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Beetlejuice (reissue)


Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones, Sylvia Sidney, Robert Goulet, Dick Cavett, Glenn Shadix

Director: Tim Burton

Burton's unstructured but visually delightful live-action cartoon provided the young Michael Keaton, looking like the late Ken Dodd after an accident, with a nonstar-billed, but definitely star part as the raucous and repulsive 'bio-exorciser' Betelgeuse, who can only be contacted when his name is pronounced (correctly) three consecutive times.

Among those who feel the need to summon the creature to their aid are Mr and Mrs Maitland (Baldwin, Davis), newly-deads who are confined to a living hell in their own home, which is being destroyed by its obnoxious new owners, a city couple with a daughter (Ryder) majoring in weirdness.

Burton's quirky vision of the afterlife springs into life (or should that be death?) only when the grotesque Keaton's on screen, dressed in what looks like a variation on old-fashioned black and white striped prison uniform.

But, although it needed to be sharper all the way through, this witches' brew is still free and easy fun, and worth the wide reissue it now gets. ...And Burton is still talking about the possibility of making Beetlejuice 2.

This film was originally rated 15.

David Quinlan

USA 1988. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
92 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 23 Oct 2018