Hey everyone, welcome back to our tribute of the eccentric Tim Burton. Today's next movie is the 1988 comedy horror classic Beetlejuice.
After the huge financial success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Burton
had gained the reputation of being a "bankable" director. While he was working
on a new script of a new Batman movie with Sam Hamm, he was giving more
scripts for him to direct on. Still uninspired and uninterested due to their
lack of originality and imagination, he refused on a good majority of them. One
of the scripts he was given to direct was the 1988 comedy Hot to Trot.
Thank God Burton refused to direct this movie because if he did, his career
would have slightly tarnished with that awful comedy and we may not have gotten
Batman. More on that movie some other time.
One day, David Geffen had given Burton a script of Beetlejuice
written by Michael McDowell. Burton loved the script and agreed to direct the
film. With me today is a huge Tim Burton fan and the co-founder of this very
blog, my buddy Kevin G. How are you today, Kev?
Kevin- Pretty good, Pat. Let's get started.
Patricia- Alright then. When did you first watch Beetlejuice?
Kevin- I first saw it on VHS that my mom rented on a video store. I saw it
and I fell completely in love with it. Ever since then, I would say that it is
one of my favorite movies of all time: my top 5.
Patricia- I first saw it on TV when I was 6-years-old. It was the strangest
movie I had ever seen. I had never seen anything like it. The monsters, the
ghosts, the decorations, the effects, it was so creepy, yet so funny at the same
time. So let's see if this movie still has the creepy and hilarious chops as we
I know that you're not a big fan of discussing a movie word for word, Kev, so
I'll give a quick synopsis on what the movie is about. Then we can talk about
our favorite things about it.
Kevin- Sounds good to me. That way if people are interested in it, they can see it for
themselves and we can talk about what we love about it.
Patricia- Sounds good. The story is about a couple named Adam and Barbara
Maitland (played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis). After moving in to a nice
town in Massachusetts, they settle into a nice home and go out for a nice drive.
However, they get themselves into a car accident and are now dead. They don't
realize that they're dead until a few years later when many things have changed.
An eccentric family moves in to their house and decorate it in a strange way
that Adam and Barbara don't find appealing. They decide to scare the family
away, but it turns out more difficult. They ask for the assistance of a ghoul
named Beetlejuice. They would call his name three times and there he would
appear in front of them. He was a psychotic nut job who can scare anyone like
there was no tomorrow, but at the same time very threatening, pervertic, and
funny. Throughout the entire movie, we are introduced to the characters, the
different worlds, and the relationship between the couple and the family's
Kevin- Agreed. Beetlejuice was always fun to watch. He would always steal the
scene everytime he made an appearance. Michael Keaton did a great job portraying
this insane character. I especially love the scene in which he met Barbera and
Adam for the first time.
Patricia- What did you think of the soundtrack, the designs, and the stop
Kevin- I absouletely love the soundtrack to Beetlejuice. I even have
it on my iPod alongside with the soundtrack to Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
I love Danny Elfman's music: it perfectly complements everything that the
movie shows. The designs are true Burton-esque giving a really creepy
atmosphere. From the underworld to our world, he seems to bring about his style
into every scene. The stop motion effects were truly ahead of their time: the
scenes with the sandworms and Beetlejuice turing into a snake scared the shit
out of me when I was a kid. Looking at it now, it still looks absouletely
amazing and creepy. There's a reason why Tim Burton is one of my favorite
Patricia- Well said, Kev.
Kevin- As for the casting, it was absolutely great. Interesting fact about
Winona Rider. She didn't need to audition for the role of Lydia. When she was
waiting to be called in to audition, she sat down to a strange looking man whom
she assumed to be one of the producers. They sat down and talk about metal bands
for the past 20 minutes. Little did she know that the man she was talking to was
Tim Burton himself. He found something special about her and gave her the role
Patricia- I did not know that. Thank you for sharing, Kev.
Kevin- Sure thing, Patty.
Patricia- There was also an animated series of Beetlejuice that
Burton had produced after Beetlejuice was released. Despite it being
completely different, I find the series to be really cool.
Kevin- I do too. As a kid, I had loved everything about it. I loved the
opening song, the designs, the new characters, and the humor. While Beetlejuice
and Lydia are portrayed as best friends in the cartoon, they had really good
Patricia- So Kev, do you recommend Beetlejuice?
Kevin- Without a doubt! Beetlejuice is a combination of funny humor,
scary scenes, beautiful designs, incredible music, memorable characters, and
fantastic stop motion animation. When it came out, it was ahead of its time.
Nowadays, it's an undeniable classic! If you haven't seen this movie, stop
reading this review and watch it NOW!!!!!
Patricia- There was supposed to be a sequel to Beetlejuice called
Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. However, it has been in developmental hell
for over 20 years. Now there's rumors that it will finally be greenlit. What do
you think of it?
Kevin- Well, I heard that Michael Keaton will return as Beetlejuice, which is
awesome! But Seth Graham Smith, the guy who wrote those books Pride and
Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is doing
the script. I have mixed feelings now that I know he's doing this script since
Dark Shadows and the movie adaptation of Vampire Hunter didn't
do so well on the box office. But I'm hoping it will be awesome! We'll just see.
Patricia- That should do it. Kevin, thank you so much for joining me in this
Kevin- Sure thing, Pat.
That's all for now. Tune in next time as we continue the tribute with a look
at Beetlejuice: The Animated Series.
Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.
-Patricia and Kevin