If you have never seen this fine piece of cinema, you aught to be ashamed of yourself! Seriously, Beetlejuice is my childhood incarnate and I have seen this movie so many times in my life that I could probably say all of the actors lines with them. Beetlejuice is the best thing Michael Keaton has ever made, and it’s the reason I don’t even mind it when people tell me that I look like Winona Ryder. The following is a list of my top ten favorite things I love about this movie, in no particular order.
1. Sandworms. Seriously, they look so cool. The whole of those scenes whenever Adam and Barbara leave their house and are suddenly standing in another dimension (Mars, presumably), are an ethereal perfection.
2. Otho. Glenn Shadix totally kills it as this character. Otho is an absolute tool that you love to hate.
3. The room of lost souls. Even as a kid, this scene in the movie struck me as utterly terrifying and deeply sad. When the janitor on the other side comes over and pulls down the shade to the lost souls room window, it’s like those exorcised ghosts are forgotten to the world yet again, and their faces are so tormented and desperate. For a comedy, this concept is touchingly dark.
4. Barbara and Adam’s scary faces. This is my dream costume. To try and scare the Deetzes out of their house, Barbara and Adam basically turn themselves into Spy vs. Spy caricatures. I just love the look of them.
5. The model city. This tiny little town allows for a lot of great gags and sets. Adam and Barbara even get shrunken down and have to dig up Beetlejuice from under layers of rubber grass and cardboard dirt. Of course, I have to mention that scene when Beetlejuice grabs the fly and pulls him under, and the fly screams “help me!” Classic.
6. The receptionist and the dead in the waiting room of the deceased. So many awesome characters are shown in this scene. Shrunken head explorer, burnt smoker, prostitute cut in half, suicidal beauty queen (who is GORGEOUS with her blue skin and pink hair), flattened clerk who slides through cracks in the walls, and of course Juno. I’d love to see comic books that told the stories of these characters.
8. The resurrection scene. Once again, this is a fairly spooky and equally sad scene, when Otho attempts to exorcise Barbara and Adam from the house, and we see them begin to deteriorate. I always thought that he was unknowingly sending them to be with the other lost souls, which is a horrifying notion because they’re such likable characters. But then, it gets funny again when Lydia stops the seance and Barbara tries to put Adam’s jaw back on.
10. Beetlejuice’s commercial. I have had this jingle stuck in my head for at least twenty-three years. Hilarious, and adds such a sense of atmosphere with that blue TV haze seeping under the locked door.
Seriously, if you have not seen this movie, treat yourself!