On any tangent that visits the Beetlejuice discussion, nothing beats this ancient title on the old Nintendo Entertainment System– as the era bespeaks of pirate-flags and punk mohawks, lurid heavy metal t-shirts and primitive computer-games. It was a cultural cachet in its infancy, before music and lifestyles and modern entertainment media came to become the big center-stage draw. Otherwise, it was pretty “piece-meal” and haphazard as it could be– back in the analog era.
I remember comic-books with lots of skulls and “Grim Reaper’s” as the culture took-on a grisly tone. My own Dad remembers all the “swords & fantasy” and didn’t want his sons raised on “He-Man: Masters of the Universe” and the kind of grim fairy-tale like “The Neverending Story” where the theme was constant doom, pessimism, and death.
These days, the stuff looks so tame that we all laugh at it. Maybe, how petty or cheap-looking, or “so bad, it’s good” with the crude, direct representation unto fables of cruelty and ghost-stories. It certainly couldn’t be healthy, and both my parents were social workers. The culture certainly “got freaky” into the 1990’s and beyond, and my Dad would never give his “Mickey Mouse stamp-of-approval” to anything like Rob Zombie or Gwar– giant foam-rubber costumes and stoner dread-locked peasantry flailing around on drug themes and revenge fantasy– as kids are drawn to that like cockroaches to shit.
Is the culture “too lurid”? Does Beetlejuice have a home in modern-day America?
So long as they don’t have him tapping on an I-Pad as it would be interesting to carry-on the singular, non-standard “analog-ways” before everything was absolutely INTERCONNECTED. I think there will always be a place for beat-up old trucks and free, sticky classified posted-up on the bulletin boards going into grocery-stores unto jotted-down phone numbers and amusement-park grounds where a figure leans against the post like a low-down plotter and rural county miscreant hailing you with foul offer, greeting, and flim-flam’ery.
True to the franchise, we’re working on a lot of great ideas and here you get a few conceptual previews “of what might be”. More Beetlejuice fan-fiction is on the way, as stories take a while to gestate and come into full development. We’ll be back, soon and you keep up all of those visions of haunted hilarity as it’s so uniquely American.