Panther Man


A renegade from the world of Beetlejuice, you could only know him as “The Panther Man”.

Up from the swamps of the southern outback like gutter-fried insanity, he mutters on. Not quite a military combat veteran, but “a wannabee” as it’s Tarzan USA pitted-up against a safari of feral jungle cats. . . . . all but in a loin-cloth, cammo-jacket, and spiked razor-back hair like some kind of wild hog, on two legs.

There have been pictures of “ground zero” down at an outdoors “Poison” concert, a mud-hole of stump-frump, dazed-eyed slope-heads looking like they crawled out of a Babylon latrine with bloody animal-bones and pin-prick eyes, your relative of the Florida boardwalk barnacle in an Hawaiian shirt and a pager, making drug deals.

But this is the St. Louis zoo, up north. “Big Cat Country”, in fact or the area closer to the sunset and golden roar of the highway as true as when the concrete was poured for this outdoor exhibit back in 1977. You have the roarin’ tiger, a circus poster of a ferocious maned lion like leopard-skin seat-covers and zebra Memphis-Mafia hats like pimps.

This, as the families walk by pushing strollers. Their mindset is more a relic of the stuffed-animal you would find in the gift-shop.

Out here, though– it’s about testing yourself “against that primal scream, out there” as a muscular-shouldered snow leopard trains past with its muzzle snorting through its whiskers by the wire-mesh cage, when it’s not lurking beneath a piss-soaked tree trunk like captured malevolence.

Part “Deliverance”. . . . . maybe “Prince of Tides”. . . . . THE PANTHER MAN slurs through an inner-monologue like Jerry Lee Lewis high on Hadycol and mountains of coke atop a piano, or maybe just the chipper, low-slung brightness of a mechanic in a Jiffy Lube cap and coveralls. The subject always turns to the killing-power of firearms, or bodybuilding, or fast cars down at the Tri-City Speedway.

Crack-brained incoherence, like “white-line fever” after an amphetamine binge. He grips a pocket knife in his teeth and hooks his fingers into the cage as he climbs up like “G.I. Joe” with the stealth of a panther.

It’s to prove his manhood, after-all. Like youthful exuberance and “BLACK CAT FIRECRACKERS” with a head muddy with alcohol and mischief.

He lives to tell the tale! Don’t mix vodka, orange juice, and a whole spleen full of “panther piss”. You could have your face end up on “COPS”.

Panther Man

Ole’ Swamp-Juice

Like a character out of Mark Twain’s own native Missouri– Beetlejuice lurks back in the Ozark swamps and lives a life of tattered refuge in a real house of sticks. Hey, it was all he could find– and he doesn’t owe property taxes or pay utilities on this veritable wart of muddy, abandoned shelter.

Things are dim and low-lit out here, and there he is yakking on a cell-phone doing what crazy people do– invest in futures.

Maybe it’s more “the lifestyle” of living like a business-man, but there he is, “wheelin’ and dealin'” with mirror shades and a big ole’ Stetson hat as he’s unaware of what he’s getting into.

Sold on the idea by a slick cowboy in a steak-house (– maybe played by Brett Michaels, the singer from poison) he lives like a real rhinestone cowboy– until those corn futures he invested-in end up getting dumped in his front yard.

Indeed, “it’s commodities”– but he didn’t read the fine print well enough. Now, time to raise swamp-hogs as wild boars chew on the corn and otherwise knock Mr. Beetlejuice into the mud as he’s losing dollars on the cents, cents on the dollars– but certainly not making any money because he doesn’t use commonsense.

Oh, well– better raise “pork-rinds” as the world of finance is a jungle and just because you smell like ape-sht doesn’t mean “you’re Tarzan”.

It’s always about “chiseling cars”, or finding ways to turn around complete junk and sell-it for a profit as you’re deep into south St. Louis county where the trash blows among the yellowed reeds and asphalt of desolation. It’s a zoo, full of grizzled, drunk painters and other riff-raff as the one thing is certain, and that’s how ice water is free down at the local Chinese buffet, maybe where they seal the deal as the impression is dingy and cut-rate.

