Okay, I promise this time; Beetlejuice will be the last Tim Burton movie on my countdown. That makes four altogether. I could have kept going as there’s still a wealth of Halloween-appropriate Tim Burton movies to draw from, but I gotta end the madness somewhere (and I don’t care what ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween of Halloween says, I don’t agree that Edward Scissorhands is acceptable as a Halloween movie).
Out of the four Tim Burton movies I’ve featured, Beetlejuice is by far my favorite. I don’t recall if I ever saw this in theaters, but it definitely got regular play at the house of the lady who babysat me (it remains unknown whether or not she was aware that Beetlejuice drops the F-bomb and grabs his crotch in it; at any rate, we kids all agreed it would be best not to bring it to her attention). I would have been around seven or eight when I first saw it; most of the adult humor in it flew right over my head. I do remember wishing I could play with the model train village in the attic.
You gotta love the idea of a “bio-exorcist” — that is, a ghost-for-hire that other ghosts can summon to get rid of the living. But we can’t talk about Beetlejuice without talking about Michael Keaton’s performance. The role of Betelgeuse was the start of the weird, twisted dark phase of Michael Keaton which happens to be my favorite kind of Michael Keaton. He completely steals the movie and makes it what it is. Hey, even President Barack Obama agrees. Speaking of weird and twisted (or shall I say “strange and unusual”?), this was also the breakout role that really put Winona Ryder on the map. The rest of the cast performances are all fantastic. I especially like Catherine O’Hara’s snobby, out-of-touch, wannabe post-modern artist flavor of bitch. I love to hate her in this movie.
And just look at the back cover: “A dazzling display of director Tim Burton’s unique pop culture sensibility.” Man I miss the days when Tim Burton had some of that. He used to give us awesome, wildly original films like this one instead of the next Tim Burton™’s <insert title of existing property ripe for remaking>. Cripes, even Frankenweenie is a remake of his own damn movie (I haven’t seen it yet, though, so I’ll reserve judgement on that one for now). I’m not saying I think Tim Burton has become a complete hack; I still think he’s got some good movies and ideas left in him. I just wish he’d make one every once in a while.
P.S. Does anyone know why the film is titled “Beetlejuice” but all throughout the film it’s spelled like “Betelgeuse”? Did Tim Burton think we’d be too stupid to pronounce it properly?
I would rather talk about…DAY-OH!
What is 31 DVDs of Halloween?
As a special feature for the Halloween Countdown, I’m showcasing 31 Halloween DVDs from my personal collection. I have a lot of Halloween-related and horror DVDs in general, but for this year’s countdown I’m only going to focus on my absolute favorites–the ones I consider 100% essential for my enjoyment of the holiday.