As a kid, the movie Beetlejuice completely freaked me out. I was six years old and it was the summer between first and second grade. My aunt and uncle were visiting us from the East Coast, and we had settled in my grandpa’s living room to watch it on the rented VHS tape (remember those?). They had a friend who was an extra in the film, so we were on the lookout for him (one of the dudes moving some abstract wood construction piece in the scene where the deck on the house was being built).
I particularly recall the part where Beetlejuice’s head is turned away from the camera, and these odd looking tentacles shoot out from the sides of his face as being the worst part. I laugh now to think it scared the crap out of me so much. I couldn’t really see anything!
The second creepy thing that made me shut my eyes is later in the movie. Adam and Barbara are coming back from a session with Juno, their caseworker from the Netherworld (or whatever you’d call that place through the attic wall), and they stretch the hell out of their faces to scare the living.
Um, yea…they succeeded in my case.
And let’s not forget when Beetlejuice becomes the snake, or when Adam and Barbara are floating during the bio-exorcism scene and decaying in their wedding clothes.
But really, Beetlejuice eventually became my favorite movie. I have watched it hundreds of times! Tim Burton probably wasn’t aware of the cult classic he was going to create at the time he made that movie. Rumor has it there will finally be a sequel, however, a sequel is a touchy thing. It rarely will be as popular as its predecessor. Plus, Lydia Deetz is 26 years older than she was. I’m not so sure how the same essence of Beetlejuice can be replicated over two decades later.
I really want to be an extra in the sequel. I’m not an actor, nor trying to be—the movie is such a favorite of mine it’s just something I want to be a part of if there’s another film.
Anyway, in all the times I have seen Beetlejuice over the years, I have observed different things and have harbored little questions and opinions regarding little tidbits of the movie. If you are a Beetlejuice fan, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
- The Maitland’s friend Jane: Why in the bloody hell is Jane stopping over at 6:45 am? Does she have no sense of time? If she were stopping by my house that early, she would probably be wishing she hadn’t! Plus, she isn’t only rude in her timing, but she is an interfering busybody. She is practically trying to sell Adam and Barbara’s home out from under them when they’re still alive. It’s none of her business where they choose to live. Hm, maybe she trained the dog to run in front of their car…
- Manchurian Tung Oil: For years I never understood what Adam said, or what this was. I always guessed it was something for the model Barbara had asked their friend Helen to get in Oslo. Apparently tung oil is a furniture oil from the pressed tung seed from the tung tree. It’s origin is from China and it has been used for centuries. It dries on wood with a shiny, plastic like finish. Such a fun fact, eh?
- The Dog: Is there no leash law in Winter River? Who is the owner of this dog?
- The Crash: Does anyone else think Adam and Barbara probably should have survived that? If they were still within city limits and following the recommended speed limit, I don’t think they would have driven off the bridge. Shame on you Mr. Maitland!
- “Diseased” and “Deceased”: I’m glad Adam owned a hardware store and wasn’t a doctor.
- Lydia Deetz: It bugs me Barbara was referring to her as a little girl. Babs either needed glasses, or was really bad at judging age. Also, if Lydia had been the teenager that she was at the present time, her parents likely would have put her in therapy.
- Otho: What a poser! Delia seemed sharp enough to figure out he was a sham. Oh, wait…she herself was a flake. Birds of a feather…
- Sandworms: This is truly my WTF of the entire movie. The rest of the pieces all fit together, but the sandworms come out of left field. So, the ghosts step off the porch and fall into a weird dimension with giant worms. The best guess I can make is they are symbolic of earthworms. Sandworms are more like sci-fi serpents though.
- Maxie Dean & Wife: I always wondered if they survived being rocketed through the ceiling. If they didn’t, how would Charles and Delia Deetz explain that one?
- Beetlejuice: If he wrote his auto biography, what would it say? We know only a bit about his past. He survived the plague.
- The House: I really wanted to see this house, but it’s fake! It was just a shell built near the town where the outdoor shots were filmed. I was disappointed when I found that out! The town is East Corinth, VT and not actually Winter River, CT. I knew from the beginning it had been shot in VT though.
- Script: I found the original script online. There are quite a few differences in dialogue and decription between the film and original script (more differences the more I read)…I have only read a few sections, but I thought what I read was interesting. It gives more info that isn’t in the film.
Beetlejuice is one of those movies I can watch over and over again without getting tired of it. Another one of my top films is The Nightmare Before Christmas. I enjoy more than Tim Burton movies though. I’m not a big Halloween fan either, but I think Beetlejuice was a good topic for a Halloween related post!
What are your favorite movies or Halloween movies?
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