Beetlejuice marks the first time I fell in love with Tim Burton, and Catherine O’Hara, now that you mention it. This movie showed up on tv yesterday and I didn’t even realize that I knew every single word until I sat there, knitting, reciting the entire thing. I must have seen this movie dozens (and dozens) of times. Know what I also didn’t realize until I started talking to my brother-in-law about it? Michael Keaton’s character is by far my least favorite part of this film.
Genna Davis, Alec Baldwin, Catherine O’Hara (so very divine), the dude that plays Otho, Winona Ryder at her best…
Speaking of Winona Ryder, I’m super happy that she’s been re-introduced to Tim Burton a la Frankenweenie. She was made for Tim Burton movies, and I’m glad she’s stopped shoplifting and has presumably gotten back into the swing of things.
The Maitlands die at the start of the movie by crashing their car into the water at the town’s covered bridge. They are thereby condemned to living in their house on the hill for all eternity, less be eaten by the sand worm outside their door. Alas, they won’t be lonely for long! The Deetzes move in with Delia’s painfully awkward sculptures and poor decorative schemes. The Maitlands desperately look to the Handbook for the Recently Deceased for answers on how to rid themselves of these unwanted guests. (Sidenote: I love how Alec Baldwin mispronounces everything important in this movie)
They head through the door in the wall to an after-life waiting room, which begins one of my favorite sequences in the film: the shrunken head, suicidal receptionist, the flat guy on the hanger, dark humor and more! They eventually meet up with Juno, their after-life caseworker, and are constantly berated for not reading the Handbook, which sadly reads like stereo instructions.
After drastic attempts at haunting fail them, they have a moment of stupidity and put their faith in Beetlejuice (spelled Beetleguese on the flyer) and quickly send him back to his resting place in Adam Maitland’s town model. They befriend the somber daughter, Lydia,while Beetlejuice continuously tries to take over. Most notably in the greatest rendition of “Day-O (the Banana Boat Song)” you will ever see!
I would watch that scene on repeat until I broke the VHS tape
Now for some tasty trivia! Did you know that the original script was a full-fledged horror film? No? Well, Michael McDowell originally included gruesome death scenes, attempted murder of the Deetzes, mutilation of a 9 year old, and the attempted rape of Lydia! No shit!
Warren Skaaren drastically rewrote the film to downplay a lot of the horrific aspects, and downgraded Beetlejuice to more of a skeevy perv instead of a bloodlusting monster. I think it would be kind of interesting to see what the original would have looked like, but I simply adore how it ended up.
Thank you, Tim Burton, for not making Beetlejuice Goes Hawaii (true story). I could not have forgiven you for that.