Vintage Voice: Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

As summer flies and Halloween creeps up on us before we know it, it seems appropriate to touch base on the spookiness created by Tim Burton. Yes, a favorite holiday may only seem like a glimmer in your mind, but Beetlejuice’s production began in August and 27 years later it’s still a classic.

Its dark comedy captivated its audience from the get go, but of course Burton had darker dreams for the story line. Originally, there was supposed to be a lot more gore and a lot less humans. Beetlejuice himself was supposed to be a dark humanoid with black leathery wings, and in the real world of Lydia was supposed to be a squat Middle Eastern man with a strange African dialect. To say his vision of his main character came true would be a bit of a stretch. Even the iconic forced marriage scene was not in the original screenplay. It was a forced incident, but definitely not marriage.

The original cast was also MUCH different than who in the end played their roles. A laid back, lounge type guy, Beetlejuice was casted as former Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr. and his lovely bride Lydia was meant to be Juliette Lewis.

A strange movie, with an even stranger cast, of course Beetlejuice had it’s quirks and kinks in the filming as well as the movie itself. Here’s a list of some fun facts!

– Although the movie is 92 minutes long and named after the main character, Beetlejuice only appears in the film for 17 minutes.

– Beetlejuice was named after the Betelgeuse Star, a star in the Orion constellation. The reasoning behind this is that Betelgeuse is supposed to be the doorway to the infinite blackness of outer space, a metaphor for Beetlejuice being the doorman of the underworld.

– Three is the magic number throughout the movie. The obvious use would be summing Beetlejuice, but also chanting home three times to escape as well as knocking three times to enter the underworld.

– The dancing scene was one the most iconic scenes of the movie. When Glenn Shadix who played interior designer Ortho passed away in 2010, “Day-O” was the last song played at his memorial service.

– Warner brothers HATED the name. They didn’t think it was clever or innovative. Titles suggested were “House Ghosts” and “Anonymous Haunted House Story 39480”. Annoyed by this, Burton sarcastically suggested “Scared Sheetless” in which the ghosts only wear sheets. WB actually liked this idea, when finally Burton put his foot down on his title and his original screenplay.

Beetlejuice’s success lead to a spin-off animated series, as well as talk for years to come of a sequel. Animated movies including Beetlejuice in Hawaii have come to pass, and talk of a sequel have included celebrities such as Katy Perry inquiring about roles. Toys, costumes, replica handbooks, and much more have come to emerge in the years to pass after the movies release, and still remain in high demand, proving this movie is one for the ages.

Beetlejuice merchandise is available in Love Life Tattoo!

Sara Giarratano
Information Via IMDB and Huffington Post.