Beetlejuice Question...

Aw, c’mon–no thoughts at all on the possibility that it’s a refernce to the stained appearance of the teeth and chin???

Just watching the movie, I have a question too. What did Betelguese die of exactly? Burton made it so that the audience could tell the deaths of the ghosts they came across, except for the Maitlands but we know how they died. Betelguese says he “lived through the Black Plague” but I’m thinking that’s what he died of.

I remember seeing an interview with the director saying they chose the simplier spelling of “Beetlejuice” because they thought the audience would be confused by “Betelgeuse”. So, if it makes you feel any better, I think your thought is a mistake. Sorry.

I think Beetle-ghoul makes it clear that he’s died numerous times, been resurrected numerous times (perhaps by people calling him up?), and “Likes it better every time” (my attempt at a direct quote). So you might have to track down a few of his past lives to see what he died of in the Plague Era. None of that biographical information being present in the show, you’re stuck.

Yes, it refers to Norma, “the Level,” sometimes referred to as “the Square” or “the Carpenter’s Square” (although that’s not actually what it represents).

Cervaise: :stuck_out_tongue:

Derleth, I think you’re referring to this line:

I think he only died once (noted that he lived through the Black Plague). I think his lack of personal hygiene is enough to account for stains anywhere, including his chin.

Oh. I’ve mixed two seperate lines. Damn. Anyway, thanks for the correct version. It’s one of my favorite quotes from the film.

Ah, I love that quote.

Yeah, that was pretty funny. How you could see how they died. “Coach…I don’t think we lived through that fire.” “How did you guess?” And that receptionist, with the slashed wrists. And the flat guy.

I too wondered how BJ died. Guess it’s a mystery.

This is meandering rapidly toward MPSIMS, I think, but until Manny or Chronos gets sick of us…

All the other ghosts showed some sign of how they died in their appearances–the Maitlands are an exception, since drowning doesn’t leave much in the way of marks once the victims dry off. Everyone else showed visible, mortal wounds --except BJ. BJ had chalky skin, sparse, discolored hair, sunken eyes, and an attitude. Also, there’s this from the neitherworld site, a site dedicated to the cartoon:

So, at age 43 a man who had been robust enough (or lucky enough) to escape the Black Death in his twenties died, exhibiting chalky skin, sparse and discolored hair, bad teeth, sunken eyes, and an attitude. I have a theory that draws together all of these symptoms to answer this ultimately pointless question: BJ died of malnutrition while in prison. His extreme pallor could be attributed to pernicious anemia (caused by B12 deficiency–they didn’t serve prisoners much meat) and the shocking lack of tanning beds in the dungeons of the day. Hair loss (assuming it wasn’t just male-pattern baldness) could be a symptom of scurvy, as could missing teeth; the discoloration would likely be environmental–mildew, perhaps. Sunken eyes are also a common symptom of malnutrition (or sheer dissipation, in BJ’s case). Certainly his attitude could have landed him a long enough stay in prison (or Bedlam, for that matter).

Not a factual answer, but it’s plausible enough to keep the question from nagging at me. How about you, Zoggie?

Actually, drowning causes severe bloating. And usually the wildlife gets to the bodies.

A fair point, Ryan–let me further stipulate that the marks carried over are apparently those visible at the time of death (slit wrists or throat, flattened body, etc). Bloating and scavenging happen after death (or at least, one hopes so), so the Maitlands wouldn’t show signs of them. They would just be wet, which they were when they first returned; they dried off–apparently external cause-of-death signs go away naturally (or it was too unpleasant/annoying to keep them drenched for the whole shoot).

Let’s drop this unless it gets moved to a more appropriate forum. Internal movie logic doesn’t generally belong in GQ, and the original question has long since been answered.

Is this why he has the striped suit?

The other thing was that in the afterlife, those who had committed suicide faced eternity as civil servants…


Was it apparent how Juno the case worker died? I don’t recall…

Juno must have committed suicide by slitting her own throat (remember the cigarette smoke escaping from the slash in her neck?).

Oh yeah. It’s a nice thread, though. Mods, could you move this to MPSIMS? (Or should I email someone…are the chances of them seeing this high?)
Aaaah…Juno slit her throat? God. I never noticed…

Happily. Off to MPSIMS.

Except…Juno said BJ was her assistant until he went out on his own as a “free-lance Bio-Exercist”-which would make him a civil servent-which would mean he killed himself. Hmmmmmmm. Got another theory? ( I don’t )

Unless of course, he was dying of malnutrition and managed to kill himself in prison…or something.

For some reason, I can see BJ in the process of auto-erotic asxphixation (sp?) and accidentally killing himself. He seems like a guy with self-stimulation on the brain.

Speaking of civil servants…did the flattened tire/road kill guy kill himself too or just die in a car accident?

Now that we’re in a less stifling <MODSLAP–ow!>…er, more appropriate forum, I’m back. Let unsupportable supposition reign! (Say that three times fast with ice cubes in your mouth, and you’ll never need a dentist again.)

Weirddave, I had forgotten about the assistant thing…let’s see if I can weasel my way out of it. I see several possibilities:

  1. We know that suicides automatically become civil servants, but we don’t know that they’re the only ones. Surely, the truly appalling bureaucracy of death occasionally requires the hiring of non-suicide temps–perhaps BJ was one of them?

  2. Hunger strike. Nah, can’t see BJ voluntarily denying himself anything for any reason. Besides, hunger strikes didn’t impress anyone back in the 12[sup]th[/sup] Century.

  3. Perhaps whatever intrinsically self-destructive behavior got him tossed in jail was considered his real cause-of-death by the bureaucracy (they were short-handed). By dint of getting himself thrown in jail to rot, he was officially dubbed a “suicide”. (Or maybe they just screwed up his paperwork.)

Zoggie, I can’t remember if Mr. Flat had tread marks on him. Did he? If not, he may have been supposed to represent a jumper. Otherwise, we’re left to assume that he deliberately got himself clobbered in traffic–a rather strange and unreliable form of suicide.