It was billed as “the comedy of laughter—from the here-after”.
And it just screams “1988” like a time-dated stamp of the Reagan/Bush years.
Death-rock riot ggggrls and late-night UHF commercial programming as seen through the incurring gentrifying impulse as it looked like “home sweet home” would be wrecked by New Yorker’s taking over this small New England hamlet.
If you were writing straight-up fan fiction, you’d assign a place for everybody in the next adventure—probably reconvened under rather dubious and unlikely conditions.
Who did we really care about?
Odds are we were mostly watching Lydia and the vile-talking spookster and main star. Otherwise, you’d have to dredge up everybody—and how many of these actors and actresses have moved on—or even DIED.
This is not the slapped-together sequel “of 1991 lore” but something else entirely. Sure, a lot of time has passed—and we must honor “less, the particulars” than broad brush-strokes. Would the modern mass audience remember “intricacies of plot”—and I’m betting not—or might we please the crowd with a fast-moving prologue?
Tune into a television-montage as evidenced by Beetlejuice’s long, mischievous rap-sheet. The quarreling sets of talk-shows and news segments interspersed with freakish commercials—what a better way to bring the audience “up to speed”? Here, we give minor characters “their due”. And hell—if the original actors & actresses have died, bring in younger stand-in’s to take their place. That way, it would recap the major events of the last movie while setting down some of the eerie parameters of this live/undead universe. In-jokes and updates with sharp commentary about the last 30 years of our vast, media-saturated wasteland.
It isn’t a reboot—but a sequel taking an entirely different direction.
Lydia carries-on with the extended, acquired lifestyles of post-adolescence with punk rock and fashion while Beetlejuice, himself is still up to his old tricks. The joke is, how he keeps getting “killed-off” and is required to serve his sentence in purgatory. If madness “is doing the same thing and expecting the same results” that demon isn’t very smart. Sign over your soul for lousy reincarnation schemes and be his foreclosed “karma-slave” forever.
The ghost world has its own screwy but inevitable logic as the encounter in the last film has chained Lydia and Beetlejuice together as “soul-mates”, apparently and bound through the long, nebulous ties of astral-projection/connection between life & death.
Their paths will intersect as military misadventure through a top-secret experimental installation sets earth on a collision course “with dark matter” as events are set in motion—Beetlejuice zapped down to modern-day Red-State America and soldiers looking for him.
Meanwhile, he gets into trouble “making a living” with marginal, dead-end lifestyles as Lydia fights in the city to keep her local cable-access show on the air and keep the town from being bought-up by a corrupt real estate mogul and turned into a toxic waste-dump.
Many intrigues ensue with her gutter-punk squad of friends and an awkward young shut-in trying to be helpful—leading to a mixed-up suitcase of stolen jewelry from a drug-deal “gone bad” as Beetlejuice is now on the shit-list of a local biker gang.
The strands all come together as the world is on the event-horizon of final catastrophe unless Beetlejuice can beat the hangman and save the day.
There will be plenty of supporting characters—and my intention is that our original cast will be featured along with some old and new friends.
So break out the Calypso and don’t forget to his name three times. Turn on the juice and see what breaks lo0se from the depths of a fervid, unsavory young mind as work continues on the screenplay that one-up’s all sequels—“BEETLEJUICE 2”.