Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Ain't 'Fraid of No Ghost

Bryce E.E. Graham, Paranormal Investigator

Ghosts are stupid. I mean, conceptually a ball of conscious energy floating around the world unbound from the confines of a body would be really cool, but the way ghosts are treated in films leaves me wanting so much more. Like, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a world traveling ghost who just went on adventures and shit? But no, instead we’ve got movies about Patrick Swayze being a whiney white dude who won’t rest in peace, Bruce Willis being a ghost who doesn’t realize he’s a ghost because of shitty twist ending that only makes sense if you don’t think about it, Bill Cosby being a Ghost Dad who learns an important lesson about putting family before work, and an endless supply of movies about restless spirits trying to fuck things up. These are boring ghost tropes that have been done time and time again and I’m sick of it.

The thing I’m really sick of is how wishy-washy ghost rules are in these movies. The rules differ from movie to movie and mostly suck. The one rule that seems to be constant throughout nearly all ghost movies is that ghosts can go through things. What doesn’t make sense about this rule, however, is that none of the ghosts fall through the ground. They always appear to be walking on it, like their feet are magically affected by the floor, but everything else in the world is up for grabs! Wouldn’t they just sink through the ground or float everywhere? This would make ghosts so much more fun! I’ve always dreamed of flying everywhere, and now that they have the chance to do it they just walk? Bad move, Hollywood, bad move.

I’m also sick of scary ghost movies, where the ghosts are just there to freak people out, like in Poltergeist. Are the restless souls of humans so petty that they spend all their time taking things out on the living? I understand that building a house on a burial ground is supposedly a bad thing, but why are those souls staying with their bodies in the first place? Wouldn’t their first instinct be to leave this world, if possible? Nope, apparently these ghosts just want to lay dormant for hundreds of years with their desiccated corpses until some family builds a house on top of their bones, then it’s time to fuck with this family’s TV reception, and explode random kitchen objects to really freak them out.  And when you get down to it, don’t we all have houses on top of dinosaur burial grounds? Why aren’t dinoghosts out there getting revenge on motorists who decide to burn their bodies just to get around faster? That seems more disrespectful than building a house on top of a graveyard.

I guess that’s one of the major things that don’t make sense about ghosts: they’re mostly about revenge, or about finishing things that are left unfinished. I figure if you’re dead, the ultimate revenge is watching your enemies grow old and feeble and die while you stay immortally young, free from the bodily pains they must endure day after day. Revenge is boring. You’re free, dude! Go fly through the solar system, find some aliens and shit. I’d watch that movie!

As for finishing things left unfinished, the things left unfinished are just petty in these movies. Like in Patrick Swayze’s Dead White Guy With Unfinished Business (working title Ghost), Swayze’s trying to find his murderer so his girlfriend doesn’t get killed, and also he stumbles upon his once best friend trying to steal four million dollars from his old company. Dude, you’re a ghost! You don’t have to deal with any of this stuff! You do realize that once your girlfriend dies she gets to be a ghost too, and either you’ll go up to the white light in the sky, or you’ll just roam around for a while. That doesn’t seem so bad to me.

Why isn’t there a movie about actual unfinished business? Make a movie about Mozart’s ghost coming back to finish his Requiem. That might make sense. It’s a pretty big unfinished work, but it seems like the only people who come back as ghosts are just pencil pushers or Wall Street businessmen who did nothing for mankind. I mean the entire movie Ghost Dad is about working too much. Even after death all Bill Cosby cares about is not being fired. He’s dead, and all he cares about is closing business deals that could be done without him. This is pure idiocy.

Also, why are so many ghosts dressed? Do they care about propriety for some unknown reason? Why do they so often decide to take on humanoid shapes? Why do they choose to keep their own shape? You can be anything! Be a dragon, a unicorn! It’s not like there’s some law requiring you to get dressed and project yourself as you were in life. You never get cold, so just free ball it already. That’s one of the really disturbing things about Ghost Dad. Bill Cosby constantly changes clothes, and the clothes are sometimes tangible and sometimes ghost clothes. Like there’s a scene with Bill Cosby being invisible, but his clothes are still visible, and maybe fifteen minutes later in the movie, both he and his clothes are invisible. I’m not asking for too much consistency in a movie called Ghost Dad but at least figure out how clothes work.

And what about ghost sex? It seems unlikely that ghosts can have sex with people, but can they have sex with each other? It seems like there’d be a rule about whether or not ghosts can touch one another, but the only time I’ve ever seen that happen is in Patrick Swayze’s movie Just Fast Forward to the Parts With Whoopi Goldberg, the Rest of this Movie is Garbage (working title Ghost) when an angry train ghost decides to beat up Patrick Swayze. Because of this encounter, Patrick Swayze learns how to interact with the world around him, even touching people, yet the thought of ghost sex doesn’t occur to him? Why not? Do ghosts even have sexual urges? In Ghost Busters there is the Keymaster and the Gatekeeper, and that explores ghost sexuality a little bit, but the ghosts still rely on a human medium. Maybe I’m weird, but I just want to see some hot ghost on ghost action, all right?

So, if there’s anyone out there up for this challenge, please make my movie: A group of ghosts float through space on their ghost ship, having hugely extravagant ghost orgies through the eternal vacuum. Some of these ghosts are dragons or unicorns or whatever other shape they want to be, and they float through space looking for extraterrestrial intelligence, while also creating amazing artistic works the likes of which have never been seen on Earth. There’s no revenge, no hatred, no bickering about religious or political ideologies, just beautiful revelry in their immortal after life, free from the bodily pains of our world. That’s the movie I want to see.

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