August 13, 2013

54 reasons why Beetlejuice sucks!

Heavily promoted by the blogosphere's Horror Lamers clique as "teh bestest moovee evah", "Beetlejuice" (1988) competes with "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975), "The Addams Family" (1991), "Psycho" (1998), "Shaun of the Dead" (2004), and "Trick 'r Treat" (2007) for the coveted title of my most hated film of all time.

I just can't abide any part of it. Even hearing someone mention the name is enough to get my hackles up, and if they then go on to say that they love the movie, they soon cease to be an associate of mine. I'm not ashamed to say that I've blocked people on Facebook and Twitter because of this piece of crap. If I had my way, all copies of the thing would be rounded-up and burnt on a huge bonfire!

Some would say that I simply have an irrational dislike of "Beetlejuice" based on my equally irrational dislike of all things Tim Burton and Alec Baldwin related, but that's not entirely true. While I freely admit to going out of my way to avoid any Tim Burton or Alec Baldwin movie, I have many good reasons for hating this one—fifty-four of them, in fact—which I now present for you below.

Worst. Movie. Ever.

1. Tim Burton has only directed one good movie in his whole career—"Batman Returns" (1992)—and, obviously, this is not it.

2. "Beetlejuice" was originally meant to be a real horror film, not a crappy comedy. According to the IMDb:
Looking for a project to make after the success of "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," Burton optioned a script by horror author Michael McDowell. Being a horror author, McDowell's script was decidedly non-comedic, and was primarily a horror-thriller with a few minor comic elements. McDowell's story featured no Afterlife sequences, no other ghosts except for the Maitlands, and depicted Beetlejuice as a winged, reptilian demon who co-opted the position of an angel named Swallowtail, who helps ghosts lead peaceful existences while they await entry into their permanent resting places. Beetlejuice's goal is to kill the Deetzes rather than get them out of the house, and once he's dug up by the Maitlands, he cannot be controlled; the idea that he can be summoned and exiled by repeating his name three times was not added to the script until Burton became involved. This Beetlejuice wanders the "living world," assuming a variety of different forms to torment the Deetzes, and in the climax attempts to kill the Deetzes' nine-year-old daughter, Cathy, who was the only person able to see the Maitlands (as opposed to Lydia, who in McDowell's script was a disaffected, sixteen year old punk rocker whom Beetlejuice attempts to rape). The Maitlands then guide Cathy through an exorcism ritual that both allows them to be seen to the Deetzes and banishes Beetlejuice to another realm.

3. The opening credits with corny Danny Elfman "oompah" music will set anybody sane's teeth on edge. You just know that this is going to be a comedy rather than a horror movie, and that horrible sick feeling where bile rises up inside you begins.

4. 2:57 - Animal cruelty! Horrible as spiders are anyway, Adam (Alec Baldwin's character) launches a great-big-hairy-one to certain death by throwing it out of the window instead of carefully taking it outside. "If you want to live and thrive, let a spider run alive!" Predictably, poetic justice soon follows.

5. 3:08 - Geena Davis was hotter than hot back in the day, but her character is dressed like a frumpy 80-year-old! What a terrible waste! No wonder Adam would rather play with his lame little model village than his wife. Yeah, right. It's so unrealistic! If you have something which looks like Geena Davis as a wife, there's no way that she's leaving the bedroom again until she really is 80 years old!

6. 5:18 - Adam listens to the crappiest music in the crappiest way possible. Mono cassette recorder! Ugh! At 19:15, you can see that he owns a much better looking stereo to play his fuzzy warbles on in his office.

7. 7:37 - One of the first rules of driving is that you never swerve to avoid hitting anything. Always brake instead! If the Maitlands had braked and run that nasty little yappy-dog over, the movie could have been all about them trying to make a baby for two weeks instead. Now that would have been worth watching!

8. 9:17 - WTF is up with this green screen crap? Dated much?

9. 9:43 - Apparently, ghosts are like vampires and cast no reflections. Gah!

10. 11.08 - The title of the movie is wrong, as you can clearly see. It's supposed to be "Betelgeuse" just like the star!

Candyman... Candyman... Candyman... whatever.

11. 13:46 - Delia Deetz (Catherine O'Hara) is kinda smokin' hot, but she's married to a cardigan-wearing doofus like Charles (Jeffrey Jones)! In what universe would anything like that really happen? Presumably, the same one where Geena Davis is a model village "widow".

