Chances are you've probably seen Ghostbusters more than once. Not a lot of people know this, but there's a federal law that mandates that the 1984 classic be broadcasting on some channel, somewhere at every hour of the day. That's alright though, since Ghostbusters is one of those great movies that gets better on repeat viewings. You're bound to pick up on something you missed the first time around every time you watch.
But, as some fans have pointed out, there's one little detail that's a little more disturbing than the others. Ghostbusters has a huge, gaping plot hole that has some pretty creepy implications. No, we're not going to talk about that ghost blowjob today. Instead, we're jumping right to this scene.
Peter Venkman arrives at Dana's apartment, flowers in hand, only to find there is no Dana -- only Zuul. The demigod has posessed Venkman's would-be date and will only respond to someone calling themselves the "Keymaster." Venkman convinces Zuul that he is the Keymaster's uh, friend, and he's going to chill out in the apartment and wait for him if that's cool? After some clearly supernatural shenanigans confirm that Dana isn't in fact suffering from schizophrenia, we catch up with Egon, who has Louis "The Keymaster" Tully in custody.
So far that sounds about right, yeah? Except the next time we see Dana, she's knocked out cold. Venkman explains to Egon over the phone:
Let's ignore the strange usage of the term "whacked off" for a minute. Why the fuck did Venkman bring a powerful sedative to his date with Dana? He didn't know that she'd been possessed by Zuul when he first arrived at her place. What kind of mega-creeper packs Thorazine alongside a dozen roses? Was he seriously planning on putting her to sleep before she was under the spell of a demigod?
And that's a LOT of medication. Not only could 300CCs could fill a can of Coke, but that much Thorazine is enough to kill 1800 people. Maybe Bill Murray flubbed a little bit and he was supposed to say 300 milligrams, but that's still enough to divy out a lethal dose of the drug to six full-grown humans as long as you're not diluting it with saline. This is all not to mention that Venkman would have had a syringe ready to go in one of his jacket pockets -- it's not like he could pop down to his car and grab some (extremely illegal even for a psychologist) Thorazine and medical supplies, since he got to Dana's in a cab.
Writer Richard Mueller obviously ran into this problem when penning the official Ghostbusters novelization, which released in 1985 -- the year after the movie. Larry Milne, who wrote the 1984 novelization, "fixed" the scene by excising the phone call altogether. This left another plot hole, of course, because this would mean Venkman eventually just shrugged and left Dana in her apartment, alone, floating three feet above her bed. Though Mueller likely couldn't find an excuse for Venkman to carry around Thorazine on his person, he did come up with a smart tweak to the script:
Dana Barrett still floated above the bed while Peter Venkman rummaged through the drawers of her dresser. "She's an artist", he thought. "She's got to have some Valium somewhere."
That's... not a bad way to go. A consumer-grade relaxant lurking in Dana's dresser drawer makes much more sense than implying supposed protagonist Venkman is a shitbag rapist.
When it comes down to it, the Thorazine development is just an unfortunate mistake, whether by the absent-minded screenwriters or an improvisational Murray. People were a bit less careful back then. In the 1980s, "Cosby-ing" had a very different meaning.