Ghostbusters made Bill Murray–already scratching at big fame’s door–a bona fide movie star in 1984. Yet that same year Nothing Lasts Forever, another Murray vehicle, suffered a complete failure to launch. Written and directed by Murray’s Saturday Night Live pal Tom Schiller, Nothing Lasts Forever was deemed too strange for wide release, even though it also starred a very popular Dan Ackroyd, Imogene Coca and Gremlins‘ Zach Galligan. The A.V. Club reports that the movie found its way out of the MGM vault almost three years ago. Despite the big names, however, it has had only 150,000 views on YouTube. The producer of this SNL alum-heavy curio will come as no surprise: Lorne Michaels’ name flashes on the screen in black-and-white old-timey script as the opening credits roll. (It’s not all black-and-white–Nothing Lasts Forever switches back and forth between sepia and color, part of its intrinsic Oz-inspired oddness. Not even the palate lasts forever!)
Expect claims of belated brilliance for this lost cultural treasure, but the claims will come from optimists. Nothing Lasts Forever was daring certainly–with musical numbers and a collage-like construction that laces in old film bits. And no telling how terrific its effect might be on the silver screen it was meant for, but the composition on a tablet ain’t, surely, what Schiller had in mind. Nothing Lasts Forever was no doubt before its time–and it still might be. Even the present may be short for the film–one wizened YouTube commenter predicts “This will be taken off YouTube within a week.” Tom Schiller, often called a genius, didn’t let the disappointment put too big a dent in his giant career–a career you can read about in Michael Streeter’s poignantly named: Nothing Lost Forever: The Films of Tom Schiller.
For the moment, you can watch the whole thing right here if you want: