Beetle Juice (1988)
I’m sure many have seen this film at some point, and it even spawned a limited run cartoon series on television. But, for a Tim Burton movie it was certainly one of his better ones. This would be considered a comedic fantasy type movie with a darkened theme. I don’t think everyone would enjoy this movie, because it is an oddball type of story, but it will certainly entertain you if you appreciate movies like this. I recently caught this playing on television the other day, but I’ve seen it before years ago.
It stars a very young Winona Ryder playing the role of Lydia Deetz who is a depressed self-involved teenager. She moves to a New England home which is located in a remote location after living in the city with her parents.
Tim Burton later would work with Winona Ryder again in the movie Edward Scissorhands (1990) also starring Johnny Depp. (Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have worked together in many other films) Lydia’s parents are played by Catherine O’Hara as Delia Deetz and Jeffrey Jones as Charles Deetz who are both off the wall characters themselves in this tale.
But, let me not get ahead of the story, it starts with Alec Baldwin as Adam Maitland and Geena Davis as Barbara Maitland who are a couple living in this same home in a remote area outside of town. They have the misfortune of experiencing an unusual accident, which puts them in the afterlife, they return to haunt the home and try and scare the Deetz family away. This setup leads to some comedic afterlife perspectives which will leave you thinking about life and death after watching this.
They are desperate and seek the advice of a very dangerous fellow named Beetle Juice, if you dare to speak his name three times, then he appears and seemingly has the ability to conjure things at will and create chaos among the living. He is a playfully bad spirit portrayed by the talented Michael Keaton whom I’m sure you have seen in something. For example he starred as Batman (1989) which was also directed by Tim Burton. Jack Nicholson also appeared in that film as well as the Joker.
The rest of the main Beetle Juice cast includes: Annie McEnroe as Jane Butterfield, Hugo Stanger is Old Bill, Maurice Page is Ernie, Rachel Mittelman plays Little Jane Butterfield, Glenn Shadix is Otho and Patrice Martinez is the Receptionist. Susan Kellermann is Grace, Sylvia Sidney is Juno, Robert Goulet is Maxie Dean, Dick Cavett is Bernard, Adelle Lutz is Beryl, Maree Cheatham is Sarah Dean and Tony Cox is the Preacher with Charles Schneider playing The Hanging Man who was uncredited.
This movie also won an Oscar for best makeup, you will see why from all the ghoulish creatures running around in some of the scenes. I will recommend Beetle Juice (1988) to those who enjoy celebrating Halloween and things of the like. It’s worth a watch.