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Ghostbusters Reference Review - Vibes

 By Paul Rudoff on Mar. 5, 2020 at 4:10 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, References

Most Ghostbusters references are short bits that can best be encapsulated with a small video clip, as evidenced by Spook Central's collection of Ghostbusters reference videos on Critical Commons. However, sometimes there's a reference for which a small clip won't do it justice. It is for these types of references that I have this reoccurring feature here at Spook Central, the Ghostbusters Reference Review.

Mill Creek Entertainment recently released Vibes (1988) onto Blu-ray, with a VHS-inspired slipsleeve. The film, which I just reviewed on The Corner Penthouse, stars Jeff Goldblum and Cyndi Lauper as a pair of psychics hired by a mysterious man played by Peter Falk to find treasure in South America.

After the opening sequence at the very foggy treasure site, we meet our ragtag group of psychics getting tested by a bunch of scientists at the Department of Para-Normal Studies Testing Laboratory in New York City.


Geez, why does that seem awfully familiar?


The first psychic being tested is Ingo Swedlin, portrayed by the awesomely-named Googy Gress. Ingo gets every question correct, except for when the tester is clearly not paying any attention to the card in his hand, thereby stymieing Ingo's own psychic abilities to read the man's mind.

Play Video


Again, I'm getting deja vu, only I get the feeling that the test was not performed quite so legitimately last time.


Vibes has other less direct connections to Ghostbusters. The film was released by Columbia Pictures', so there's that. The visual effects were handled by Richard Edlund, who also did those same duties for Ghostbusters. Also, co-star Peter Falk was one of the celebrity cameos in Ray Parker Junior's "Ghostbusters" music video.

Less obvious, and less direct, is star Cyndi Lauper. Cyndi has always reminded me of Janine Melnitz, as portrayed by Laura Summer, in the first season of The Real Ghostbusters. Both are quirky, unafraid to speak their mind, and I can't be the only one who thinks that their voices are oh-so-similar. I always wondered if this was just a coincidence, or if Laura based her voice for Janine on Cyndi, who was already established as a popular recording artist by 1986. Since the lovely Laura Summer is easy to get in touch with, I decided to ask her.
Q: Did you base your Janine Melnitz voice on Cyndi Lauper? If not, was it based on anyone?

A: No not Cyndi... Amalgam of my Mom & neighbors. [this was followed by another comment] Good ear Paul....The connection is we both grew up in Queens, NYC.
Since both Cyndi and Laura are from Queens, New York, it's not a surprise that Janine and Cyndi give off the same vibes (pun intended). I wouldn't be surprised to find out they were neighbors, or maybe even cousins. Hey, it's not like Ghostbusters hasn't already had weirder cross-overs.

For the complete list of Spook Central's Ghostbusters Reference Review posts from years past, check out the References category.

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