12. 14:41 - Winona Ryder, as emo-kid Lydia, can't act!!! And what's with her Victorian funeral clothes? She's too miserable to be a Goth!

13. 15:12 - Introducing Otho (Glenn Shadix) aka a cheap attempt to milk some homophobic humour out of a camp stereotype in a PG-rated movie! And why does he come in through the window rather than using the front door? Apart from using his awkwardness and size to make him look even more ridiculous, it's never explained.

14. 17:44 - Crappy-looking decapitated head effect followed by a even crappier headless body running around. How is this supposed to be funny apart from being inept?

15. 20:18 - Lousy stop-motion sandworm... on Saturn! But Saturn is classified as a gas giant because it's almost completely made of gas and not sand.

16. 23:00 - Adam can't read or pronounce things properly. Typical Yank! Form your own conclusions for why he makes Betelgeuse sound like a Jewish name.

17. 29:59 - Why is sexy Miss Argentina (Patrice Martinez) green with a pinky-orangey wig and cape? What's she meant to be? Did Captain Kirk diddle her in "Star Trek" or something? She slashed her wrists as a suicide; she didn't suffocate!

18. 33:07 - "I've been feeling a little flat." Really? Is that the best joke anyone could come up with? It's also the only actual joke in this so-called comedy. Hilarious if you're still in infant school.

19. 33.27 - There's no greater accomplishment than ripping off the style of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920) because you have no imagination of your own, is there? How (un)original.

20. 37:56 - Totally unconvincing stop-motion fly. How feeble is it not to use a real house-fly? Wasteful too. Flies are pretty cheap, and there are lots of them around. The Insect Actors Union will hear about this!

21. 38:17 - "Help me! Help meeee!" Because the target audience of 8-year-olds are likely to be familiar with "The Fly" (1958), aren't they?

22. 40:30 - Oh, how risque! Meh.

23. 41:52 - Because the target audience of 8-year-olds are likely to be familiar with "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) too?

24. 43:32 - Awful incongruous background music.

25. 44:35 - Even more ill-fitting (that means the same as "incongruous", just so you know) background music.

26. 46:03-46:56 - Why is Betelgeuse in a coffin, and why do the Maitlands need to dig him up? What's the point? Shouldn't he just appear when summoned like Candyman? A minute's worth of padding. Gah!

27. 47:46 - More animal cruelty! No need to throw the poor little mousey like that! That's a long drop for a tiny rodent!

28. 48:25 - "I've seen 'The Exorcist' about 167 times..." just like the target audience haven't, but 167 times more than the Horror Lamers have.

29. 48:27 - "And it keeps getting funnier every time I see it!" Exactly what's wrong with today's retarded "yukyukyuk" horror fans who would laugh to see a pudding crawl. "The Exorcist" is certainly not comedy, but now they will think it is because Betelgeuse says so. Ironically, however, it is funnier than "Beetlejuice".

30. 48:41 - Jerk-off gesturing is a bit much for a little kids' comedy, isn't it? I'm no prude, but WTF? Followed by a bit of upskirt perving at 49:00. Again, WTF?

31. 50:22 - The infamous F-bomb is dropped with a honking crotch-grab! Oh dear. Tim Burton really does have no idea who his target audience is meant to be.

32. 50:32 - "He seemed awfully pissed off," as the potty-mouthing continues. Oh, how boundary-pushing! Not. Did Tim Burton help Rob Zombie out with dialogue later?

33. 51:32 - A little bit of homophobia directed at Otho in a particularly unpleasant manner by Beryl (Adelle Lutz). Not even delivered in a joking way. Otho's witty "The Wizard of Oz" referencing comeback is, unfortunately, the most memorable line in the whole movie. Had to be "The Wizard of Oz" too, didn't it? Because we all know who stereotypically loves Judy Garland musicals!

34. 52:34-54:24 - The self-indulgent, incongruent and absolutely cringeworthy lip-syncing musical interlude.

Obviously this occurs for padding and because nobody could think of anything better to put in. On a deeply personal level, I detest this "possession" scene more than any other in any movie ever.

35. 59:46 - Pitiful Betelgeuse-snake stop-motion animation. Almost as bad as something Ray Harryhausen would have done 7 years earlier. So unrealistic.

