Beetlejuice

“So say it once! Say it twice! Third times’ a charm! And remember…I’ll eat anything you want me to eat, and I’ll swallow anything you want me to swallow! So come on down! I’ll chew on a dog!”

Let’s all just pause for a moment and thank our lucky stars that Betelgeuse (er, Beetlejuice) didn’t wind up the way it was originally planned. Horror writer Michael McDowell’s vision (in the script he wrote in the mid-80s) was of Beetlejuice as a frightening, winged demon who utterly terrorizes everyone. The story was a lot more graphic, and frankly a lot more bloody and freakishly scary. Like…seriously scary.

Fortunately at that time, Warren Skaaren was fresh off co-writing the mondo-successful Beverly Hills Cop II, so the folks at Warner Bros. were comfortable giving him McDowell’s original script and telling him to have at it.

What you see is what he wrote, as brought to the big screen by the whack-a-doodle mind of Tim Burton. And we ask you…was there a better funny ghost movie in our favorite decade?

Michael Keaton, though on screen for…maybe a fifth of the film, steals the show right out from under everyone as our favorite not-scary scary guy. Hired by ghosts Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) to rid their former haunt of its current annoying inhabitants, Beetlejuice proceeds to wreak all kinds of havoc before (again) meeting his untimely demise, this time as a snack of a particularly hungry sandworm.

Beetlejuice was chock-full of memorable, goofball moments——from the visit to the world’s most macabre waiting room (complete with shrunken-head dude) to the face-eating shrimp at Delia and Charles Deetz’ dinner party. And it still stands as a classic today. If it’s been a while, we strongly suggest you revisit it soon…and laugh as you sing along to the dulcet tones of Harry Belafonte and his “Banana Boat Song”.

And don’t overlook Keaton, either, in what we continue to maintain is his best performance to date.

He’s the ghost with the most, baby, so of course…

We ♥ Beetlejuice.

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~ by weheart80s on May 10, 2017.

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