Ghostbusters: my date with Peck and Slimer

Who ya gonna call? Hot Nerd Girl!!

So my friend Hayden is slightly (and when I say slightly I mean majorly) obsessed with Ghostbusters

Ecto-1 ftw!

We once drove all the way downtown to a tech convention just to see Ecto-1 parked outside.  We stayed just long enough to take pictures and chat with the owner and then left. 

Then we got up early and headed to Costco to meet Dan Aykroyd and buy bottles of his Crystal Head vodka a while back.

So when Hayden found out that there would be a special showing of the film at Arclight Theatre with Ernie Hudson and William Atherton showing up for a Q&A session, it was pretty much mandatory that we attend.  Events like this are one of the few perks of living in Los Angeles.  You’d think there would be more perks, but nope, this town pretty much sucks.

It also happens to be Hayden’s birthday so it was a total score for me since it’s quite possibly the easiest birthday present ever.   

Hayden and HNG at it again

I showed up before Hayden did and just happened to run into William Atherton in the Arclight gift shop.  This was not my first time meeting Bill (we’re on a first name basis now).  I had met him once before in 2005 at the Whole Foods Market in Woodland Hills.  We were both grocery shopping and our eyes met.  We introduced ourselves, chatted for minute and then parted ways.  It was a moment, surrounded by organic, cage-free brown eggs, that I will never forget.  Hayden showed up a minute later and we took pictures with him and scored autographs.  I had Bill sign my crystal skull which he found highly amusing.  Amusing enough to write his note to Dan Aykroyd instead of to me.  A note that Danny (we’re on a first name basis now) will probably never, ever see.  But whatever.  Bill’s an awesome guy and not nearly as dickless as Venkman would have you think.

A girl and two pecks

Watching the movie on the big screen was epic.  Let’s just say that I was not old enough to watch it when it was originally on the big screen *ahem* so this was a real, if slightly fuzzy, treat.

Then came the moment we were all waiting for: the Q&A with Ernie Hudson (Winston), William Atherton (Peck), Joe Medjuck (Producer), Steve Johnson (Slimer, Visual Effects Artist), and Billy Bryan (Stay Puft Marshmallow Man).  Oh, but wait, Ernie Hudson decided not to show.  Or even call to say that he wasn’t going to show.

WTF ERNIE HUDSON???  

Ernie, you are dead to me

I know you’re so busy with your thriving acting career and all but really?  You didn’t even have the manners to call and say that you were so sorry that you couldn’t grace us with your presence?

Ugh.  Whatever.  My crystal skull didn’t want your signature on it anyways. One day I will have them all - muahahahaha

The Q&A sans Ernie went smashingly with one exception: the host decided that his questions were far more important than fan questions and only left enough time for TWO questions from the audience.  Douche.  As my friend Kate would say “That’s soooooooooooo LA…”

All in all it was a great night. And although the kid next to me made a strange clicking noise when he yawned EVERY 30 SECONDS, I had a great time hanging out with the people behind the magic.  If they ever do one of these for Star Trek I might just have a joygasm.  

I'm a nerd...in case you didn't know

 Some fun facts learned:

  • Exploded Stay Puft was actually shaving cream.  Bill found out they were planning on dumping 100 lbs of the stuff on him and insisted they do a test run.  The test run knocked the stunt guy flat.  Oh, and they accidentally used mentholated shaving cream instead of regular.  Ouch.  Needless to say, all was rectified for Bill’s shot.
  • They filmed at all hours of the night and really pissed off the New Yorkers living in the neighborhood.  At one point Isaac Asimov came running out.  Dan Aykroyd got all excited and ran up to him and started telling him how huge a fan he was.  Asimov just stared and him and yelled “Are you the one responsible for all this???”
  • Francis Ford Coppola was filming The Cotton Club around the same time so when people got upset about the lights and noise the Ghostbusters crew started blaming it on Coppola.
  • They sometimes filmed without permits.  In the montage where they are running around New York catching ghosts, they are, at one point, really running away from a pissed off security guard.
  • The part of Venkman was originally written for John Belushi.  When John Belushi Graduated they brought in Bill Murray to replace him.  They had already created Slimer but completely revamped him as an homage to Belushi in Animal House.
  • Stay Puft is missing his tie in the scene where he explodes. Billy Bryan realized this in the middle of the night after shooting and woke up in a panic.  Since no one in the screenings ever noticed, they left it as is.
  • Stay Puft is the only aspect of the original script that survived.

No iron-on is a match for the 34DD's

5 reasons why I heart Stephen King

 

To scale...no seriously

 

5. Hollywood can’t get enough of him, but he’s not a snob about it

As I mentioned in my previous post Top 10 Campy Horror Films, there have been over 80 film adaptations of King Stephen’s work.  That doesn’t just include literal adaptations like Carrie or The Shining, but less obvious ones like Stand By Me and Shawshank Redeption (a personal favorite) both based on short stories.  He pops up in pop culture when he feels like it and on his own terms and isn’t afraid to criticize or make fun of himself.  He relishes in cameos and guest appearances that have significance for him like The Simpsons and Fever Pitch (he’s a die hard Red Sox fan – I’m looking at you Troi) while rooting for the up and comers in his “Pop of King” column in Entertainment Weekly. And it’s not just film and television that has a hard on for Stephen, Marvel Comics took The Dark Tower and ran with it.

Pop quiz, bitches: Who is Stephen King’s favorite Superhero?

 

 

For my sister-in-law Troi, also a die hard

 

4. He takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’

Everyone knows that Stephen got hit by a car while walking down a rural road near his house back in 1999.  I’m sure we all had a vision or daydream (or 10) of his wife Tabitha going all Misery on him.  It’s pretty much miraculous that he can walk.  While recovering, he wrote my favorite of his novels, Dreamcatcher.  He also felt thankful that he was rich and wouldn’t have to worry about his medical bills.  Then he realized that a lot of other writers aren’t rich so he created the Haven Foundation, an organization that helps freelancers who can’t pay for their medical bills.  I’m always happy to see nerds helping people so I gladly tip my hat to Mr. King for that one.

Pop quiz, bitches: What kind of accident did Stephen King witness as a child that many believe served as inspiration for his novels?

 

3. Fuck yeah he’ll write a 1500 page, 19 lbs. book and I dare you to tell him he can’t

He has an ability to make grown ups want to sleep with the lights on (if they can even sleep at all) and worry about their pets going all Cujo on them.  I can understand why people would think twice about crossing him.  Remember that guy that hit him with his van?  Yeah, he died on Stephen King’s birthday.  Stephen-King-by-Rembrandt--44598So when a book publisher gets word that an author is writing a behemoth of a book, he’s probably going to freak out a little.  Unless that author is Stephen King and people have a tendency to DIE ON HIS BIRTHDAY.  Following in the footsteps of War and Peace and Sacajawea, Sir Stephen wrote a book of epic proportions with Under the Dome.  Oh the tangled webs we weave but none weaveth like the Kingeth.  For a complicated web of characters and plots, Under the Dome was surprisingly easy to read and a TV mini-series produced by Steven Spielberg is already in the works.

Pop quiz, bitches: Where did Stephen King get the name for the character Jim Rennie in Under the Dome?

 

2. He says what’s on his mind and all others be damned

Stephen King just doesn’t give a damn about what other people think of him.  He does what he wants and he makes no apologies for it.  He has never been secretive about his past with addiction and even admitted basing the character of Jack Torrance in The Shining on himself at his alcoholic worst.

His view on people is such:  “I think that we’re all mentally ill. Those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better – and maybe not all that much better after all.”

He has insulted the writing ability of Stephenie Meyer, questioned the literacy of the US Army and been very outspoken against the war in Iraq, all without fear of those who would challenge him.  He has a quick wit and a mass of minions who are ready and willing to heed his command to tell opponents to shut up.  I might not always agree with him but he’s got balls and that I respect.

Pop quiz, bitches: What was the name of Stephen King’s student newspaper column at the University of Maine?

 

Hot Nerd Gril Hugging Stephen King

No. You can't have him. He's mine.

 

1. He writes for people with a sense of humor, not for snobby elitists

He once called himself “the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.”  An author who focuses on emotion rather than intellect even though his writing is very, very smart.  He started out as a high school teacher and it is my belief that he writes for them as opposed to the book critics.  He uses profanity with sophisticated relish, a talent that brings great joy to me and my love for a well placed f-bomb.  He delights his most loyal readers by connecting people and places throughout his novels.  Richard Tozier, for example, appears in Dreamcatcher, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Duma Key, and It.  His loyalty lies with his fans and his fans are extremely loyal in return.  I heart you Stephen King.  I even heart your cell phone zombies.

Pop quiz, bitches: Who is the author that most influenced Stephen King?

stephen king - very demotivational

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“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”

– Stephen King

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Answers to Pop Quiz…. bitches….

Steven Kind Pop Quiz Answers