Collector's Edition

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Details At A Glance

Category Comedy/Horror Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - 4:3, Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Ghostbusters II
Year Released 1984 Commentary Tracks Yes, 1 - Ivan Reitman (Director/Producer), Harold Ramis (Writer/Actor), Joe Medjuck (Associate Producer)
Running Time 100:55 minutes Other Extras Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Animation & Audio
Deleted Scenes - 10
Featurette - On The Scene With The Ghostbusters (9:29)
Featurette - Meet The Special Effects Team (15:24)
Featurette - Special Effects-Before And After
Gallery - Concept Drawings
Photo Gallery - Ghostly Gallery
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (?46:43 ?52:53)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4,5 Director Ivan Reitman

Columbia Tristar
Starring Bill Murray
Dan Aykroyd
Sigourney Weaver
Harold Ramis
Rick Moranis
Case Transparent
RRP $34.95 Music Elmer Bernstein

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles English
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Ghostbusters has become a classic comedy horror. Dr Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Dr Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are Professors of Parapsychology at New York University who have just been booted out of a job. They decide to set up a business investigating and exterminating ghosts. Business is slow until they get a call from Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) who has a problem in her refrigerator. It seems that Dana's refrigerator is to be the focus of an unearthly world takeover, and it is up to our most unlikely heroes to save the day.

Transfer Quality


    This film was made in 1984, and has undergone an amazing restoration by Columbia Tristar. The video quality is incredibly good for a 15 year old film, and is as good as some of the contemporary transfers that I have reviewed.

    This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was very sharp and clear at all times. Shadow detail was the only giveaway to the age of this movie since it simply wasn't there to the extent that I am used to seeing with contemporary transfers. Shadows tended to be simply plain black rather than revealing any detail. However, in the overall scheme of things, this is quite a minor complaint. No low level noise was noted.

    The colours were well rendered, with just a slight hint of a dated look about them. Generally, however, the colours were remarkably fresh and vibrant.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Virtually no film-to-video artefacts were seen, save for a very small amount of aliasing in one scene. Film scratches and nicks were few and far between, but were present more often than in contemporary transfers. Again, this is a very minor complaint, and one that will go unnoticed by most viewers.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, but I am unsure as to where the layer change is actually placed. There are two possible places that it could be; between Chapters 15 and 16, at 46:43, or between Chapters 18 and 19, at 52:53. At both of these points, there is a small pause in the video and audio, neither of which are particularly disruptive.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD - English Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0, mono. The default soundtrack is the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to both the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and to the Audio Commentary.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to follow.

    There was a minor audio sync problem with the EPA inspector during Chapter 15 where his dialogue was marginally out of sync, but other than this there were no major sync problems.

    The score by Elmer Bernstein suited the on-screen action, in conjunction with some now very dated disco songs. The music tended to be mixed into the left and right front speakers, with dialogue only in the center speaker.

    The surround channels had limited use, with some music and the odd remixed special effect finding their way into the surround channels. All-in-all, this was basically a front soundstage mix.

    The .1 channel got some minor use during some of the special effects sequences, but basically did very little during this movie.


    This disc has a superb and innovative selection of extras.


    The main menu is animated and has the main theme from Ghostbusters playing. It is a nice 3D modelled menu, with some nifty little surprises. Scene selections are also animated. Incidentally, the Ray Parker, Jr. theme song in the menu is played back at the correct pitch, which makes it relatively easy to notice the PAL 4% speedup when the song is repeated during the movie - 4% pitch-shifted up and 4% faster.

Theatrical Trailer

Deleted Scenes - Scene Cemetery - 10

    10 deleted scenes in their original quite poor quality are shown. As always, these are a fascinating inclusion despite their poor quality.

Featurette - On the Scene with The Ghostbusters (9:29)

    A standard "Electronic Press Kit" type featurette, of limited value.

Trailer - Ghostbusters II

Featurette - Meet The Special Effects Team (15:24)

    This is a very good featurette which introduces the main players in the special effects department, and outlines how a lot of the special effects were achieved.

Featurette - Special Effects, Before And After

    This is a series of three short excerpts from the film showing both the original rough cut of the picture along with the final version with the added special effects. Switching between the rough cut and the final version is achieved using the multi-angle feature - a very slick and nifty extra.

Gallery - Concept Drawings

    This gallery contains some fascinating concept drawings for the librarian, the dog and the logo, amongst a number of other things - very interesting indeed.


    This is a combination of still sequences and three split screen comparisons of the storyboards with the final version of the film. One storyboard that wasn't used in the final film involved Rick Moranis and a bunch of muggers, and looked particularly interesting.

Photo Gallery - Ghostly Gallery

    A smallish photo gallery.

Audio/Video Commentary - Ivan Reitman (Director/Producer), Harold Ramis (Writer/Actor), Joe Medjuck (Associate Producer)

    This is a unique commentary in that you have the option of watching the silhouettes of the three commentators as they watch the film as well as listening to their commentary. However, this feature is only operational when the DVD player is set to 4:3 output mode (Letterbox mode), and some video quality is lost as a result of  this.

    As a commentary track, this one is quite good, and very informative.

    As regards to the video silhouette feature - nice gimmick, excellent authoring technique (the silhouettes are encoded onto one of the subtitle streams), but not a particularly useful feature, and one that I certainly would not encourage Columbia Tristar to try again.

R4 vs R1

    The Region 1 version of this disc has a few additional extras compared with our version;     This is a hard one to call with the missing extras. I will leave this call up to you, the reader, depending on whether you prefer the additional quality of PAL video or the additional extras.


    This is a moderately enjoyable movie (your opinion may differ to mine), and a superb restoration effort by Columbia Tristar.

    The video quality is remarkably good for the age of the movie, and you could easily be fooled into thinking that this was a contemporary film transfer rather than a transfer of a 15 year old film.

    The audio quality is good but not great, but certainly far superior to how it would have sounded originally.

    The extras are magnificent.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
7th October 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer