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Incomplete Special Features on the 2019 Ghostbusters 1&2 4K/Blu-ray Set - Watch The COMPLETE ShoWest Exhibitor Reel!!!

 By Paul Rudoff on Mar. 21, 2020 at 11:52 AM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Home Video
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Last year, I had the honor of consulting with Sony on bonus features to include on the Ghostbusters 1 & 2 4K/Blu-ray set. I gave them a mighty list of things to find and, amazingly, they found a lot of them. I was overjoyed to know that these rare videos would, finally, get an official high-quality public release. While I am still pleased with the set, that joy turned to disappointment when I realized that several new videos were presented in an incomplete (or edited) form.

1. Ghostbusters II Electronic Press Kit - The first three segments are missing: Table of Contents, Trailer, and Film Clips; plus the "title card" for the featurette. It's also missing the PPV Trailer at the end.

While I can't fathom a guess about the omission of the PPV Trailer (other than, "it wasn't in their copy"), I can safely say that the other stuff was removed because the team at Sony thought they were redundant and unnecessary. The trailer is found elsewhere on the disc in HD, and the clips can be found within the movie itself in HD. I don't agree with this thought process as I believe everything should be presented as completely and as cleanly as possible. I'm sure that there was enough room on the Blu-ray disc for this exorcised 9-minutes of standard definition footage, and I don't think anyone would complain if there was a second copy of the trailer and some cropped 4:3 fullscreen film clips. Heck, many people might enjoy the reminder of how the film looked back in the pan-and-scan VHS days.


2. The Oprah Winfrey Show: Cast of Ghostbusters II - This television episode contains the following edits and alterations:
  • At 15:03, after the smirking question, it cuts right to a woman asking a question about cleaning up the slime after filming. Omitted is a woman in the audience asking Bill to do his Saturday Night Live nightclub singer act. He obliges by singing his own lyrics to the M*A*S*H* theme. I presume that this was cut out of the Blu-ray due to music licensing. (On the video I have on the Oprah episode page, the missing portion is from 14:52 to 15:32.)

  • At 22:53, after Oprah mentions Ernie getting his break from Gordon Parks, it cuts right to a man asking a question to Bill about becoming a stand-up comedian. Omitted is a woman in the audience telling Ernie that he's her brother. Perhaps this was edited out of the Blu-ray because she really isn't his sister. (On the video I have on the Oprah episode page, the missing portion is from 23:16 to 23:43.)

  • At 36:05, in the Ghostbusters film clip, right when Peter says, "So, she's a dog", the Oprah Winfrey Show logo slid into the lower left corner of the screen. For some reason, the logo is not present on the Blu-ray, even though the clip is 100% the same.

  • At the end of the credits, the entire screen of information on how to obtain a transcript has been blurred out. Presumably, this was done because transcripts are no longer available.

3. Ghostbusters Fort Detmerring Deleted Scenes: Pulling Up To Fort Detmerring & The Fort Detmerring Ghost - These two scenes are incomplete because the footage was missing from the film reels they found.
  • "Pulling Up To Fort Detmerring" - After Ray and Winston get out of the car, they walk up to a guard and talk to him. The scene on the Blu-ray jumps from them getting out of the car to them being inside the fort, completely leaving out the conversation with the guard.

  • "The Fort Detmerring Ghost" - The beginning of the scene, during which Ray snoops around the sleeping quarters display and tries on an old officer's uniform that he finds, is missing. The scene on the Blu-ray starts with Ray already in bed starting to fall alseep with the uniform on.

4. Ghostbusters "Louis Encounters Muggers" Deleted Scene - On the Blu-ray, it jumps from Louis standing at the mouth of the tunnel to the mugger saying, "You want me to stick you?" in an obvious bad cut. Without even reading the script - which has two extra lines in between - you can tell that a part is missing. Like with Fort Detemerring, this scene was assembled from the available footage, and not everything was included on the film reel they found.


5. Ghostbusters ShoWest Exhibitor Reel - The following dialog has been edited out: One ironic usage of the word "fuck" by Dan Aykroyd, and two instances of Bill Murray insinuating that prostitutes will be available in the hotel rooms of the theater owners watching the reel (which includes one reference to then-owner Coca-Cola). Music has also been removed, such as three clips from the unused Hughes/Thrall Ghostbusters theme song, and various temp music cues that play under the flim clips, some of which I'm positive came from other films.

These edits and alterations are easy to explain, though that doesn't mean that I like them. Ghostbusters is rated PG, because the PG-13 rating would not be created until July 1, 1984 - almost a month after the film's release. To my knowledge, the MPAA (now MPA) does not allow the word "fuck" to be used in a PG rated film; and only allows it once in a PG-13 rated film. Even though Ghostbusters is an adult-themed film, thanks to The Real Ghostbusters, it has become a "family friendly" property. As such, Sony did not want to have the word "fuck" in something kids could potentially see. Of course, I doubt any kids actually watch Blu-ray bonus features...but, whatever. The removal of the prostitute references was done for the same reason, even though those references are guaranteed to go right over the heads of any kids who watch this reel. Of course, it's still perfectly fine for Ray to get a fucking blowjob from a ghost in the movie. Let's make sure to show that to the kiddies. Parents, you might want to have a "sex talk" prepared after watching that scene with your children. The music, of course, was removed to save on licensing costs and the added expense of trying to track down the copyright owners.

Since the Blu-ray was the first time any of us had ever seen this reel, none of us had any clue that it was edited. Serendipitously, Zed Richards managed to get a VHS copy of the original, and Derek Osborn helped him fix it up. With their permission, I'm premiering the full unedited reel below, which I reformatted into 16:9 widescreen. I uploaded the original 720x480 file that Derek gave me to my Internet Archive account, along with my "widescreen" conversion and a lossless copy of the original audio track (in a few different formats). Below the video are notes and 320kbps MP3s of the various music cues, followed by some notes on Derek's restoration process.

Play Video

All of the music cues played in the reel are listed below. The runtimes are based on the original source, which starts at the same spot as the video above; not the original video file Derek sent me, which added color bars and tone at the beginning. I listened to both versions of the reel using headphones, and can tell you that if you do the same and listen REALLY closely to the Blu-ray copy, you'll faintly hear the removed music behind the sound effects that was left in. (When the Ecto-1 comes out of the firehouse is a great spot to hear it behind the siren.) This tells me that even in Sony's copy, the music was mixed into the dialog and effects, and they had to use software to remove it.

Cue #01 - 0:01-0:42 - Columbia Logo - Hughes/Thrall Part 1
[music cue found on the Unused Ghostbusters Theme Songs article]

Cue #02 - 3:06-3:39 - Firehouse - Elmer Bernstein Part 1 (retained on blu-ray)


Cue #03 - 3:39-5:02 - Janine Hits Alarm/Sedgewick Hotel - Hughes/Thrall Part 2 (removed from blu-ray, replaced with silence)
[music cue found on the Unused Ghostbusters Theme Songs article]

Cue #04 - 5:21-5:42 - Elevator Exiting - Elmer Bernstein Part 2 (retained on blu-ray)


Cue #05 - 5:57-6:28 - Librarian Walks Aisles - Elmer Bernstein Part 3 (retained on blu-ray)


Cue #06 - 6:45-6:52 - Symmetrical Book Stacking - Elmer Bernstein Part 4 (retained on blu-ray)


Cue #07 - 7:53-8:32 - Dana's Apartment/Lincoln Center - Mellow Music (removed from blu-ray, replaced with silence)


Cue #08 - 8:38-9:41 - Rooftop Dog Statue Breaks/Dogs Drag Dana - Friday The 13th (removed from blu-ray, can be heard for a second when claw breaks out behind thunder)


Cue #09 - 10:00-10:19 - Do You Want This Body - Ooohh Song (removed from blu-ray, replaced with silence)


Cue #10 - 10:35-11:25 - Apartment Building Arrival - Stripes & Scary Music (removed from blu-ray, replaced with enhanced sound effects)


Cue #11 - 11:45-12:32 - Title Screen - Hughes/Thrall Part 3
[music cue found on the Unused Ghostbusters Theme Songs article]

NOTE ABOUT CUE #11 - In the video embedded above, the song appears to go 12-seconds longer to cover the credits. Those credits were, obviously, not part of the original reel on the VHS tape. Derek extended the song using an early chunk of the audio to go along with the newly-added credits. He did a damn good job, because I honestly couldn't tell that the Hughes/Thrall song wasn't, legitimately, that long. He provided me with a lossless copy of the original audio track, which is what I used to make all of the 320kbps MP3s embedded above, and the Hughes/Thrall track in the "Unused Ghostbusters Theme Songs" article.

I provided Derek Osborn with a HD Blu-ray rip of the publicly-released edited version of the reel, which helped him in his restoration of the unedited SD VHS copy. We exchanged messages about the video, his restoration process, and how Zed Richards managed to get it. Here is what he had to say.
Zed is a huge collector of original GB production material. He acquired the vintage VHS tape at auction, knowing there were a few extra bits. The [Hughes/Thrall] song was a total surprise, though. Funny enough, the tape is dated 8/1/88. 

Zed was planning on digitally capturing the video, and I volunteered to help digitally clean it up as much as possible, make it more presentable. The raw VHS capture had the VIDEO CALIBRATION text popping up in a few places, including one of the cut Bill Murray bits.

Obviously, the quality of the VHS footage wasn't great. I overlaid the HD version to add a little more detail to the image, which turned out to be a huge pain due to the different frame rates of the files. Overlaying the HD version also made the cut bits stand out even more, quality-wise. I decided to use the VIDEO CALIBRATION text and a little extra VHS static as a way to sorta fool the eye during the transition, so there are a few instances where it was added in. Zed did two passes of the capture, and I'm pretty sure both have the VIDEO CALIBRATION text. It doesn't bother me in the slightest, haha. It's of the era.

A bit more detail on process-- when I say I overlaid the HD version on top of the SD VHS version, it wasn't a 100% overlay. It was blended in so both versions are in the final video. Lowered opacity and blending modes were used to mix the two files. I can't remember the exact recipe.

The audio levels were recorded a bit low on the VHS, so there was a decent amount of tape hiss. Other than removing the hiss, there wasn't much done to the audio. None of the audio from the HD version was used.

The Hughes/Thrall track was baked into the video, so what you see is all we have.  Much like with the available versions of the GB2 score, there are ways to filter out unwanted sounds to assemble a better version of the track.  There are also a few other unused songs throughout the film clips, along with alternate takes. The unused shot of the Ectomobile pulling out of the firehouse is easily my fav.

The decision to go SD throughout was to make the transition to the unused footage less jarring. Had we used HD and then cut to the gnarly VHS footage, that would have been a HUGE quality dip. The file you have was produced to be watchable, but still respectful of the new material.
Okay, before I wrap this up, I sincerely hope that there are no other special features in the set that are edited or incomplete; not counting the blurred Cosmopolitan magazine in the GB2 Unfinished Teaser Trailer.

I gotta say, this unedited copy of the ShoWest reel, which we never knew was edited to begin with, is the second best find of the year; after the Ghostbusters phone message. 2020 is TRULY turning into the best year to be a Ghosthead.

2 comments

Comment from: Guy [Visitor]  

That was awesome! Man I love stuff like this. I wonder if GB2 has a similar reel. Great to hear that unused song. Thank god they didn’t use it. Can you imagine?

Wait, so Sony asked you about Ghostbusters content to put on the 4K? So I gotta ask...

Where are all the freakin GB2 deleted scenes? The ones with finish ILM FX? Like Slimer eating the chicken? Or Sherman Tully? Or the Ray possessed driving scene? The frog ghost? The rumoured Slimer coming out of the Statue of Liberty? Is all of it lost? Was that stuff you asked for?

Mar. 21, 2020 @ 16:43
Comment from: [Member]

Hi Guy

Of course I told them to find the GB2 deleted scenes. As far as I know, they couldn't find them...or couldn't find them in time to make the disc. After the disc went to press, they found more stuff, some of which was shown at Fan Fest last June. If they keep to a "every five years" schedule, we can hope they will include that stuff on the next disc release in 2024.

-- Paul

Mar. 22, 2020 @ 14:25

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