“Sorry, Venkman. I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.”

This Ghostbusters clip is, in its way, an excellent example of: a, why it’s hard to do cosmic horror properly in movies; and b, why horror leans on comedy quite a bit.

Without going too deep into the weeds; the problem here is that Spengler obviously should feel terrified – he’s facing a cosmic horror that’s attempting to destroy the planet – but it’s hard to show something like that on the screen and not make it look clunky.  In a weird sort of way, making it funny can at least help making it clear that what you’re seeing is transgressive, or something like that.  I don’t know.  All I know is that there are at least three bits in this clip that I can quote from memory…

8 thoughts on ““Sorry, Venkman. I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.””

  1. It’s my contention that, at least if they’re smart, film schools in 50-75 years will be teaching “Ghostbusters” as a prime example of the right way to make a comedy, and one that ages fairly well.
    Also, “What’d you DO, Ray?” gets a lot of use in my social circle, as does “Dogs and CATS, LIVING together — MASS HYSTERIA!”.

    1. “If I’m wrong, nothing happens! We go to jail. Quietly, peacefully, we’ll enjoy it. But if I’m right, and we can stop this thing… Lenny. You will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters.”

  2. I am about to waste most of my day, just pulled up the TvTropes listing for Ghostbusters, it is VERY long.

  3. “Ray, when someone asks you if you are a god, you say YES!”

    “During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Sloar! Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day, I can tell you!”

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