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Film > Ghostbusters > Scripts > "Ghostbusters" Movie Script - January 20 1983 Excerpts
"Ghostbusters" Movie Script
January 20, 1983 Excerpts

This page contains excerpts from and tidbits about this draft of the "Ghostbusters" script as detailed in the book "Making Ghostbusters" by Don Shay.


Set in the future - not far in the future - but far enough. It took place on a number of different planets or dimensional planes. It was more eerie in tone, and there was a lot more of action and very little character work.

The Ghostbusters were essentially $10,000-a-year janitors who worked for someone else and really had no technical expertise whatsoever.

There really was no difference between the characters. Stantz and Venkman and Ramsey -- the character who eventually was changed to Winston -- were all essentially the same.

The entire finale was an involved series of events which culminated with the three Ghostbusters being whisked into alternate dimensions.

The Ectomobile was an all-black, rather sinister-looking machine with flashing white and purple strobe lights that gave it a strange, ultraviolet aura.

In the opening sequence, the Ghostbusters respond to a call from the Greenville Guest House regarding the discovery in the kitchen of gluttonous yellow mist of grotesquely altered human form -- a "FRVP" or "free-repeating vaporous phantasm" in ghostbusting lingo. After chasing the apparition -- described as "onion-headed" at one point -- through the rustic guest home, the Ghostbusters corner it in the basement, encircle it with nutrona beams and maneuver it into a small collapsible trap.

The Ectomobile is equipped with an advanced dematerializing capability that allows its operators, functioning somewhat outside the law, to readily elude police pursuit.

The spectral storage facility was not at the firehouse itself, but rather in a deserted Sunoco gas station in northern New Jersey, taken over by the Ghostbusters and surreptitiously converted into a holding cell for wayward spirits.

The root of New York's widespread psychic disturbances lay in the fact that a "Zuul" -- a generic term for the other-dimensional creature which would later evolve into the Terror Dogs -- had somehow strayed out of its rightful time and place and was being held captive by the Ghostbusters' employer, himself a transdimensional being. Unfortunately, the Zuul happened to be a favored pet of the all-powerful Gozer -- absolute ruler of the sixth dimension -- who, it seemed, would stop at nothing to recover it.

One of the many supernatural manifestations was a skeletal biker who has been terrorizing the residents of a small upstate town.

Shandor was the name of the Ghostbusters' interdimensional employer -- a decided eccentric whose walls were lined with mounted trophy heads taken from such challenging big game as bats, rats and lobsters. Though Shandor was invariably to be found sequestered in his darkened office, perched on a swivel armchair and covered entirely by a near-opaque mosquito bonnet, no one seemed to suspect that there might be anything inherently out of the ordinary about him. Shandor was dropped altogether from the second and third drafts, but resurfaced in the third -- in name only -- with an even more unsavory background than that suggested by the final shooting script.

When the accidental release of the Ghostbusters' incarcerated spirits triggers a twenty-five-acre sinkhole around their gas station storage facility. The sinkhole, in turn, disrupts a long-inactive fault line which somehow transforms most of northern New Jersey into a blazing inferno.

Gozer was described as looking like Bert Parks.

The Stay-Puft man appeared just slightly past the midway point as but one of several Gozer manifestations.

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