May we hold our hats to our chest in solemn remembrance of two great figures from the ookey-spookey world of black-and-white cult horror.
If you remember, Lydia dropped a “Night of the Living Dead” reference in Beetlejuice when confronting the rather hapless, innocent spooksters in sheets with cut-out eye-holes and worse acting.
Not to say, that you couldn’t “achieve an effect” as the original 1968 classic ran on about similar production values.
And not forgetting Ed Wood who cobbled together his movies with manic haste and far littler talent to win “The Golden Turkey” award. Somehow, he enlisted the fading, raspy talent of a resurrected Bela Lugosi who probably should have remained “unexhumed” from a deep drug habit.
Played in the actual movie, “Ed Wood” by Martin Landau—who passed away.
And not forgetting George Romero who came up with the original “Night of the Living Dead”.
Midnight showings of transgressive celluloid, you might even call “Beetlejuice” another entry in the projection-room of cult hits and buttered popcorn mayhem.
No one ever went broke “underestimating the bad taste of the American public” though Martin Landau won an Academy Award.
You can’t “spin shit into gold”, or can you? You’re looking at this very website! And it’s for you, my undead mindless legions zoning in to this forsaken corner of the WordPress blogosphere.
Like that movie, “Die Hard”. The sequel should have been “Die Harder”. The third entry should have been “Die Hard with a Vengeance”. The fourth installment, “It won’t Die!”
Where there’s a sequel, there’s an after-life.
Beetlejuice won’t remain buried, I’m sure.
Beetlejuice– THE DIRECT ANCESTOR (1986)
Ah, something from my pre-school youth as true to the Halloween of ’86/’87 as can be blackly, subconsciously gleaned from proton-consciousness. Call it an era of “He-Man” and Gobots as everything trailed a long like a kind of half-logical “non sequitur” for an early mind that lived in dread of midnight nightmares.
You had the sensation “of being carried, along” as I remember being invited to a backyard Halloween party from one of the kids at school as there was a long “trash-bag tunnel” hanging up by trees, out by a strobe-light. Skipping around in my “Skeletor” costume, as I was too scared to make much headway there, over the course of the evening though I sidled-up, close– half-daring to. What was in that black maw? Anything, I suppose– and how things seemed to turn real if you imagined them, enough as you groped through surreality.
Maybe I’d retreat inside deeper to find a table hung with spider-webs as Beetlejuice lit a match and took a long drag off a foul, ookey cigaratte. And then offering to buy your soul like something out of a twisted fairy-tale as he tapped the ashes on the table. Flanked by an army of trolls and tangled “tree-monsters” making moans in the chill air.
The sale was so potentially awful and shiveringly “FINAL”, off you’d bolt from the goblin-hole as monstrous laughter followed you like something out of a creepy fairy-tale– like all of hell was pursing you through the inky, scrabbling blackness.
The world was certainly filled with lots of cheap horror movies and swords n’ sorcery you’d see in video-stores, which leads us to “Ghoulies 2”.
Ah, they don’t make ’em like they used to.
You suspect that a young Winona was almost cast in this, like cute girl/big-eyed home video bait for all the kids watching at home, over an ordered pizza and sleep-over “fright-fest” at a friends’ house. The effects “were what they were” at the time as it amounted to rubber puppeteering and fog machines, and few goodies in the way of computers. The same, with “Critters” or anything falling in the copy-cat footsteps of “Gremlins”.
So Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. dressed like a Dungeon/Star trickster stars in a video/metal single that promotes the movie, similar to Dokken in “Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors”. Pure cross-promotional gold as it seemed– back in the early days of MTV. It doesn’t take long to put two & two together in emerging media forms as that was considered the golden touch of marketing.
I think a few beasties like this might make their way into “Beetlejuice 2”. No promises. So stay tuned for our next installment and happy “All Hallow’s Eve” to you listeners. So say it once, twice for effect, third time for “good luck”– “BEETLEJUICE 2 RULES!!”.
Scream until you like it. . . . .
So. . . . . how do you spend your Sabbath-night eve?
Demons and dark forces dance and whirl, summoned up to the top of Bald Mountain in this clip from Disney’s “Fantasia”. Absolutely surreal, it must have been terrifying at the time though you can see lots of subsequent influence on heavy metal with themes of European witchery and shadowed, lonely graveyards releasing forth the wrath of the dead.
It’s a cultural force to be reckoned, with as I could see some influence going into Beetlejuice 2, and remember– how the netherworld is a strange and unusual realm, populated by gods and monsters. So much twistedness exists beyond the veil of human perception as artists and madmen bring back visions to share through the very creative act of storytelling, itself.
Will Beetlejuice meet “the king of evil”? Or maybe he’s caught, hanging upside-down in a cage in the kitchen of a giant demon who fixes supper. He will meet demons and other figures from dreamworld’s on the outer edge of all-conceivable imagination, but must get back in time to have misadventures on earth.
Riding along the riplets of time/space distortion, he falls through portals and hidden doors between bio-living land and the kingdom of the dead. And if one’s thing you can say– IT’S A WILD RIDE!!
We bring you a cautionary tale. . . . . the worst movie ever made. But “brace yourselves”, you will certainly be entertained.
Following in the path of “Gremlins”, “Critters”, and “Ghoulies”– it was on the rack of low-rent schlock in your local video-mart’s horror section. No one will say you’d ever find much in the way of “Academy Award material” as it was the climate of raked blood and horror VHS culture that could have only existed back in the home video climate, with all the foam rubber masks and special fx puppetry for a perfect night at a squealing 13 year-old’s sleep-over party.
In a genre known for hack and slash jobs, this gem was especially bad– shot in 3 weeks by a harried Italian film-crew lost in the American West and hiring only the rankest amateurs they could attract with flyers. It was meant to be entitled “Goblins” but was billed as a sequel to “Troll” a couple of years before like a tacked-on after-thought and how the films had nothing to do with each other. But who would know the difference– or even care?
Could I do any better, if given a camera under a schlock budget? Not by a long-shot. Oh, never-never. But you never know– most wanna-be’s are barred by the prohibitive cost of film-stock, if not other filmmaking know-how that makes “even trying” a wall too high to climb. Even Ed Wood couldn’t do better, as faith does the rest– and eventually you’ve attracted an unintentional cult-following. . . . . as these movies are “never dull”.
Will “Beetlejuice 2” turn-out better? I certainly hope so.
Back again, soon as this our 150th post and going strong. . . . . our continued march to take over the world, standing on the shoulders of giants to bring you amateur-hour fandom. Gong the bell, sound the charge– we’re going all the way!