In ancient times. . . . . it was a world of demons. Haunted desert genies whirling across the Mediterranean scrub-land and seeking out darkness, disorder, and chaos with humankind.
And there you would find Beetlejuice making cameos all throughout recorded time. . . . . probably pushing-along a hot dog cart as the site of The Crucifixion itself. Try to keep kosher in old world Judea—though the reputed “Shit Demon of Golgotha” is probably only his brother-in-law in sowing evil and temptation. The evil lives within us all. . . . .
So Easter comes across the land—season of fertility rites and chocolate rabbits.
And there our foul scammer would find himself at home in the heart of the Missouri/Illinois outback where “it’s more cow-town” than civilization, itself. Not far removed from whip-cracking buggys and single, one-room clapboard churches with rural Protestant heaviness. This is the land of Cracker-Barrel restaurants and cinder-block buildings that sell fire-works, perhaps a traveling carnival whirling in the distance with old time circus organs. The “Oz” of Frank L. Baum and the lit Thomas Edison filament of the illuminated light-bulb meets the flea market—where you can buy a t-shirt of wolves howling over a mountainous blue-moon.
For it’s the hushful respect of “old time religion” with off-label homebrew Nintendo games—a yellowed old room with quilts and eggshell-blue paint, yellow sunlight shining through dusty drapes and mayonnaise & ham sandwiches.
His friends are the rural trailer-park Gypsy and seasonal carnival worker. Life is like the undone duct-tape of flighty promises and prayer—the last refuge of the scoundrel. Another day, another victim.
Even your old junk car sitting on blocks “isn’t safe”—as Beetlejuice will strip it down and sell it for spare parts. Like a contractor leaving work undone, or completely botching the job—he’s disappeared over the next hill.
He’ll meet his end at the hands of an angry mob, tarred & feathered.
His yellow nimbus of hair ruffles in the blowing wind, arms outstretched on the hills overlooking the sun-set. That is the deliverance of the Missouri condition and why we need to bring the movie here. It’s a character-study, that’s for sure. . . . .