Cartoon vs. LIVE ACTION

The film “Beetlejuice” lives unto a world itself……. nothing else looks like it.

And within the limitations of technology, you can do SOME THINGS but can’t go completely hog-wild.

I guess you can draft anything with animation– even further with super CGI effects, but sometimes “less is more” and you make up for it “with character”.

And stop-motion effects……. there is something “oddly more believable” with the herky-jerky movements while all-too-smooth computer animation just makes people “unsettled”.

Somewhere “between here & there” we seek to give the audience an explosively-entertaining movie WITHOUT “COMPLETELY LOSING IT”.

Remember, Beetlejuice is the kind of fiend “up to no good” behind the factory or gas station like a hangdog stink of bargain-basement derangement.

Pay him “his due”…… and don’t forget to call his name: “BEETLEJUICE” (X’s 3).

He’s “closer than you think”……

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Cartoon vs. LIVE ACTION

“Doink” The Gimmick

Who does this remind you of—so sly, slick, and subtle?

(Same tailor…. no lawSUITS)

The creators behind “Wrestlemania” (– now known as the WWE network) certainly knew “how to edge up” toward the suggestion of things while never quite “crossing the line”.

Back then in 1993…… this was about “the tail-end of the family-friendly” era, when wrestlers were larger-than-life super-heroes and kids waved little flags in the audience.

As it is, the realm “show-men”….. a sports entertainment circus that knows its ticket-holder “from front row” to the very back of the stamping, cheering rafters.

Very Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey– “playing it broad” for a stadium arena and all the fans watching at home. It marked the incarnation of flashy, colorful performers when “we’re the good guys” was practically a national religious fable, when you “just said NO to drugs” and believed simple, chipper truisms as say, an elementary school student citing The Pledge of Allegiance.

But as eras go…… even THE ROMAN EMPIRE had its time of rise, decline, and fall.

By then it was getting “pretty sugared-over and decadent” with rancid soft-rot as you wondered if America really needed A COLD WAR “to stay sharp & vigilant, if we’d otherwise noodle-off with a lower threshold of cheap, tawdry gratification.

Be this “hell on earth” and the throes of President Clinton’s first term….. “more K-Mart” than ever with sales of Huggies diapers and Wal-Mart bulk shopping unto toothless, juice-sipping domesticity and compromise.

Well, here was an evil, twisted clown-villain straight from the aisles of the video-store, like a straight-to-video production as kids waved cotton-candy and meek, depraved rural pedophiles & meth-heads were carted off to prison, to a fate “no one wants to think about”.

I guess it was that line between merely existing, “do no harm”—and outright criminality. How the pursuit of novelty and excitement “inevitably led to trouble”.

“The nightmare was inside”…… and what was professional wrestling, but a fun-house mirror of the seeping zeitgeist?

Power, symbolism, SUGGESTION—masters of mass crowd psychology. Like an astrological chart of light & shade, counterbalanced by a pantheon of heels & baby-faces and colorful streamers with pounding ringside entrances.

Sometimes “good” won. Sometimes not.

It was all very calculated.

The script-doctors knew “the deeper cuts” of the American melody, more out of necessity—the difference between poverty and the mother of invention with a traveling tent. A long-term strategy was in mind…..

Even if, by then—the company was increasingly “out-of-step” in the age of youthful cynicism and grunge-rock music, as a skeptical and withering look would cast questions in the popular mind of “credibility”. Be you poor, cheesy, and rural—YOU HAD “THE STINK OF DEATH” and the crowd felt, incisively it’s mixed-loyalties and need for self-conscious preservation.

THE CARNIVAL BARKER had to step back, and weigh the breeze It was good “to know a little bit about everything”.

Soon, the WWF would seek retrenchment, a rebranding—as you had the producers minding the console like the dead-eyed figure by the podium exits on the old Jerry Springer show, minding his notes like a sleepy gate-keeper, “on schedule”.

