Ghost and the BOO Moment

The One Line Summary: Handsome banker Sam and potterer Molly move to a beautiful New York City apartment where a friendly neighbor introduces Sam to a proud local tradition of getting gut-shot in a dark alley, turning the Sam into a semi-transparent ghost who, when discovering he can communicate with a con-artist, plots revenge while trying to protect Molly from the same fate. 

Ghost Demi Moore Patrick Swayze
Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze (Paramount Pictures)

The Two-Line Blurb: The trouble with ghost movies is that a ghost can only be either a shadowy spooky specter of dark evil or a fully-realized “good” person at 70% opacity. Then, they end up exciting in a world where physics are totally thrown out the widow as they are amazed their bodies can pass through objects yet their feet somehow still have friction so they can walk, which makes no sense and makes every aspect of ghost movies preposterous.


The Three-Line Set-up: After lessons from a ghost riding on a subway, our hero learns how to use his invisibility for the good of mankind. With great power comes great resp–no wait, he tracks down the shlub who shot him and walks around the place knocking things over. Justice prevails.


The Four-Line Moment: Hired thug Willie (Rick Aviles) is on the job, rooting through Oda Mae’s (Goldberg) apartment when ghosty Sam (Swayze) stops by to rearrange her knick-knacks and play the exciting new Milton Bradley role-play game “You Shot Me So Go Get Squished In Traffic” with his old pal from the dark alleyway. Things fly off shelves, doors slam, Willie gets nervous, and Sam can spell BOO all by himself! It goes from the apartment to the hallway and then out into the street where clearly the writers wanted to off poor Willy but not directly make Sam responsible even though Sam 100 percent is. Willie didn’t have a . . . wait for it . . . “ghost” of a chance.

The Five-Word Review: At least there’s no sequel.




Jerry Zucker



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