Archive for September, 2006

Beetlejuiced

September 13, 2006

Beetlejuice. Ahhhh, Beetlejuice. How well I recall the evening my parents, uncharacteristically savvy of pop culture, rented Beetlejuice for an evening of family entertainment, having heard it was supposed to be “really fun.”

How well I recall the experience of watching Beetlejuice for the first time, which was not unlike being dipped in a vat of boiling terror: The bannister that turns into a snake! The giant worms living outside the house! The terrifying facial contortions (literally!) of Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin! Worst of all: THE SHRIMP COCKTAIL THAT ATE PEOPLES’ FACES.

And this from a kid who LIVED for bizarre, sick shit. Harryhausen’s Medusa: beheaded, falling forward, gluey red junk pouring out of her stump of a neck? Loved it. Ghostbusters’ devil dogs attacking Sigourney Weaver from inside an easy chair? Bring it on! Watching the scene in The Dark Crystal where the emperor skeksis decomposes into little chunks, my aunt inquiring if I’m ok, if I’m a little scared by it–my response? “Oh, that happens all the time.”

What the hell was it about Beetlejuice then? Was it the fact that everything was like a sick funhouse, and I already had an overwhelming fear of clowns? Actually…that might be it. In fact, I think that’s exactly why Beetlejuice terrified me so: I knew it was supposed to be funny (like I know clowns are ‘supposed to be funny’) and I didn’t think it was funny. I thought it was a god damned horror movie.

One more of life’s mysteries: solved.

Incomplete sentences: brought to you by Netflix

September 1, 2006

PCU

Totally functions as a piece of early-nineties nostalgia, still has some amazingly funny dialog. Will forever be cherished for introducing both “Don’t be that guy” and a proto-Ari Gold into the cultural lexicon.

No characterization whatsoever. During supposed ‘nice moment’ at end where the Piv gets back with his womyn, spend the entire scene actively not caring.

Makes one reflect on Animal House as actual good piece of screenwriting that it is. Movie is ALL ABOUT characters changing: Otter getting the shit kicked out of him, Pinto getting laid, Flounder sacrificing car, Bluto bagging Babs.

Realizing Animal House is good example, though counterintuitive, feels good. Validating. Like finding out the Deltas flossed regularly.