Cisco Davis, Jr., director and writer behind Power Ranger fan-films Teenagers with Attitude and Zordon of Eltar, is at it again.
During my first podcast, Davis Jr. hinted at his plans for a third (yes this man works that hard) fan film as his submission to Baltimore’s annual 29 Days Later Film Project with one simple line: “Who are you gonna call?”
If you hadn’t figured it out, that one line is the rallying cry, slug line, and so on for one the greatest franchises ever created: Ghostbusters. Yes, that’s right. A Ghostbusters fan film. Well, the film is more of a tribute to the franchise and the late Harold Ramis. Regardless, I have been incredibly excited since he hinted at the film.
Luckily, Davis, Jr. whet my appetite by sending me the occasional teaser photos; which you can see here:
Much to my chagrin, he would not divulge much about the film’s plot other than that the person pictured is the film’s protagonist, Quincy. And that the film would be set in Baltimore.
Then, much to my surprise, he allowed me to view a full edit. It did not disappoint at all.
Without spoiling the plot, I can say that the events in Charm City’s Finest (the final title for the film) occur 30 years after the events of the original Ghostbusters feature film and does focus on Quincy, the above-pictured character. Since their battle with the Gatekeeper, Zuul, Gozer the Gozerian, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, the Ghostbuster have become a much larger business with local offices spread throughout the United States. Quincy is a member of the Baltimore team.
The primary thrust of the story is Quincy reporting for the monthly psychiatric evaluation required for all Ghostbusters. Scenes of her and the Baltimore team in action are framed by this evaluation as she discusses them with the psychiatrist, and also the mysterious disappearance of her mother.
Like most of Davis, Jr.’s films, Charm City’s Finest is filled with charm and wit. Even more impressive is his ability to make more out of less. Davis, Jr. is a director who believes that money is not what makes a movie great. Instead a great film comes out of deliberate choices with the camera, intelligent writing, and careful casting. And then of course a dash of VFX to taste. CCF–even his upcoming fan films I mentioned previously–is a testament to that approach to film.
CCF does not rely on VFX, except for a few scenes because, well, it is a Ghostbusters tribute. Would it really be one without a few floating specters and a smoking trap?
Much like a proton beam latching onto a ghost, Quincy’s snark–snark that seems very familiar to fans of the series– and complete apathy toward her behavior in the field grabs ahold of the viewer. Soon, like the ghost, you are helplessly trapped. Fortunately, in this case it’s by entertainment. Davis, Jr. fits in plenty of easter eggs including a particular sliming reminiscent of the original film. Admittedly I even squee-d at the original sound effect when Quincy powered up her proton blaster. We even get an explanation for a certain debacle during a recent Super Bowl.
I must stop. I could go on and on and then I would accidentally spoil it for all of you. Just watch it once it is released on September 5th. If you’re in the Baltimore area, please attend the films live screening during the 29 Days Later Film Project. If you can’t make it, pay attention to his YouTube Channel or his Facebook page for its release later that night.
In the meantime, enjoy the Charm City’s Finest trailer: