It had to happen. The men with butterfly nets. . . . . coming after Beetlejuice.
Maybe someone called “to report him”.
For the crime of being “strange and unusual” if not jittery-jabbing manic like tangled, unwashed hair and maybe a crack-pipe. Like a fish out of water, Beetlejuice comes from a eerily familiar but dated land back there in “The Netherworld”, circa 1988. He speaks strangely—he smells funny. He rambles on, so.
Most of Tim Burton’s characters are bizarre oddballs wandering around the periphery of bland, ordinary society like morbid, mythic spaces and tumbled-down houses like harried, restless energies.
Is he a danger to himself or others? That’s up for a psychologist to determine. . . . .
See him strapped to the gurney, loaded into the ambulance as the flat-screen monitor by the steering wheel captures it all, camcorder-style. He’s “just a number”—“like anyone else”. . . . . taken to “the holding tank” for observation.
So it’s the discount asylum-wing through the local hospital chain, where he’s forced to strip and change into scrubs. Patients sent around with glazed, slack-jawed expressions and knock back coffee by the nurse’s station as he attempts to bargain his way out.
He wants to talk to a lawyer—they give him a psychiatrist. And how their paid to be clinical and dispassionate. The orderlies are called and carry him out between them, trailing his feet behind him on the carpet. His brain scan turns out “empty” with abnormally low gray matter.
Fast-talking, yet stupid.
“A fool, we have hear gentleman. But the question remains: what kind of fool?”
He’s upgraded to a secret military experiment where they intend to hook electrodes up to his brain and dissect him, afterwards. He’d better get out of this one. . . . .
As they’re sharpening the scalpel, he rises from the bed in an aura of rotten, sickly green light like the kid rising from the bed in “The Exorcist”. He farts brimstone—a plume of flame as the doctors cover their faces “in horror”. Little gremlins fly in and loosen his bonds—and next thing you know he’s loaded himself into a wheelchair and is scooting down the hallway at a rapid clip, past gurneys and military doctors as he’s chased by soldiers.
Incidentally, followed by his IV. Stand which gets caught between the swinging double-doors.
Beetlejuice tugs and tugs, and the IV pops loose as he’s running down the ward with his arms stretched in front of him and jams himself into a janitorial-closet.
Frenzied knocking and yelling.
But he takes out a piece of chalk and draws a door—remarkably, “becoming real” as it swings open with the crumbling rumble of deep-rot and he escapes (for now).
Back in the netherworld. . . . . “out of soul-credits” He’ll have to bargain at the window-desk of fate—butting his way to the head of the line, “without taking a number”– and put-up his existence “in purgatory” for collateral—a fate worse than death.
One last chance. . . . . will he team-up with Lydia again and save planet earth? Or will he fool her into taking his place in the lost, moaning eternities of agony? As if there was never a trick up his filthy sleeve. I’ve never known him to be “extremely-selfish”. . . . .
Lydia remains skeptical, at best. She won’t sell her soul, “even for rock n’ roll”. Or her hand in marriage back in the original film. But will she do so to save her friends as St. Louis rumbles at the border-dimension of total ghost-world destruction?
Maybe this idea for a sequel “isn’t so crazy of an idea, after-all”.
Keep watching, kids.
Bill & Ted have a pretty good idea of what limbo would look like, spirits “flying, floating, or falling” through all the sheer voids. Could hell be a physical concept? Even so, THE NETHERWORLD is like an optical illusion of perspectives and screwball angles as logical as they are “damned just”. Just key into the imagery from “Dante’s Inferno” as it all strangely makes sense.
Beetlejuice is a creature of hell, yet an escapee “from the infinite-grind” as taking advantage “of the recently deceased” means he keeps one step ahead of taxes as he out-races “the scales of justice”. Inner circles “down the long fall, down” beget stranger properties still, like a kind of insect-mind like the subconscious where nightmares fly out of.
Strange creatures, glowing-furies, and UFO’s dart in and out of a strange realm and overlap into the world we call “commonsense”. Altered states from say, “a Ouija board” summon manifest energies as you talk about mental aberration and the psychedelic experience–dream-worlds of forbidden, altered perception.
Basically, what Beetlejuice feels after a long night of drinking and haunting and carousing, throwing-up in the toilet or otherwise “riding the porcelain bus”. Or smoking joints dipped in embalming-fluid (– for “medicinal purposes”) and otherwise sidling up to you with a chunky, poor-old-me “hard-luck story”. Can you help raise him from the dead, “jump-start him” out of the very pit of hell?
You just got to his name “three times”. . . . . “Beetlejuice SEQUEL”, “Beetlejuice SEQUEL”, “Beetlejuice SEQUEL”, to get the juices flowing and gift him the ability to entertain like the neighbor you would never invite inside your house.
So lift him out of “development hell” and let’s make this sequel happen. Thanks for following my posts, and we leave you with some eerie conceptions of hell and some of the creatures you’d meet off in limbo. The imagination is our only limit as this can happen with computers.
Back to “the drawing board” and we’ll see you back soon. Happy Samhain!!
A miscellaneous-post, today– no more “off-topic” or tangential than usual, but I wanted to relate to you something I heard on the radio over the weekend.
I don’t know if you ever heard of it, but one of their weekend shows: “Radio-Lab” was on. Think of it as intelligent storytelling usually a spooky “theater of the mind” as they mix-it-up with topical radio mysteries with narration, sound effects, and eerie ambient pauses as they delve deeper into “strange & unusual” territories with scientific and philosophical angles.
For me, it was just one of those lazy Saturday’s up in the grungy kitchen, grilling a toasted-cheese sandwich over a hot stove. Maybe you would think of a touch of Beetlejuice, himself padding-around his digs with wild, tangled hair– holding a tasting spoon above a boiled pot of bugs as it simmered to perfection. No, just mortal-fare but the mood was sleek and black, the sun covered with clouds unto humidity and a touch of thunderstorms.
I was listening on the ancient portable radio, hinged like a paint-spattered tool-box of vintage make & model as NPR crackled through the speaker as usual. You could hear the ghostly sounds of a haunted subway-car, as the show kept-up its edgy, urban motif. . . . . and how the audio stretched-out like strange, uncanny physics– leaving you in a lurch of expectation, staring-out into the misty-fog of what was to follow.
Death & Dying. . . . . . the thematic undercurrent– as the broadcast combined two older shows and spliced them together, to fill the hour. They can be found here:
The reception was spackled with static, as if a small voice was coming from a great distance and verged on the nail-biting precipice of terror. All sorts of themes, or little vignettes exploring “the end” and its scientific, moral, medical, and artistic implications.
How life or info-knowledge may be a set of algorithms or sort of inflected rules and thermal/electrical capacities that dictate behavior– and how a tape-recording of somebody, really– a chain of character and knowledge– carries-on, if living inside the listener’s head as language is a virus, memory a re-creation chamber, and ghosts living-on as ideas– like tape-loops. Maybe we’re not really “gone” so long as people keep thinking of us.
For what is the weight of the soul– or impression we leave? Remains live-on in the form of fossils and archeology, left on as evidence for the living to figure-out. Forensic and medical science as the vital energies are a strange thing, and how the mystery dogs-us for all of our days– and whether we graduate up unto higher-levels of existence, go into “the tunnel of light”, or like that Far Side cartoon– a trick played on us by anesthesiologists with flashlights.
Either the brainless or heartless state that defines “the end of life”, kept-alive by machines as yes– this blog continues through dips of readership. We’re not on life-support yet and this blog will keep going with all things, “Beetlejuice” and musings, therein. Keep the faith, and on we go– another day closer to all that may be.