Beetlejuice (1988 franchise)

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Beetlejuice (1988 franchise)...

The franchise consists of the 1988 film, and an animated series that ran from 1989-1991. Sequels have been proposed to the film, but to date have never left development.


"Beetlejuice: the name in horror. Say it once... say it twice... but we dare you to say it three times." A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a "bio-exorcist" in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house.


  • Release Date: 1988
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Fantasy, Comedy, Horror
  • Runtime: 1 hr 32 min
  • Starring: Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Writer: Michael McDowell, Larry Wilson, Warren Skaaren
  • Producer/Production Co: Geffen Company
  • View Trailer: (link), (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG-13 (mild Profanity, Adult Content, comedic Violence)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

Though not especially Lovecraftian, the franchise depicts an afterlife is a sort of bizarre, surreal Dreamland full of Dhole-like sand-worms, and populated by a bizarre collection of Ghouls, ghosts, and such. The film's occult mythos probably has more in common with pulp fantasy and horror than it does with any more traditional mystic source.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • (review needed)


 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

After Barbara and Adam Maitland die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their country residence, unable to leave the house. When the unbearable Deetzes and teen daughter Lydia buy the home, the Maitlands attempt to scare them away without success. Their efforts attract Beetlejuice, a rambunctious spirit whose "help" quickly becomes dangerous for the Maitlands and innocent Lydia.


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO (the franchise has included an assortment of supernatural ghosts and ghouls, magic tomes, strange afterlife dimensions with peculiar rules, etc.)
  • film: compare to Ghostbusters (1984 franchise), The Frighteners (1996 film)
  • character: Beetlejuice, a sort of Ghoul or Lich
  • race: Ghosts
  • race: Dholes
  • race: Human Cultist
  • location: Neitherworld
  • location: "Saturn", a desert planet/world/dimension populated by surreal scenery and giant purple sand-worms
  • star: Betelgeuse (the name of the film and character are a pun on the star's name)
  • tome: Handbook for the Recently Deceased (said the "read like stereo instructions")
  • tome: The Living and the Dead (said the "read like stereo instructions")

Keeper Notes

  • The investigators are called in by an obnoxious family to investigate a haunting in the house they have just inherited, after a cult of ghosts, seeking peace and quiet to conduct their research in, make the mistake of calling upon the assistance of an eccentric ghoul "exterminator" to help drive the unwanted living intruders away.
  • In a one-shot adventure, the pre-gen investigators are deranged ghouls summoned by a cult of ghosts to rid a mansion of the obnoxious family that has just unwittingly inherited the mansion and moved in, so that the ghosts can conduct their occult research in peace and quiet.