana to break into the museum by herself; after she does, the museum is caked in a wall of impenetrable slime.

New Year's Eve sees a sudden outburst of increased supernatural activity as the slime rises through the ground and onto the surface of the city, including a demon invading Washington Square Parkmarker, a fur coat returning to life to attack its owner, a film monster burst out of a screen to attack audiences at a local movie theatre, and the "better late than never" arrival of the Titanicmarker and its long-deceased passengers and crew into the harbor. The NYPD's emergency lines are flooded with calls from panic-stricken New Yorkers, and an ominous mass of psychokinetic energy blocks out the sun and shrouds the city in darkness. Realizing the truth of the situation, the mayor fires his assistant and has the Ghostbusters released, whereupon they make their way to the museum. Their initial attempt to break through the museum's slime barrier are unsuccessful, the wave of negativity that has generated it proving too powerful to damage with their proton packs. Determining that they need a symbol of equally-powerful positivity to break through the slime, the Ghostbusters use positively-charged mood slime from their slime blowers and a remix of "Higher and Higher" to animate the Statue of Libertymarker and pilot it through the streets of New York, using her torch to break through the museum's ceiling to do battle with Vigo and Janosz.

While Janosz is easily taken down with mood slime, Vigo proves to be a difficult adversary; immensely powerful with both the negative vibes of the city and with midnight and the New Year rapidly approaching, he manages to paralyze the Ghostbusters and attempt a transfer into Oscar's body. However, the positive energy from a chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" from outside the building manages to weaken him sufficiently to allow the Ghostbusters to break free and return him to the painting. Vigo momentarily possesses Ray, so the other three Ghostbusters attack him with a combination of proton streams and positively charged mood slime. At the same time, Louis, dressed in full Ghostbusters attire, attacks the weakened slime barrier around the building with a proton stream of his own. Their combined efforts manage to trap Vigo within the painting, destroying him and transforming the painting to a likeness of the four Ghostbusters surrounding baby Oscar protectively. The movie ends with the Ghostbusters receiving a standing ovation from the crowd and, at a later ceremony to restore the Statue, the Key to the City from the mayor.


Some notable cast members in the film include one of Bill Murray's siblings, Brian Doyle-Murray, who played the psychiatric doctor, and Ben Stein, who played a public works official for the mayor. Cheech Marin and Philip Baker Hall also appear in the movie, as the dock supervisor who sees the Titanicmarker come in and as the city police chief, respectively. Bobby Brown also appears in this movie as the doorman to Gracie Mansionmarker when the Ghostbusters go to see the mayor of New York City. In the scene he asks the Ghostbusters for a proton-pack for his younger brother, to which Egon answers "A proton pack is not a toy". Max Von Sydow was uncredited as Vigo's voice; he later reprised the role on the video game.


After the success of the first film and the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures pressured the producers to make a sequel. However, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman were uncomfortable with this as the original film was intended to be conclusive and they wished to work on other projects. Eventually, they agreed and created a script. Annie Potts was also working on her TV series, Designing Women, at the same time. A video game sequel, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, was released in June 2009, along with the Blu-ray version of the first film through Sony Picture's campaign site, and a third movie is in the works, with the script being written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, two writer/producers on The Office.

The Scoleri Brothers are played (uncredited) by Tim Lawrence and Jim Fyfe in latex suits with animatronic masks. Ostensibly, Tony and Nunzio are based on the real-life Scoleri Brothers, who once robbed Harold Ramis's father Nate Ramis' store. "The ghosts themselves were very loosely based on the fact that my father was a storekeeper who was once robbed and assaulted by the Scoleri Brothers." Some however have suggested that they might be based instead on Tony and Eddie Scoleri, who were convicted of robbing and killing a store owner in Philadelphiamarker in the 1960s. None of this is known for certain however. The designs were created by the Visual Development Artist Henry Mayo (Credited) after extensive input from the Producer Michael Gross.


Ghostbusters II has received average reviews from critics. Based on 33 reviews, the film holds a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 56% at Metacritic. Variety praised the film as having amusing visuals and a clever plot, while Nick Shager of Screengrab criticized the film, claiming that it "Effectively slimed everyone's fond memories of the original".

