My 2013 Movies - Beetlejuice/Young Frankenstein Double Feature (1988/1974, on DVD, home collection)
First off, allow me to acknowledge that I’ve fallen criminally behind in posting these mini-reviews of movies I’ve seen this year. I got to the point where I started writing a list because I knew I’d forget what I’d seen, and I’m appalled to now admit that I’m about 11 films behind - a statistic that I will Tumbl my fingers off to rectify, hopefully in the next few weeks.
Does it matter? I’m not sure anyone’s noticed or cares but me, but it’s a bummer when you set yourself a goal and life-type things get in the way.
But the good news is, my boys got to watch Beetlejuice for the first time this year, and that was a fun bit of mayhem to share with them. They were absolutely entertained by it, and if my youngest had been inclined, he probably could have pulled off a nifty Halloween costume this year. He’s got the perfect hair for it, but my mom had already made him a bat costume so there was no turning back.
Like a number of folks, I’ve lost some favor with Tim Burton’s movies in the last few years; his nearly complete abandonment of practical special effects and non-Johnny Depp storytelling has left me a bit cold. So it’s fun to revisit Beetlejuice every so often and remember how this kind of thing used to be done. It’s such a terrific, macabre story that runs like a demented old fashioned toy: you wind it up and set it down on the floor and watch it run, all crazy-like, until suddenly it stops.
It’s curious, too, how much it shares in common with Young Frankenstein in its themes of accepting mortality, trying to control supernatural forces and the consequences of failing. And, naturally, how damn funny it can be when “the strange and unusual” collide with mere mortals.
Grievously, each year I think I’ll be able to let the boys watch Young Frankenstein, and each year I realize “noooope….”. That realization starts right around “Great knockers!” and becomes a certainty at “enormous schwanzstucker”.
So my wife and I watched it together late at night, as is our annual pre-Halloween tradition, and it never disappoints. I almost always forget about the Gene Hackman bit, and it’s like finding this delightful little fun-size chocolate bar at the bottom of a big bag of treats each time.
"You must have been the tallest one in your class."
Happy Halloween, Tumblr loonies!