36. 1:01:37 - "Edgar Allan Poe's daughter". Only a couple of things wrong with that reference and its implications.

37. 1:01:57 - Crappy misquoted "Dirty Harry" line for no laughs whatsoever.

38. 1:02:27 - A whorehouse in a kids' film? Not only age-inappropriate, but in this case, suggestive of necrophilia too. This is a PG! It's not even a PG-13!

39. 1:06:14-1:06:51 - The surreal (and poorly done) stop-motion metamorphoses of the Maitlands into God knows what their heads are supposed to be. Too weird. Too much of what Tim Burton was to become.

40. 1:07:18 - Further proof that Winona Ryder can't act. Exceedingly flat line delivery even for a depressive teenager with Asparagus Syndrome. She has less expression changes than Liv Tyler or Kristen Stewart put together!

41. 1:08:02 - A gross-out cockroach-eating moment. Animal cruelty!

42. 1:08:49 - "...and shit like that..." Oh, who even cares at this point?

43. 1:10:13 - Stupid unconvincing masks. What's the point when Barbara changes back (at 1:10:44) before the Maitlands get chance to use their "fright faces" on their intended victims anyway?

44. 1:14:14 - The whole atmosphere of what could be a chillingly tense seance/conjuring scene is completely ruined by more of Danny Elfman's music overpowering everything.

45. 1:17:37 - The two decaying-corpse ghosts hovering over the dining table could be one of the most horrific images ever... except that it's in a shitty kiddified comedy! Waste!

46. 1:18:46 - Betelgeuse's WTF fairground costume jumps the shark into cartoon land! It makes no sense, it looks stupid, and it's a precursor to everything which will ever become nauseating about Tim Burton's movies. There's surreal and then there's total bollocks, and this is firmly in the latter category!

47. 1:20:07 - Another homophobic joke as Otho's horror at magically being forced to wear an unfashionable '70s leisure suit plays on the stereotype about gay dress sense. Way over the heads of most children, but shame on you, Tim Burton!

48. 1:20:38 - What happened to the snakes which Betelgeuse put into Charles Deetz's hand at 1:20:33? Continuity!!!

49. 1:21:13 - Predictably, Delia's weird-ass sculptures just have to come to stop-motion animated life and join in the craziness. We're now in Tim Burton's whacked-out, arty-farty imagination, and it's not a pleasant place to be.

50. 1:21:45 - What the bloody Hell is that thing which comes through the "Dr. Caligari" doorway? An alien-corpse preacher? A deformed dwarf-corpse with macrocephalus? Whatever Tim Burton was drinking or smoking at the time, I don't want any! This whole scene is far too weird for anybody in their right mind to enjoy.

51. 1:24:17 - Barbara riding a sandworm across time and space to save the day! Well, of course! You couldn't make this shit up! Okay, you could if you couldn't come up with a better ending. Don't forget to laugh at the dated effects. No? Please yourself.

52. 1:24:46 - A happy ending for everyone then, except Maxie (Robert Goulet) and Sarah Dean (Maree Cheatham) who must have had their necks broken when they were violently launched through the ceiling at 1:19:24.

53. Another cringeworthy lip-syncing routine at the end.

54. If you add up all of Michael Keaton's time on screen, the title character only has 17 out of 92 minutes! That really sucks!

So there you have it. "Beetlejuice" isn't horror. It's not even a proper horror-comedy. It's not scary, it's not funny. It's embarrassing, dated, and cringeworthy, but it's definitely not funny.

What audience is this really meant for? It's a PG with normally R-rated language, adult situations, sexual innuendoes, animal cruelty, homophobia, a smidgen of (debatable) racism, attempted paedophilia, suicide, images of death and the dead, and so much cigarette smoking that it's almost an advertisement for the tobacco industry!

How the Hell did the MPAA pass "Beetljuice" as a PG when something like "The Conjuring" (2013)—which is clearly a PG-13—gets an R? If this isn't proof that the MPAA is corrupt, it's still food for thought, eh?

Is "Beetlejuice" something that 'ickle kids should watch? Based on the damage that it's done to the minds of the tasteless plebs in the Horror Lamers clique, I don't think so. It's not because of the rating though, it's just because the movie totally sucks.

No comments:

Post a Comment