Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetle…
When I was a kid, ticket sellers at the cinema seemed to take movie ratings (so PG, M, MA15+ etc…) much more seriously. So much so that when I first went to see Beetlejuice at the movies (yes - when it came out in 1988) the lady selling the tickets refused to give them to me because she didn’t believe I was 15, which was the minimum age at the time for seeing what now seems fairly tame by 21st Century standards. Anyway, I wasn’t - I don’t think I had even turned 14 yet. But this lady was obviously having a bit of a sad day, and decided to make herself feel better by trying to humiliate me. After telling me at length I was something along the lines of being an awful child for wanting to see such a horrible film like that (yes, seriously) she then threatened to call my Mum. Now, my Mum has always put full trust in my judgement, misplaced or not, and so I absolutely had no problem with this lady calling her. So I gave her the number, and the call was duly placed.
The lady starting out by asking if my Mum knew where her daughter was (she did) and if she knew what film I was trying to see (she did). This is when I started to feel a bit sorry for the ticket troll because she clearly hadn’t counted on encountering my mother. After patiently answering her questions, my Mum then let rip and told this woman that I could see whatever movie I wanted, and to just sell me the ticket. Hanging up the phone slowly, the lady turned back to me and without a word, presented me with my prized Beetlejuice tickets.
Over the years, since that fateful day in 1988, I have seen Beetlejuice over 150 times and love it to this day. When I was a young Gothling, before Punk kicked in, Lydia Deetz was my hero. And I’ve always loved Michael Keaton. That man is just amazing. In fact the whole cast of Beetlejuice is brilliant - Alex Baldwin, Geena Davis, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones - and I could go on. So you can imagine how damn excited I was to hear that there’s currently a ‘making of Beetlejuice’ documentary in the works. It’s mostly filmed apparently, but the Producers are doing a second round of crowdfunding (you can donate here) to line up more interviews. I’ve put the latest trailer below for you, but as you’ll see it’s looking pretty good, and I can’t wait to watch it.
For those of you who haven’t seen the film, while I clearly can’t talk to you anymore, here’s the short version of the story. Adam and Barbara Maitlan pop into the small town they live near for supplies, but on the way home there’s an accident, and they suddenly find themselves in their house. Not sure how they got there, they soon realise they didn’t survive the crash, and are now ghosts. A new family, the Deetz’s, move into their home and start remodeling it, which upsets the Maitland’s, who decide they want these people out. They set about scaring them away, but the problem is that the Maitland’s are terrible at frightening people. So they turn to Beeltjuice, a self-styled bioexorcist, to get rid of the Deetz’s. The problem is that this Beetle-guy has his own agenda, and he’s pretty scary in a creepy, sex-pest, freaky kind of way. You can’t help but love Beetlejuice thanks to Michael Keaton’s wonderful interpretation of the character. Not to mention the film is kitted out to perfection in Tim Burton’s trademark style. You’ll love it! Now, go watch it.