June 8 marks the 32nd anniversary of the American release of Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters, a blockbuster that was the top-grossing film of 1984 and a staple of innumerable childhoods, spawning a sequel, a hit theme song, and an animated series. This year, the supernatural comedy is also the inspiration for a controversial Paul Feig-directed reboot with a female-led cast starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. The new film has been the cause of so much ugliness on the internet, with a brutal war of words erupting on social media and in comments sections everywhere, that it may be a pleasant change of pace to remember a simpler time when the Ghostbusters franchise was all about having fun. Has the world forgotten the words of Ray Parker Jr.? “Bustin’ makes me feel good.” As it happens, there already is an all-female Ghostbusters remake. Although it’s six and a half minutes long, in French, and done on the lowest budget imaginable, it is unreasonably entertaining.
Posted to the Vimeo account of one Jessica Louvel, “Ghostbusters (Sweded)” is an utterly charming student film originating in France’s Université Lumière Lyon 2 circa January 2015. As part of an assignment, Louvel and her classmates decided to make a “sweded” version of the beloved 1984 film. The term “sweded” is derived from Michel Gondry’s 2008 film Be Kind Rewind. To “swede” a movie is to make an amateur, homemade knockoff of it. Ghostbusters is one of the movies to get that treatment in Gondry’s film, but he was working with a cushy $20 million budget. The French students, on the other hand, had no money at all to make their “sweded” Ghostbusters, but that didn’t limit their ambition one bit. They tackled the egg-cracking scene:
And the refrigerator scene:
Their version also has a Slimer:
It even has a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man who goes up in flames:
There. An all-female Ghostbusters remake that doesn’t violate anyone’s precious childhood memories. Louvel and her classmates have such fun recreating the movie that they can barely contain their laughter during filming. About half of their version’s running time is taken up with giggly outtakes. The famous TV commercial scene seems to have been especially difficult to get through with a straight face. It barely matters that all of this is in French. The original film is so familiar that anyone with a passing knowledge of it should be able to follow along easily.