What “a cold, cruel world” and to accept the broad, uncensored facts of a crude, brutal business.

For the crowd was waiting back there……

Oftentimes wrestlers wouldn’t come out until somebody scoured the local parking-lot for a rock-of-meth to feel the uplift to strut-and-thrash-around under the arena roof.

Glycates, steroids, “the meat-shits”…… as long as it didn’t directly “poison you”, but probably mean a world of curb-side trouble. Sins of commission, sins of omission—you were part of the sludge, too.

“Doink” The Gimmick

Bachelor Flop-House

Well, I guess “that marriage arrangement” didn’t work out.

Here today, “gone to hell”.

Even as Beetlejuice sits morosely on a lawn chair in an apartment complex, moping like a little boy. All you needed was a pink flamingo in the yard—halfway between Las Vegas & Florida, maybe just here in Missouri for wild, spun-out times.

In a state of twilight “hangover”, his SUPER POWERS aren’t too super at the moment. Maybe just need some whiskey and a snort of cocaine to clear his rotten cobwebbed head, halfway dead “and right next door to hell”.

Just like “a piece of meat that keeps on living” as he ought to lay down on the mattress flung in the corner. Or maybe just watch some low-rent daytime t.v. with the ambulance-chaser ads and “for profit” rip-off colleges as “the big score” was a bust, this time.

As if looking up in the air and apprising “a better reality”, perhaps MORE VIGOROUS than cheap “family feed-barn” all-you-can-eat pizza buffets and the prizes you win out of gum-ball machines.

Life is like an empty beer bottle……. “you always know what you’re gonna git”.

For it’s THE GRIND of “living death” as society sets you loose with E-Z credit financing and no safeguards on huge Visa/Mastercard bills. Narrowed options on the marginal side of Jerry Springer existence, unresourceful and sensationally-vacant.

Slithering further and further down the cultural drainpipe….. as the inviting ground gives off the stink of rotten mortality like a yawning pit.

Beetlejuice scratches his crotch, then “gets up to piss”.

Chicks equal trouble….. misadventure leads to “the same damned place”. You can’t “take it with you”, even if you earned it. And storms rumble on the wing, a whirlwind of manic crescendo as the parking lot now starts getting pelted with hail.

Good day “to stay in” and whack-off. Happy Birthday, cretin.

That success will kill ‘ya!

Bachelor Flop-House

A stranger lied on the barroom floor
And drank so much he could drink no more
And so he fell asleep with a troubled brain
To dream that he rode on a hell bound train

The engine was bloody, it was sweaty and damp
And brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp
An imp the fuel was shoveling bones
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans

The boiler was filled with lager beer
The devil himself was the engineer
The passengers were most a motley crew
Some aboard that others he knew

Rich men in broad cloth, beggars in rags
Handsome young ladies and wicked old hags
As the train rushed on at a terrible pace
Sulfur and fumes washed their hands and face

Wider and wider the country grew
Faster and faster the engine flew
Louder and louder the thunder crashed
Brighter and brighter the lightning flashed

Hotter and hotter the air became
Till the coals were burning with its quivering flame
Then out of the distance there came a yell
“Ah ha!” said the devil, “we’re nearing hell”

Oh, how the passengers jiggled with pain
Begged old Satan to stop that train
The stranger awoke with an anguished cry
His coat wet with sweat and his hair standing high

He fell to his knees on the barroom floor
And prayed and prayed like never before
And the prayers and vows were not in vain
For he never rode that hell bound train
Aha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha


Some lyrics to ponder on…… as St. Louis broils like an angry-red lobster of awful summer weather that would impress the train-yard of Satan’s jest. After-all, we boast of the old “Union Station” which was once a railway-hub, now refashioned into a downtown mall and hopeful tourist-trap. Need “a designated driver”? Hopefully LYFT or UBER won’t put the engineer out of business…… and you’d reckon that would be BEETLEJUICE, HIMSELF in an old filthy coat and “tour-guide” hat pulling the whistle-chain.

