Author Archives: Julie Bethlenfalvy

Haunting with Style

I hope we’re friends until we die. And then I hope we stay ghost friends and walk through walls and scare the shit out of people.

I saw this Someecard on Facebook the other day, and it sent me on an interesting thought tangent.

My best friend and I have mused about haunting people when we die. Over the years, we joked about adding people to our list of victims – ex-boyfriends, mean girls, condescending bosses, etc. We wouldn’t be the jerky, creepy, hollow-eyed ghosts that seem to appear in every horror movie. Just because we’re dead doesn’t mean we can’t look hot.

And although scaring the crap out of people would be fun at first, I think I’d want variety in my days–especially if I’m doomed to walk the earth for eternity. I’d possess people, make them do a little dance, and sing a little song a la Beetlejuice.

It’s been 25 years (wow, I feel old) since Beetlejuice was released, and I can’t think of one movie with a funny and frightening ghost that has graced theaters since. I don’t think a remake is necessary (we’ve recycled enough beloved movies), but you can’t argue that Michael Keaton’s devilish specter didn’t have panache.

Tim Burton’s fantastical underworld with fabulous phantoms simultaneously scared and generated guffaws. The hauntings were creative and conniving. If you were too young or not born yet when Beetlejuice graced our tube TVs, I suggest you acquire it. It was bizarre, boisterous and quintessential Burton.

It’s been over a decade of ghastly twitchy ghosts, which began with The Ring, the 2002 American remake of the Japanese 1998 film Ringu. I think it’s time we move on. Hey Hollywood, bring back the ghosts with pizzazz. If I’m going to be a ghost friend, then I need some clever, mischievous inspiration.

(If you read this out loud, then you’ve said Beetlejuice three times. Ha!)

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Sweeping Up the Dark Lord’s Mess

They lurk in engine rooms and basements of spaceships, waiting to surface from the depths of darkness to mop away the madness of spills and dead rebels. Yes, I said dead rebels. Did you ever wonder who cleaned up after Darth Vader or the clones? Someone has to. That Death Star gets dirty!

The Guild producers, Davin Lengyel and Geoff Lapaire, created an awesomely geeky Space Janitors webseries. I’m assuming that the cast can’t mention Darth Vader, the Emperor, or Storm Troopers because of copyright laws. This problem does not lessen the humor or detract from any reference identification. The Emperor is the Dark Lord, etc. You’ll get it.

My favorite episode at the moment is “Light-Based Arm Cutter Instrument.” The main characters, Darby Richards and Mike Chet, are in the basement of the spaceship (which is the creators version of the Death Star) just wiping up another mess and something falls from above. Darby nonchalantly picks up a severed hand attached to some sort of saber-like device. The hand gets tossed into a hazardous waste receptacle as the duo tries to figure out the purpose of the “electrical instrument.” The Empire Strikes Back reference is just brilliant. So, I guess we know what happened to Luke’s hand!

After using it as a musical instrument, a “mush cooker” (mush is their food and comes in a rainbow array of colors), and several accidents involving Mike’s arms, any fan of Star Wars, or The Guild, won’t be disappointed. Space Janitors is a humorous trip through the Empire’s class system with the exploits of individuals stuck in dead-end jobs who just want more out of their lives.

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