Production notes

  • There are no opening titles. The movie's title is represented by an animation of the movie's logo, but the title is never displayed on screen until the very end of the closing titles.

  • Vigo's full name, found by Egon in a computer encyclopedia, was Prince Vigo von Homburg Deutschendorf, a wordplay on the name of the actor who played Vigo and the surname of the twin babies who play Oscar.

  • Filmed from November 28, 1988 to March 1989.

  • The mention of He-Man in the opening is notable given that the cartoon had gone off the air, and the live-action Masters of the Universe was considered a flop. At the same time the Ghostbusters cartoon was very popular.

Home video release

The original Laserdisc and VHS versions of the film were made incorrectly: instead of being produced either in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 or panned and scanned at the aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the movie was panned and scanned in a 1.66:1 frame. Compared to the "proper" pan and scan version at 1.33:1, width is definitely gained on the edges, though very slightly. However, the DVD version was transferred and encoded at the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

At the end of the version shown in theaters, Slimer comes out from behind the Statue of Liberty and goes right into the camera (as he did at the end of Ghostbusters). The video version ends with a pan up to the statue's head, then a fade to black. Also, in an unusual move, Slimer has his own cast billing in the credits: "and Slimer". Slimer was puppeted and controlled by Robyn Shelby but much of her performance ended up on the cutting room floor.


A great deal of merchandise (such as coloring books) came out with the release of this film. As was the case with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon, the makers of this material may have wanted to avoid likeness fees and as a result, the main characters in these bear little resemblance to any other version of the characters.

Comic book adaptation

During this period, The Real Ghostbusters comic book produced by NOW Comics ran a three-part adaptation of the film, using the cartoon character designs instead of the likenesses of the actors. The overall story received minor alterations to run as a three-part series, and includes several scenes that were in the shooting script but were not included in the released movie.

Most notable is a scene set after their first visit at the museum (and Ray's first encounter with Vigo). In this scene, Ray is momentarily possessed while driving the Ecto-1A, and as a result tries to crash the car and kill the Ghostbusters. They soon bring Ray around to his senses after speeding through New York streets, and he apologises, unable to account for his actions. They never connect it to Vigo since, while possessed, Ray never mentions him. The comic panels further reinforce the movie's scene where Ray is briefly hypnotised by Vigo (leading to him being chosen as a host at the end).


In a novelization of the movie by Ed Naha, Hardemeyer rushes at the museum's slime shell, which engulfs him, and the book does not mention him again. In the ending credits of the film, he is shown in the crowd outside the museum, singing with them.

Video games


There have been many fan films, including Return Of The Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters: The Video Game released in 2009 uses what was originally the script to Ghostbusters 3, taking place two years later. Dan Aykroyd has referred to it as "the third movie".

For more information, see Ghostbusters 3

Soundtrack and original score


  1. (original version), performed by Jackie Wilson. (This was not included on the soundtrack album.)
  2. (updated version), performed by Howard Huntsberry.
  • "Spirit", a rap performed by Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew, written by Doug E. Fresh and Bernard Wright.
  • "Flesh 'N Blood", performed by Oingo Boingo; written by its leader, Danny Elfman. This track was exclusive to the Ghostbusters II soundtrack until the release of the Oingo Boingo album Dark at the End of the Tunnel a year later.
  • "We're Back", performed by Bobby Brown; written by Bobby Brown, Dennis Austin, Larry White and Kirk Crumple Original.


  • Years Later
  • Hi Peter
  • Named After a Hot Dog Brand
  • Vigo's Plan
  • She's Twitching
  • We're Back
  • The Painting
  • Refuge to Peter
  • Oscar, Dana & Peter- The Museum
  • Tuck in the Guts, We're The Ghostbusters
  • Dates and Sewers
  • Take off Your Clothes
  • No Reservations
  • Trip to the Asylum- Bring Me A Child
  • Oscar's Walk on the Ledge
  • The Museum
  • Total Madness
  • Big Ball-o-Yellow- The Symbol
  • The Girl Can Walk
  • A Fifth Ghostbuster
  • The Boys Are Back
  • Put Oscar Somewhere Safe
  • Vigo
  • Resolution- End Titles


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