Monday, February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis

When I was a kid, I saw a movie about ghosts that was not scary, it was funny.  These guys appeared to be like everyone else would be, dealing with the reality of a spirit.  Even though they believed in such things, their epic failure as they began showed us how most of us would deal with such a situation.  I have and will always hold out hope for a third movie in the series...

But it now appears that it might never come.  Only a few movies have gained my attention and created a lifelong fanatic as Ghostbusters did.  I wanted a third movie, it could have been pure trash, but if it brought the original cast together in some way, even for five minutes it would have been worth it to me, and I think many fans might feel the same way.  The way those characters came together, their interactions with each other, you could tell they were truly friends, brothers as it were.  It brought together elements of what should have been a horror movie, in such a way that you could identify with them, you could laugh at them, because of their antics.  They were human, they were not wearing masks.  What sticks out most for me, at this moment is when Jennine was flirting with Egon, and he is talking about his collection of mold, spores and fungi.  It was so funny, because Egon was so dense to what she was wanting out of him.  It was a classic time in comedy, it was dirty, so dirty that it was clean, adults would get it, but children would get it in a different way.  Something that is a bit of a staple today.

As I grew older, I was introduced to other works that Mr. Ramis had written, directed or acted in.  Animal House (writer), Stripes (actor/writer), both Ghostbusters movies (writer/actor), Groundhog's Day (Actor/writer/producer/director), Caddyshack (director/writer), Multiplicity (director/producer), and that is to name a handful.  Each of his movies was something to write about, something to watch.  In terms of his comedy, I would rank him on par with the likes of Pryor and Carlin, his movies nearly on par with Kubrick.  No, they did not make you think, but they did give you one hell of a ride, you could relate to his characters, you could be one.  At one point, I channeled Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd), when listing off the problems with a truck I owned.  A classic scene in which Ray is talking about all the problems with the car the Ghostbusters would eventually call Ecto-1.

Today, I heard in disbelief that Mr. Ramis had passed away from complications from an autoimmune disease that he suffered from.  My introduction to his work was Ghostbusters, and from there comedies that were not chalked full of vulgar insults, but the kind of comedy you would want your children to watch.  We lost a brilliant mind this day, and in the scope of all that is wrong in this world, for me, it just got a little darker this day.  I do not use the word genius often, but this man was one.  It is a shame in a way, that his light is now gone from this world, and in my mind, there is no one to step up, and fill the void.  All his peers are his age, and very few if any can step in.  Which is a real tragedy.  RIP Mr. Ramis, you will be missed by all.