“ALL-ABOARRRRRRD!!!”

The mad, steaming cars, haunted train sounds– snorting like a demon-steed AND FREIGHT-TRAIN TO HELL. Damnation angels and a downward journey you won’t return from, that’s for sure. Don’t look now, but the model-railway club is hijacked and miniaturized figures vaporize through portholes, AND THIS SURE AIN’T “MR. ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD”.

The verisimilitudes are horrifying and you’re better jumping off the back caboose, screaming. Better this, than “HOT-WHEELS”, eh? What a strange, downward angle…… far better to shoot for the stars “than boiling dirt, below”.

Gastric juices, a besotten morsel…… Don’t be turned into “sandworm shit”.

I’d rather take a number and sit in a social security office BUT DON’T QUOTE ME ON THAT.

You could die laughing…….

Nether-Hours in PARTY-WORLD

Not all of the after-life can be drudgery, can it? Midnight at the ball and Beetlejuice would inevitably pose “as a valet”, driving off with people’s cars in a chauffer’s hat. The vehicles would be turned into twisted Tim Burton sculptures at the graveyard junk lot, incidental to the Bio-Exoricist sign down at the office. Crazy carousels and pitch-black skies, “just a night down at the bug-zapper” or just a fool’s paradise in unincorporated purgatory…… sleazy and corrupt like rotten nutball commercial time, graveyard hours only. I wouldn’t count on it, but “paid sandworm rides” aren’t a good idea in the “snake farm” business to recent arrivals. Don’t walk through strange doors and never lose the handbook…… you could die, laughing.

 

Nether-Hours in PARTY-WORLD

“Otho” of THE ARTS

  

Glenn Shadix plays “Otho”, the masterful interior decorator with a jowly air of presumption and tremendous self-control. “Just so”, with hints of Alfred Hitchcock and lugubrious, droll wit.

I see a lot of Charles Addams in this guy—as the culture required boundaries and class distinctions to make such a world to exist, kind of a “mirror image” of the uncanny, propitious, classy, and weird.

The actor who played Otho “has passed on”, but that isn’t to say WE COULDN’T FIND AN IMPERSONATOR to make a cameo, perhaps in a low-rent “infomercial sequence” that shows you, even in The Netherworld, that “the more things change the more they stay the same”.

Ambulance chasers, “medical malpractice” shenanigans—the low-rent man is impressed by the trappings of class, if even the yuppie Dietz’s “lulled by appearances”.

Do the funky art school robot, German expressionism and severe artifice to dazzle, beguile, and confound. “A paranoid Android?”, Lydia would relate to this……

“Otho” of THE ARTS

Virtual Netherworld, “LEVEL-EDITS”

Hats off to the creators of this extraordinary creation in the old “Minecraft” game-engine.

I wrote this in their YouTube comments section:

You two creatives totally KICK-ASS!!! Love the sort of “dubstep” remix of the main Beetlejuice theme. With extra programming chops, I could see “a game”, inside THE GAME (– Minecraft)…… like the bonus levels in the old StarFox for SNES with looming, galactic slot-machines and a netherworld flag-rally, outpacing the sandworms.

Here’s an idea…….

However, this is way beyond the scope of “Beetlejuice, himself”……. probably still back on “PONG”, Asteroids, and FoozeBall in like, “the 4-bit swamp” of primordial gaming. If there’s money in it, why not a game on the smart-phone?

Here’s Beetlejuice trying to outpace the desperation of modern existence– you can say he’s being chased by “REMCO, the-goheadandgitit” repossession office for delinquent payments on his junky furniture. More, “my speed”……

http://loderunnerwebgame.com/LodeRunner/

 

“Smokey & The Bandit” lives here….. “Convoy ’77”

 

Virtual Netherworld, “LEVEL-EDITS”