Beetlejuice “isn’t glamorous”– he just thinks he is, and what “passes” as high class may be the difference between unleaded and then again– super-unleaded gasoline at the local fueling station where it’s all beef-jerky and high caffeine “rocket soda”, if not black coffee to make your stomach sour “as it’s a tough life”. Some are at home in it, and others merely observe– as there’s plenty of rich atmosphere to explore.

Does this sound like a concept for a movie that’s coming together, or what? Will shoot over some more ideas, later and once again– I appreciate your viewership. We’re going to make a real funny movie and you can just call this a bit of grassroots support on my neverending march to take over the world.

By the way, Happy 57th Birthday to Tim Burton who I hope is poring through these pages, glittering dollar signs in his eyes as it’s a rich vein of thought, coming here out of Missouri.

The madness continues, tomorrow and we’ll be back shortly.

Until then, say it once– say it twice– balls covered with lice– for BEETLEJUICE BEETLEJUICE BEETLEJUICE! Oh, here I come baby. A fly with an eye, so don’t die eatin’ no humble-pie. It’s a hot property!

Ole’ Swamp-Juice

Rock n’ Slurpee Attitude

Hey, anyone a fan of Poison?

This is their 1990 MTV Unplugged concert and the biker, bandanna, and trucker-tropes seems like a party, one jacuzzi over from the ole’ Beetlejuice ranch. Just imagine cycles painted with orange, neon flames and some sort of jumbo cherry Slushee drink from 7-Eleven as it’s a heavy metal parking lot and tons of fun. Gleefully trashy and shamelessly popular– like if you ever bought a Big Gulp cup with Bart Simpson on it.

That takes me back, when television’s were big and boxy and the whole world seemed to be just the promotion on a side of a commemrotive fast food glasses and cups, there in the public arena of pumping quarters into video games and otherwise chewing bubble gum.

Lydia Deetz struck me more as a punk-rock goth, but if you diluted the form strictest to character– you would also see her at a Poison concert because a good song is always a good song. Goofy rock memorialla and bubblegum pop, but Poison and other hair-metal bands keep going so you’ll be rockin’ like it’s 1988. It was an interesting time when hard-workin’, hard-playin’ working class culture got by on bandannas and scarves wrapped around microphone-stands, one big happy jumble that brought a lot of people together.

Beetlejuice himself I figure would like a bit of country music or hair metal or whatever was convenient “when he was trying to make a sale” and seem like “a happy somebody” tapping you on the shoulder by dint of slick circumstance, always looking for an angle.

I’m sure he’s always “about 20 years behind the times” and would still be dealing in junky old cassette tapes in the heaps and mountains of refuse and bad leisure-shoes. But hey, even the bottom stratta begins to get more technically sophisticated– as I’m sure he’s graduated to a cell-phone.

Just see him playing guitar, plunking-away on an old, beat-up amplifier like peeled-back fabric taped-over with cereal boxes and shrieking feedback as the dog puts its paws over its ears. You’ll see all sorts of mayehm out in an apartment complex, shirtless ruffians skipping around a string of firecrackers and drinking beer. The possibilities are limitless as we’ll see Beetlejuice in that complex, some time— off there in his off-hours.

We’ll explore that in another post– as my movie will have lots of Beetlejuice and the return of Lydia, in her full pop-punk glory as Winona Ryder is youthful and ageless. Is it a stretch to figure that we all would still be doing what we’re doing?

Lydia would never sell-out or settle-down as she was always one of my heroes and ideal personal confidants. Everyone goes into 7-Eleven and I’d see her buying Twizzlers and langouring around the coffee nozzles like one bright goth-chick. Beetlejuice would run the cash machine or otherwise “kill empty time”.

It’s all out there on old UHF frequencies, somewhere as I bring my world to yours. We’ll be back soon– for more stories and fan-speculation on the ole’ Beetlejuice franchise. Coming to a sequel-grinder, near you. Thanks.

Rock n’ Slurpee Attitude