(Or maybe not)…..
we must make a movie pleasant to the sensibilities of the ticket-buying public.
Here’s an Article about How Harry Belafonte got involved with the original “Beetlejuice”.
Planet EARTH—like a ghost-ship sailing through space through the purple nebulae and corona of dragon’s breath through the home-world sun.
A haunted comet backlit by the pitiless twinkle of stars…… here, stirring a fetid muck-ball of despoiled waste and restless UNDEATH.
You’ll know it for the landfill of a planetary body as solar wind and phantom old television signals are picked-up through a static-sputtering television.
The cryptic stench—like the smell of rotting fruit and itchy flies amid so much foregone, doomed, damned detritus of human civilization. Compost, shredded newsprint—junk cars and grosser slag-heaps swarmed-over with roaches n’ beetles n’ lizards.
Nearby, a Styrofoam cooler and lawn chair as THE FIEND scratches at his crotch “like a real night down at the ole’ bug-zapper”. Six-pack, included—“a few cards short of a full deck”. Maybe you’d have “A JOKER” or just be “A Jack, off” as the King of Diamonds or maybe just THE ACE OF SPADES.
Dead time, funereal hours—tombstones for eyes like undead groans. For it’s “the trailer-park at the end of the universe” or maybe just the flip-side of late, great PLANET EARTH like a wormhole sock “turned inside-out” above the flaming inferno of purgatory’s structure.
Call it “THE NETHERWORLD”? Where death is the eternal agenda…….
You’ll have “just a ghost of chance”…… or about as much promise of passing through the gate of heaven as a roast fowl on the feasting table, a scatter of rib-cages and wishbones picked-cleaned by fiendish old-world gods dreamed out of H.P. Lovecraft’s “NECROCOMICON”.
A flutter through flapping pages of old “momma’s wish-books”, a black oozing creature of “not, if, absence” like a wave of indented garbage—an impression of menace. Not “THE HOLY SPIRIT” but the great “OOOK” of hungry inspiration.
It wraps its fist around Beetlejuice’s striped pants-leg and tugs “like a dog scratching to get out”.
More adventures to come, just a night in the life of our favorite putrid pus-bag of antic BEETLEJUICE—take a sip of the foaming green bile and hang on for one wild ride…….
Here’s a clip from “THE BONE-STRIPPER” from another movie, “never far away”…… be in judgement and awe, and don’t piss-off THE JUDGE!!!
Lydia, Updated for Present Day
1988—it was a long time ago.
You can’t really play too much of “a recycled teenager” without some stylistic changes.
Sure, there’s the question if too great a number of the MTV generation “ever grew up” or if we live in an extended post-adolescence with tiny jobs, an abundant service economy, and definitely TIME TO PARTY.
Many of us keep listening to the same music we did back in high school. . . . . . but there’s a question if we’d still wear the exact articles of clothing.
Many 40 year-old’s couldn’t well fit into the same Metallica t-shirt or at least wouldn’t wear it well. And it’s not if most Metallica fans turned into investment bankers.
I can’t really think of Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz ever “selling-out”, really. But would she still wear the same shapeless black rags and spiky head-piece?
Not likely—or it would just look weird 30 years on.
But an artistic, dark soul would still wear the sort of dark, punk-rock accoutrements. I’m thinking a black sun hat, t-shirt, and jeans like the photo below—incidentally a slice of the local population around here in our very own St. Louis.
So how do you weigh the reality of “working”, or holding-down a job?
There’s one answer to that—THE “GIG” ECONOMY.
Front whatever kind of bullshit you want, but there’s a niche for any kind of service. And that means more than working at “Build-a-Bear” though it’s a job Lydia might try out for like, A DAY before getting fired.
If you remember, she makes her way around as a local personality working on DIY t.v., maybe a bit of radio at the local community stations. When she’s not doing that, or maybe running a YouTube channel she makes extra money by giving live tarot readings via web-cam with an air of intrigue and langouring mystery.
Stretch that job out while living with a couple of house-mates and possessing a liberal arts degree, maybe you can “fake it” until “you make it”.
Cyber-space calls, meat-space is tacky. But tours of the strange & unusual can pass as a vocation, if you’re creative and “a little loopy”.
So it is among the hard feld-spar and open lots, where skaters flip tricks and the depthless blue sky hangs above as old media is recycled into newer, strange organic forms. Personalities weave in and out of her languid, sarcastic day and she never loses her dramatic air, bobbing in and of the screen like an apparition in a Bram Stoker novel.
Trust me—many can get away with this well into middle-age or later—as where do you go when there’s no role models or hero’s—only television sound-bytes and the even more evanescent online-hype?
And who could rightfully succeed in such a media environment? What single point of hard, diamond-like concentration does it get to push a personal brand, a line of consumer products?
Let the freak show begin. . . . . she’s just the ticket-taker.
As for Beetlejuice? The star of the story—and you’ll know “IT’S SHOW-TIME”.
Lydia remains the well-grounded “voice of reason” and keeps this film anchored. Her most welcome-return will certainly be anticipated, or else the sequel “was never meant to be”.
And by plucking the petals off a black-rose and creamy white fingers with black nail-polish, she’ll wish you luck.
Nothing quite gives you “a kick-in-the-pants” like an actual deadline. So it is– asides from endlessly jotting down script-notes AND ACTUALLY WORKING ON THE SCRIPT. It had to happen sooner or later. Without further delay, handed the opportunity of the season.
The contest was perfect– bootleg “your take” on an actual franchise or character universe, coming up with a cogent story that might get turned into an actual short film if you didn’t swamp the budget with too many special effects.
Read about the contest here: https://screencraft.org/bootleguniverse/
I had about a week to halfway overall all my notes and come up with a serviceable number of pages. Like, the sheer logistics of it. I geared-up preparation about a week before the October 1st deadline and ended up dumping all writing duties on the very last possible day.
But hark!!– I was prepared and uploaded before midnight, Pacific time with about half an hour to spare. Beyond “just conceptualizing” but actually getting it down.
Personally, I use the “Final Draft” program– and recently upgraded to the newest version– and the interesting thing about that is that it helps you keep up the strict formatting standards that Hollywood must see “if you play in the game”. It takes a little learning, a bit of getting used to– but you’re glad that you followed-through.
This project is finally looking a bit more confident beyond blustering slices of blog-post previews and I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel, on this one. I understand why a script can take a passionate, neurotic, procrastinating “creative-type”, like maybe seven part-time years to get something nailed down, from start to finish.
If you actually complete your screenplay consider yourself a hero in the pantheon of greatness– all most people have is “20 pages”, or so with no idea how to carry the story forward after the first act. They say if you can lay down 2 pages of script a day, “you’re good”. I must have laid-out 12 solid pages for what we will call “The Beetlejuice 2 Teaser” or first part of the movie that can stand alone.
There’s still a lot of surprises up my sleeve. . . . . and I must thank you, the readers for encouraging my thematic boldness. A crowd is wonderful– and you’ve been here the whole time. So it’s “back to the front” and stay tuned for more speculative fiction on all things “Beetlejuice”.
Many are called– fewer are chosen. WE WILL HAVE A FINISHED SCRIPT.
A false rumor has been circulating for the last day or two THAT THEY WOULD BE MAKING BEETLEJUICE WITHOUT ME.
Oh no, but listen to the insectile-screech of “the little guy” protesting that he won’t have his dream crushed. Such is the tale of “the little guy” as I may yet give my movie studio overlords a pause. Strange things are afoot in St. Louis, wonderful things like Dr. Frankenstein’s bizarre laboratory of UNDEAD SEQUELS.
Onwards to 30 years later. . . . . can we pull it off?
I say Beetlejuice should have a lot of screen-time, with a thicker exploration of the weird & wonderful netherworld like haunted t.v. signals and defunct “Dollar Store” plastic knock-off’s that’s true to the world of white, blue-collar squalor.
Where the highway meets– not far, yonder your local Wal-Mart, junk yard, waffle-house, and carnival. Beetlejuice lives in the hills of south St. Louis county– and we must do the character justice in this vaunted region of podunk majesty, like spangled rhine-stone cowboys.
To see it is to believe it, to know it is to love it. Coming soon to a completed screenplay near you. From tea party misfits to firecrackers going off in apartment complex parking lots, thy name is chaos– thy name is America– thy name is BEETLEJUICE!
Like other buzz-words 5 years behind the times, “DON’T GO THERE” but we will as Beetlejuice goes and busts-a-move! Lydia will be there to roll her eyes with ethereal sarcasm “keeping it real”. Ooops, did it again.
So check in, we’ll be back soon or else Beetlejuice isn’t working behind the counter at fast-food. Rather, he’s running-fast from the gorping mouths of sand-worms as the after-life comes with a certain grim ecology. . . . . . like poetic-justice and THE FINAL WORD ON FUNNY.
Seasons greetings– from your favorite pesky screenwriter. Milking a fictive, hoary franchise “for all it’s worth”. For your free dose of entertainment (– and mine), make a Christmas wish and Winona certainly ain’t wrapped in a bow, under my tree.
So conceptual work continues on the “here-today-gone-to-hell” script of elusive repute. Though we certainly come-up with tons of ideas– whether Beetlejuice could actually be turned into a mini-series with all the ideas we’ve generated.
Oh, and here’s the latest. . . . . as the Christmas theme is a rich vein of material where Beetlejuice can worm himself, into.
In certain Christian fundamentalist circles, they actually believe that Santa Claus is a stand-in for the devil– a kind of imposter taking the place of theological soundness.
Santa? The Devil? Really?
Well, the idea is that Santa is a cheery old devil and bit of a mischief maker.
I think I’m smelling the rot of some interesting appearences. . . . . as you could see Beetlejuice in a Santa outfit– or otherwise known as “SATAN-CLAWS”.
Here is the rationale for all of this in a Bible tract, here:
The idea is an evil-deceiver who leads kids out to the faithless snows based on their susceptible belief– and disappears with the brimstone of false promises. And if kids now won’t believe in Santa “on faith”, then what will they refuse to believe next?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence– and I’d tend to see Beetlejuice sleeping-off a drunk in a cold, shivering storage locker. He swiped all the goodies from the stockings and makes his bedraggled haunt like the stink of rum and a three-day’s growth of unshaven neglect with a single, lit candle and a mouldy summer sausage swarming with rats.
From the chimney of hell to the cold, cold grave– I believe in the enduring humor of a wretched American character (– I think he gambled away his money for Christmas presents down at the dog-track).
Well, “DIRT CHEAP” beer & liquor is always open. . . . . so leave you with an image of some debauched old St. Nick and he certainly doesn’t look jolly in this video below.
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.