Watch This Classic Ghostbusters Special Effect Come to (After)Life

The original Ghostbusters.
The original Ghostbusters.
Image: Columbia Pictures

I don’t often think of Ghostbusters as a pioneering special effects film. But it did include a lot of neat effects as it took its madcap scientists and made them paranormal protectors, and seeing those effects make their way onto the screen is pretty impressive.


Recently, the Ghostbusters YouTube account posted a video showcasing some behind-the-scenes footage from the original film, featuring both the raw footage and the finished footage of one of the film’s most famous effects. You’re not supposed to cross the streams, right? Well, yeah. Until you have to. Then, just hope for the best.

The early version, featuring low-quality footage, is almost hilariously basic, and includes some moments that didn’t make it to the screen, including some practical effects to showcase the destruction of the confrontation. The actors do a solid job acting against the nothingness that this scene was before the effects went in, though. It’s a reminder that, while a lot of special effects work includes live stand-ins and a lot done in the shooting of the scene, that wasn’t always the case, and more often, actors just have to act against nothing at all.

The ghost-busting franchise will continue in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by Jason Reitman, which is currently slated for a March 5, 2021 release, pushed back from an original planned release of this past July. It’ll star Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Paul Rudd, alongside returning franchise stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.



I tried to watch og Ghostbusters recently with my 4yo, it did not age well.

Rampant smoking everywhere without any plot reason. WTF is it a cigarette ad? I know, 80s were all about cigarettes, but it is still strange. My kid could not quite understand why they keep smoking all the time.

The dialogue in places is really really bad and delivery is quite painful. It has good moments though.

Love scenes, hmm, very weird, people go to jail for behavior like this ;-)

Special effects, well, very obvious at times.

Music is still good.