Tuesday, September 6

Original Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice is one of my all time favorite movies. How I long for the old Tim Burton days when everything wasn't done in CGI! Beetlejuice was the perfect spooky comedy and the art direction is out of this world. I read somewhere on the internet that a Beetlejuice remake was happening and I had a mini panic attack. My research led to nothing about a remake BUT it did lead me to the original plot for Beetlejuice. Can you guys believe this?! Beetlejuice was supposed to be 1000x scarier!
Michael McDowell's original script is far less comedic and much more violent; the Maitlands' car crash is depicted graphically, with Barbara's arm being crushed and the audience hearing their screams for help as they slowly drown in the river. A reference to this remained in all versions of the script, as Barbara remarks that her arm feels cold upon returning home as a ghost. Instead of possessing the Deetzes and forcing them to dance during dinner, the Maitlands cause a vine-patterned carpet to come to life and attack the Deetzes by tangling them to their chairs. The character of Betelgeuse — envisioned by McDowell as a winged demon who takes on the form of a short Middle Eastern man—is also intent on killing the Deetzes rather than scaring them, and wants to rape Lydia instead of marry her. This version of Betelgeuse only needs to be exhumed from his grave to be summoned, after which he is free to wreak havoc; he cannot be summoned or controlled by saying his name three times, and wanders the world freely, appearing to torment different characters in different manifestations, such as a punk rocker (to try to seduce Lydia) and an IRS agent (to subject Charles to a fake audit). McDowell's script also featured a second Deetz child, nine-year-old Cathy, the only person to see the Maitlands and the subject of Betelgeuse's homicidal wrath in the film's climax, during which he mutilates her while in the form of a rabid squirrel before revealing his true form. The film was to have concluded with the Maitlands, Deetzes, and Otho conducting an exorcism ritual that destroys Betelgeuse, and the Maitlands transforming into miniature versions of themselves and moving into Adam's model of their home, which they refurbish to look like their house before the Deetzes moved in.
Um okay I thought Beetlejuice was pretty trippy but this is just like "WHAAAT????" The original sounds INSANE. This isn't like David Lynch level crazy, this is like a script Clive Barker would write. I wouldn't change Beetlejuice at all but the original sounds like it would make a good movie too. And Burton originally wanted Sammy Davis Jr. for Betelgeuse?! Crazy!


Burn That Dress said...

I too am fond of this film and would have utterly been heartbroken had a remake been in place. Phewww....good one you....scaring me like that. Thanks for sharing this bit though, real interesting!!

fransmiles said...

I love this film! Never gets old, and amongst other things it sparked off my girl-crush on Winona Ryder haha!
But wow the original sounds amazing, I'd love to read the script, it's a shame they didn't publish it. Though I don't know if I could handle it as a film!

Cherokee said...

That does sound like some pretty insane version of Beetlejuice!

So glad I found your blog through Rookie, btw! It's awesome.

I can't seem to add you to my followed blogs list though which is annoying me! I must follow you! (Sounded a bit stalker like there!)