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

The Netherworld or “Development Hell”

 beetlejuice_amongst_the_cannibals   punch_clock

A great article here investigates “what might have been” for any continuation of the Beetlejuice franchise as my feeling is, this movie is not the easiest to write for.

So Beetlejuice sits in “development hell” like he’s taken a number from the the ole’ red ticket-machine. Gone but not forgotten– it’s been 30 years without devious fun, unless you count the kids’ cartoon show. Between zany, loose-form animation and a live-action riff of picking-up hookers it’s only a matter of time before he gets paroled at the front window.

C’mon, be “a notch above”. . . . . as it’s only the limits of imagination that keeps Beetlejuice from doing anything he wants, and cooking-up a really good movie.

For every marginal alcoholic and version of small-time “class” with his feet dunked in a kiddie pool, wearing Bermuda shorts and mirror-shades in an overgrown, weedy yard with pink flamingos– we show you the amusing underbelly “that never dies”. So bring him back into circulation and the free-for all over t-shirt sales as we’re going to make him represent “something bigger about ourselves, something true to America”.

So– are we going to be “The ‘Citizen Kane’ of averted raunch-fest comedy”? I certainly hope so. Entrusted with my “Final Draft” screenwriting software, I plan to bring you something truly remarkable and surprising– if official forces don’t “beat me to the punch”.

So is it a go, or isn’t it? Winona Ryder blushes every time she’s pressed to say something about it, and how the internet takes the news and runs with it– there could be “nothing” or there’s everything gearing-up into production. . . . . the truth is, NO ONE KNOWS!

winona_arms_crossed   beetlejuice_2

We want to bring to St. Louis, where I live. They say “write what you know” as this city mixes up the urbane, the gentrified– with the punky alternative unto the new urban frontier like liberal arts and picturesque neighborhoods as beautiful as they are run-down.

Not forgetting the bedraggled survivors who keep “hanging on”, the wilder impulses of pure panic and quick-fix solutions soaked in alcohol and engine-grease. It’s a total zoo not far from Jerry Springer land and bargain-basement mania as some have called us “a dead town” that everybody feels “stuck-in”.

But you notice things. . . . . interesting things. I can think of nowhere else, as I appoint thee, the great “gateway to the west” and home of a thousand inspirations.

Hell awaits, “no complaints”. Don’t be true to what you ain’t. Rahh, rahh St. Louis!

bat_bat_ruleth   st_louis_magnet

The Netherworld or “Development Hell”