Beetlejuice (1988) – Episode 132 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“It’s Showtime!” Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) gets his show on the road. So why not listen as The Grue Crew does the same?! Celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, Beetlejuice was the film that launched Tim Burton’s career. A horror comedy covered in spirals, normalcy satire and gothic pondering that made Burton the most mainstream recognized auteur of the modern era. However, does Beetlejuice make us Shake Senora or does it deserved to be gobbled up by a sandworm? Tune in and find out!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 132 – Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice is an odd choice for a titular character, given he’s only in about 17 minutes of the final film. Then again, Keaton’s a pop culture creep with a disgusting charm who makes a huge impression for the limited time. Yet, our protagonists are the newly deceased couple of Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Martha Maitland (Geena Davis) who are stuck in their home and can’t stop it from being sold to new owners. Those new owners are The Deetzes, including the goth daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) who can see them.. The Maitlands need to get these folks out of their eternal resting place, so they utilize the world of the dead’s rules to their advantage and get the titular ghoul to help out. Betrayal, stop motion and Harry Belafonte ensue from there.

Thomas, Doc Rotten, and Christopher G. Moore crack open their copies of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased to decipher Beetlejuice. Doc admits having fallen back in love with this after some Tim Burton overexposure. Christopher G. Moore revels in his love for all things striped and goth. Thomas just loves how the character and world building meld so well. There’s appreciation for everything from the production design to the diverse musical soundtrack to Dick Cavett’s underrated acting ability. Plus they all agree that “…IT KEEPS GETTIN’ FUNNIER, EVERY TIME THEY SEE IT!”

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Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Episode 32 – Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond

“EUREKA! This year, Christmas will be OURS!” Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon/Danny Elfman) makes his proclamation to the citizens of Halloweentown. The holiday he just discovered will be his to mold and reshape into something spooky. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a holiday classic for every horror fan. Director Tim Bur-er, I mean Henry Selick gives this stop-motion world a chance to breathe and live for the limited run time. It was a movie Disney didn’t believe in upon initial release, yet it’s become a massive merchandising bonanza. How? Well, Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond is gonna do the best it can to explain that.

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 32 – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Nightmare Before Christmas – based on the poem written by Tim Burton during his days as a Disney animator – follows Jack, The Pumpkin King. Leader of Halloweentown and the symbol all others judge themselves against, Jack feels empty inside. The annual Halloween celebration has turned him into a depressed skeleton man who wanders into the alternate world of Christmas Town. Inspired by the unique holiday qualities, Jack decides to take Santa’s place for Christmas. All while the patchwork girl Sally (Catherine O’Hara) tries to stop him. It’s all done in a musical stop-motion animation style so gorgeous it got the film a Best Special Effects Oscar nomination.

All this is discussed 24 audio frames at a time by Thomas Mariani and his guests Christopher G. Moore, Caitlin Turner and Scott Johnson. All are here to discuss Nightmare Before Christmas as a highly influential watermark for animation in general. Henry Selick’s visuals would bring us the films of LAIKA. Pixar is credited for the computer effects. Tim Burton has ripped this off with Corpse Bride. There’s also plenty of big questions asked. Is this a Halloween or Christmas movie? What is the relationship between Sally and Dr. Finkelstein (William Hickey)? Would Hot Topic survive without Nightmare Before Christmas? Listen to find out!

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond podcast hosts at or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy. Also, make sure to give us some love via iTunes reviews and ratings. Helps us get more notice along the way.

The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

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Dog Soldiers (2002)