I was in an inexplicably miserable mood over the bank holiday weekend, though lack of sleep and a sore throat (that’s still lingering a week later) probably contributing their fair share. I just couldn’t get motivated to do a damn thing as far as my creative life went, so mostly I was in Halo 3 mode (a guilty pleasure of mine at the moment!). Anyway, that all changed when I watched for the umpteenth time my favourite film EVER, and that film, as you’ve probably guessed by now, is Beetlejuice, Tim Burton’s weird and wonderful 1988 release starring Michael Keaon, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and, for me, the star of the show, Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz.
In truth, it’s kind of bittersweet to watch the film again after not having seen it for a few years. Sweet because I love it so much and have done so ever since I first watched it on it’s release back in 1988 at the old ABC cinema here in Birkenhead (now sadly gone). Bitter, because it reminds me of those days that were, for me, a time of awakening when everything seemed alive and filled with magic but now are gone. Sad, I know, but true.
I’ll confess to not being bothered that much about watching it when my friend, Dave, suggested it back in the late 80’s. The name didn’t inspire me and I just expected a ho-hum comedy that one day in the future I’d vaguely remember having gone to watch to fill in an otherwise empty Saturday night. Of course, I loved it and (another confession) I went on my own a second time to watch it in Liverpool when I was over there picking up my usual reading diet of Spider-Man and The Sandman comics. It was more on a whim that I decided to go and I struggled with the teenage blow to my pride of going to the cinema on my own for the first time in my 18 years, but the memory of the morose, Gothic character of Lydia and her stark loveliness were too much of a draw. Yes, I had a crush on her, but so did so many others (judging from all the YouTube comments I’ve read). Come to think of it, that 18 year old part of me would still marry Lydia at the drop of a hat! Red wedding dress, please 🙂
Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz
The upshot of all this is that I’m feeling all motivated again, quite simply because watching Beetlejuice again reminded me of being young and inspired like I was in 1988. There’s no little sunshine in those memories and that can only be good, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel an ache for those carefree days.
Anyway, here’s my fave part of the movie (no prizes for guessing why).
There’s also news that there may be a Beetlejuice 2! Tim Burton said he’d do it if he found it interesting. Michale Keaton is up for it and it’d be great to get the original cast back, though two of them would definitely not be appearing; Glenn Shadix (Otho) and Jeffery Jones (Charles Deetz). The former is dead and the latter is on probation after he was arrested for failing to update his sex offender registration. Both sad to hear. Whether a new movie would work even if they were in it, I’m not sure. The original film just reflects a certain time and place in my life and that’s part of the meaning of it for me and everything about the film seemed to fall into place. But if Burton directed and at least Keaton and Ryder were on board, I’m sure it’d be well worth seeing. Watch this space!
Well, I also dug out my Danny Elfman scored Beetlejuice soundtrack the other day and I can’t get Harry Belafonte’s Jump in the Line (Shake Senora) out of my head. Great fun! 🙂
I’m outta here,
PS. Why oh why is there no proper ‘special edition’ of this film!? Y’know, with commentary and extra’s? It’s the only film that I’d really bother about as far as such things go, but such a thing doesn’t exist (the American 20th anniversary release is poor). I might start a Facebook campaign!