Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Day 02: Kweeny Reviews BEETLEJUICE

The MADNESS doesn't technically start until the 6th, but I thought I'd get myself ready with a couple of my favorite creepy movies before hand. What better way to warm up these soggy, rained-on reviewer bones than watching a movie that always gets me in the holiday spirit:

The wonderful thing about old Tim Burton films like this one was that they were creepy little snapshots into alternate worlds. Worlds where black is a primary color, ghosts are real and could hurt you badly if you weren't careful. Where the undead have their own bureaucracy in the afterlife, and stripes are the best fashion statement going. I have to admit that I love many of the old Tim Burton films, but the one that stands out for me is Beetlejuice.

A lot of amazing talent worked on this film. From the set design, the musical score (that to this day, I can't get out of my head the moment anyone sings "Day-O") the story, the actors...I could go on. I wanted to LIVE in Tim Burton's worlds every time I watched a movie he made, and Beetlejuice is no exception. Some really famous people appear in this film like Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the Maitlands, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffery Jones and Winona Rider as the Deetz. And of course, Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice.

I honestly didn't realize how funny Michael Keaton could be until I saw this film.

Other than the wicked atmosphere of this film (and rhythmic music) one of my favorite parts is the story. We have this very normal couple the Maitlands going about their business when they are killed in a freak car accident. (The dark humor in everything always gives me a chuckle, especially the Maitlands death scene) When they come back to their house, they don't realize they are dead right away, but quickly things are more sinister than  they were previously. When they catch on, they are told by the underworld Bureaucracy that they are dead and it's their job to remove the new tenants from their house. The Deetz are the new tenants, and the Maitlands don't like their big-city ways at all. They do end up growing fond of Lydia Deetz, but her parents are another story.

So, in a moment of desperation, they find an ad for a "Bio-exorcist" named Beetlejuice. They summon him, and things get really awesome and weird from there.

If it wasn't for the fact the character of Beetlejuice is just so unique, quirky and amazingly fucked-in-the-head, I would find it hard to pick a favorite character out of the entire cast. Even Juno, the case worker of the Maitlands is a fun character. Beetlejuice really is one of those rare movies were everything works within it's own universe. You really feel like you are a part of the Maitlands journey, you grow to love the Deetz with their weird friends and ways, and you are even curious about what the system in the afterlife is like for the dead.  They even have a handbook that would make a delightful coffee table book, should you want to leave such a thing lying around for guests to read. It might not be a good idea, as the movie tends to hint at. There are other things that should be watched out for as well..."...Sandworms, you know I hate 'em!"  

In the end for me it is Beetlejuice who steals the show, as he should. So if you want a film to help get you into the Halloween spirit (And you are like me and have a fondness for summoning spirits) I recommend highly this one for your Halloween Countdown. I'd also recommend the cartoon series, as it was actually pretty good and a lot of fun. It wasn't nearly as dark as the movie, but it kept the themes and atmosphere for the most part.


  1. Love the movie, it well deserves the love it gets. I also loved the cartoon series!

  2. My favorite line
    Beetlejuice: Ah. Well... I attended Julliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified?


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