Netflix users will soon get a look inside the world of die-hard Ghostbusters fans with the release of the locally produced Ghostheads documentary, which premieres on the streaming service on July 15.
Yes, the same July 15 as the release date for the all-female Ghostbusters reboot. And for producer and Philadelphia filmmaker Tommy Avallone, the timing couldn't be better.
"This will be a great pregame film," Avallone says of the release. "It starts off appreciating the '84 and '89 movies and what fans have built there, and it ends with them being excited for the new one."
With some help from Sony Pictures and Ghost Corps, Dan Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman's production company, the boys were able to wrangle up original Ghostbusters stars such as Ernie Hudson, William Atherton, and Sigourney Weaver for the film. Even Paul Feig, who directed the coming Ghostbusters reboot, participated.
Don't, however, expect Ghostheads to be a screed on the evils of movie remakes. While the film does delve into the new Ghostbusters somewhat, it is done more on an informational level. Kunzer, for one, wouldn't have it any other way.
"No one is going to go door-to-door and confiscate old Ghostbusters DVDs on July 15," says Kunzer. "That movie carries the Ghosbusters legacy on and gets it to a new generation of fans. It doesn't hurt the world to have more Ghostbusters."
Instead, at the center of the film is the Ghosthead subculture itself, presented particularly through the story of New Jersey resident Tom Gebhardt, who we spoke to last year. Gebhardt often dresses as a Ghostbuster and attends charity events as a way to put his hobby into action — and not necessarily as a Ghostbuster from the film.
"The jumpsuits don't say 'Venkman' or 'Stantz,'" Avallone says. "They say 'Gebhardt.' People can find themselves in this world."
Ultimately, that seems to explain the longevity of a franchise that's existed for more than 30 years now, and only with intermittent new material to keep it going. And, of course, it speaks to an important difference between Ghostheads and other genre fanatics.
"When you go to a comic book convention and you see guys trying to be Iron Man, it becomes about who is the best Iron Man," says Kunzer. "With Ghostheads, it's all very inclusive."
Look out for Ghostheads on Netflix on July 15. In the meantime, check out the documentary's trailer below: