Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!
Beetlejuice is a 1988 American horror comedy fantasy film directed by Tim Burton, produced by The Geffen Film Company and distributed by Warner Bros.
Barbara and Adam Maitland decide to spend their vacation decorating their picturesque New England country house. Barbara swerves to avoid a dog wandering the road and smashes through a covered bridge, tumbling into the river below, as the young couple drives back from town. After learning that they died in the vehicle accident, they are trapped in their country home, unable to leave. The Deetzes, a former real estate developer, his second wife Delia, an aspiring sculptor, and his goth daughter Lydia from his first marriage, are the new residents. The Deetzes remodel the house into a garish piece of pastel-toned modern art with the help of interior designer Otho. The Maitlands seek assistance from Juno, their afterlife caseworker, who tells them that they must stay in the house for 125 years. It is their responsibility to frighten the Deetzes out of the house. The Maitlands’ attempts to frighten the family away fail miserably. Their efforts attract Beetlejuice (Betelgeuse), a rowdy spirit whose “assistance” quickly turns deadly for the Maitlands and Lydia.
|Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice|
|Alec Baldwin as Adam Maitland|
|Geena Davis as Barbara Maitland|
|Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz|
|Catherine O’Hara as Delia Deetz|
|Jeffrey Jones as Charles Deetz|
|Glenn Shadix as Otho|
|Sylvia Sidney as Juno|
Spinoffs / Sequel
Beetlejuice, an animated television series, premiered in 1989. It aired on ABC from September 9 to October 26, 1989, then on Fox from September 9 to December 6, 1991. Tim Burton, the film’s director, devised and executive-produced the TV series, which was partly based on the 1988 film of the same name. The series follows Lydia Deetz, a Goth girl, and her undead pal Beetlejuice as they journey through The Neitherworld, a bizarre afterlife region populated by monsters, ghosts, ghouls, and zombies. The film’s theme was arranged for the cartoon by Danny Elfman himself.
Burton commissioned Jonathan Gems to write a sequel, Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, in 1990. “Tim felt it’d be amusing to pair the surfing backdrop of a beach movie with some sort of German Expressionism,” Gems remarked. The plot followed the Deetz family as they relocated to Hawaii, where Charles plans to build a resort. They quickly learn that his company is constructing on the site of an old Hawaiian Kahuna’s grave. Betelgeuse becomes a hero after winning a surf contest with magic, and the ghost returns from the afterlife to sow havoc. Burton agreed to helm the film on the condition that Keaton and Ryder star, but he and Keaton were both preoccupied with Batman Returns.
Burton was still interested in Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian in early 1991. Impressed with Daniel Waters’ work on Heathers, Burton approached him for a rewrite. However, he eventually signed Waters to write the script for Batman Returns.
Seth Grahame-Smith, who worked with Burton on Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, was engaged by Warner Bros. in September 2011 to write and produce a sequel to Beetlejuice. Grahame-Smith agreed to work on the project with the goal of creating “a story worthy of us actually doing this for real, something that isn’t just about cashing in, something that isn’t just about pushing a remake or reboot down someone’s throat.” He was also adamant that Keaton will reprise his part and that Warner Bros. would not recast it.
Burton and Keaton have not officially signed on but will return if the script is good enough.
In December 2014, Burton commented that “It’s a character that I love and I miss and I miss actually working with Michael. There’s only one Betelgeuse. We’re working on a script and I think it’s probably closer than ever and I’d love to work with him again.” (source: wikipedia)
Betelgeuse has had several theme park shows at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Japan. At the Florida park, he is not only currently the star of Beetlejuice’s Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue but also the now defunct “Extreme Ghostbusters: The Great Fright Way!”. He was also a featured part of Halloween Horror Nights in the early days of the Orlando park.
10 Interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Beetlejuice
#1. The script’s early drafts were far less whimsical. Despite the fact that “Beetlejuice” is about death and ghosts, it is frequently classified as a comedy. If the producers had committed to the original screenplay, none of this would have happened. According to The Playlist, the original script included more graphic violence and portrayed Michael Keaton’s title character as “a leather-winged demon whose humanoid appearance is that of a squat Middle Eastern man (subsequent drafts had him conversing in a kind of African American pidgin dialect).”
#2. Burton’s first choice for Beetlejuice was Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy Davis Jr., a 63-year-old Rat Pack member, was first choice to star as Beetlejuice by director Tim Burton. Producer David Geffen recommended actor Michael Keaton, who was eventually cast and went on to star in two more Burton pictures, Batman and Batman Returns.
#3. Beetlejuice won an Oscar. Makeup artist Ve Neill and her team won the 1989 Best Makeup Academy Award.
#4. Angelica Huston Was Very Nearly Delia Deetz. Angelica Huston was supposed to play Delia Deetz, but she had to drop out due to an illness. Catherine O’Hara initially turned down Burton’s offer for the part, but eventually agreed after Burton went out to meet with her and personally persuaded her to take it. While working on Beetlejuice, O’Hara met and married production designer Bo Welch.
#5. Lydia was a role that many ingénues turned down. The roles of Lydia Deetz were turned down by actresses Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Justine Bateman, Molly Ringwald, and Jennifer Connelly. Juliette Lewis auditioned, but Burton chose Wynona Ryder after seeing her in the teen drama Lucas.
#6. Beetlejuice was nearly called Scared Sheetless. Executives at Warner Bros. didn’t like the name Beetlejuice and demanded that it be changed to House Ghosts. Burton jokingly suggested Scared Sheetless as a possible substitute title, only to be shocked when Warner Bros. actually considered it.
#7. Beetlejuice was named after a star. Beetlejuice was named for Betelgeuse, a star in the constellation Orion.
#8. The Shrimp scene. Originally, Tim Burton wanted for crew members to be stationed beneath the dining table, throwing shrimp up in the diners’ faces. Dick Cavett, who portrays one of the guests, suggested putting shrimp on everyone’s faces, letting them fall off, and then reversing the movie, which Burton did.
#9. “Day-O” played at Otho’s real-life funeral. Harry Belafonte’s song “Day-O,” which is in the film’s memorable song and dance number, was the final song played at the memorial for actor Glenn Shadix (who played Otho in the film), who died in 2010.
#10. Beetlejuice is barely in his own movie. Beetlejuice only appears in 17.5 minutes of the 92-minute film.
There are loads of Beetlejuice merchandise out there – from figurines, bobble heads, special edition DVD’s, mugs – name it!
In this blog discussion we will be looking at 7 books based on the movie.
#1. Handbook for the recently deceased.
This is a blank paperback journal in the style of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased from Tim Burton’s “Beetle Juice” (1988). You can fill it with your absurd thoughts, but no matter what you write, it’ll probably read like stereo instructions.
According to the website – http://theneitherworld.com – there were six books published by Minstrel Books (a division of Pocket Books). The penname of the author was ‘B.J. Specter. Unfortunately all these books are out of print.
The ‘descriptions’ that accompany each picture are taken from the back covers.
#2. Beetlejuice For President
VOTE FOR BEETLEJUICE: THE GHOST WITH THE MOST!
Beetlejuice is tired of feeling like just another ghoul. He wants power, riches, and the freedom to make trouble whenever he likes. There’s only one solution: to run for president of the Neitherworld.
He would do anything to get elected. But when Beetlejuice says he’ll make Halloween a year-round holiday, his friend Lydia knows he’ll never be able to keep his promise.
Can Lydia make an honest ghoul out of Beetlejuice before the election blows up in his face?
#3. Lydia’s Scream Date
The biggest party of the year is coming up and Lydia doesn’t have a date. Then Beetlejuice has a great plan. He’ll haunt the captain of the football team and go as Lydia’s scream date!
At the party, Beetlejuice’s dancing really makes heads spin, especially his own. But Lydia realizes she’d better come to the rescue when his fancy footwork starts catching up to him – and Beetlejuice is scared by his own shadow!
#4. Rock N’ Roll Nightmare
When Beetlejuice and his heavy metal band, Blades ‘N’ Tulips, decide to produce their own music video show, rock music is soon blasting from every TV set in Peaceful Pines. Lydia loves Music Ghoul-A-Vision – until she notices that her friends and neighbors are acting even weirder than usual.
Can Lydia get to the MGV studio in the Neitherworld and stop the music before Peaceful Pines becomes a town full of rocked-out zombies?
#5. Twisted Tours
SEE THE SIGHTS, FRIGHTS!
Beetlejuice has a great get-rich-quick scheme. He charges hundreds of his fellow ghouls for a tour of Pleasant Pines, Lydia’s hometown. At first the tour is a huge success. Then the slimeball slips down the drain at the water company. A weight-lifting skeleton discovers the health spa. And a romantic vampire falls in love with screen vampires at a local movie theater.
Life in Pleasant Pines is so good that the frightseers refuse to go back to the Neitherworld. Can Lydia and Beetlejuice get them home before the town turns into a tourist nightmare?
#6. Camp Fright
Lydia dreads spending another boring summer in Peaceful Pines. But her scheming pal Beetlejuice has just the answer! He convinces all the parents in town to send their little darlings to Camp Wannapuka. The lucky campers are about to have the wildest summer of their lives!
First there’s Poison Ivy, the counselor made from shiny green leaves. Then there are the camp delicacies such as eyeball soup and hot sludge sundaes. Things go downhill fast when the campers from across the lake crawl in for a visit. Soon all the campers want to go home. What can Beetlejuice and Lydia do to save Camp Wannapuka?
#7. Trial By Ghost
WANTED: LYDIA DEETZ
When Lydia is kidnapped and forced to assist in a Neitherworld bank robbery, she is caught by the local ghost police. Beetlejuice tries every trick in the book to clear her name, but it’s no use. Lydia is sentenced to afterlife in the Neitherworld prison!
Lydia’s only hope is to find the real culprits. With the help of her cell mates, she and Beetlejuice stage a daring escape. Can they locate the real robbers before the Neitherworld cops spirit her back to the dungeons?
To end this blog, herewith the original movie scene – “Day-O” Happy watching!
Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!