Milko Davis, Adam Mittelstadt
The Ghostbusters may think they were the first to invent ghost containment - but they are wrong. In reality, the deep state has been containing "Bio Phantoms" for a very, very long time, and in Milko Davis's feature, ghosts are old news to those in the know. It's when the containment facility begins to have some issues, and two new and bumbling security guards are brought in to monitor the systems, that "Ghosters Phantom Patrol" begins its story. Who you gonna call?
Right off the bat, I had an original "Ghostbusters" movie vibe pulsing through my body. The opening scene felt like it could have been an alternate scene from the original 1984 classic. I could dig it. A low-budget indie film influenced by such a great movie ... sign me up! At some point, however, the not-so-subtle winks and nods became more and more apparent - until it didn't even seem like Davis was trying to hide it anymore. Not only did the look of the ghosts take me back, but eventually, entire lines of dialog were lifted from the 84' film, and yes, reader, there is even slime ... err ... ectoplasm. "Ghosters Phantom Patrol" doesn't even hide it. This is essentially a clone movie with different characters and a slightly altered story. Honestly? I thought it was great! Without question, this is a low-budget venture, but where it may slip a little when considering technical elements, it totally makes up for with its charm. Don't go into this film expecting it to take itself all that seriously - go into it to have fun, and you'll be A-Okay. "Ghosters Paranormal Patrol" is a film meant to be enjoyed and had fun with, and in that respect, it totally succeeds.
Yes, reader, there are some slightly off-looking aspects from time to time, but so long as you remember this is an indie, low-budget flick, you'll be totally alright with them. If you have a thirty-million-dollar budget, your film will look like a thirty-million-dollar film. However, what surprised me was how much bigger "Ghosters Phantom Patrol" actually felt, especially later in the movie. I'll admit it. There are some awkward-looking segments scattered around - mainly during the first act, but then you have some truly cool-looking effects as well. A majority of these "cooler" looking shots and effects are later in the film, but they do exist. The reality is that I was more than a little surprised and delighted by a large chunk of this film. For a smaller production, this one really packs a punch at times.
Then you have the subtle and then outright cloning of so many "Ghostbusters" elements. I think all caution was thrown to the wind once a reporter came on within the movie for "Bill Murney" news. I honestly thought, "Oh, Geez." and groaned a bit. But in hindsight? Straight out of the gate, the 84' blockbuster was "felt," so the question becomes, why not just go all out and embrace it? I think I would have enjoyed this film less had the winks and nods been less subtle - a strange thing to write, but it's true.
At the end of the day? All I really know is that I enjoyed this film. It's an extension of what most consider to be a family film - extended even more to include an actual family! Some of the presentation really screams out indie low-budget, but then there are times when "Ghosters Phantom Patrol" looks and feels so much larger. My recommendation? Give this movie a shot, at least thirty minutes, and you'll be glad you did. This is a film that has fun with itself and sets out to be an entertaining, family-friendly adventure. It succeeds—three and a half stars.