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Face-Off: Ghostbusters Vs. Beetlejuice

01.21.2015by: Mike Catalano
We had lots of bloody good thoughts on the results of our last Face-Off which had 30 Days of Night narrowly besting Dead Snow in the "wintertime creatures" bout. Dead Snow definitely has a solid fan base though and rightfully so. I hear the sequel is even better. It was also cool hearing that 30 Days has yet to become lost in the eyes of horror fans.

Today's Face-Off involves two classic horror comedies that have been creating a fair amount of sequel/reboot buzz on our site. Is Beetlejuice 2 truly on the horizon? Will Ghostbusters 3 be finally getting its all-girl green light? At this point, who the f*ck knows, but at least the news can still remind us of the greatness that stemmed from the originals. And it also gave us the idea for this Face-Off! So strap on your proton packs and say that special name three times because... it's showtime.

Plot
A group of recently unemployed scientists studying specters figure out a way of actually catching pesky ghosts. They soon become a hot commodity as New York City becomes overrun with strange, spooky happenings. Something big is on the horizon involving the great beyond and the Ghostbuters may be our last line of defense!
A recently deceased couple has trouble adjusting to the new family that just moved into their now vacant home. To help scare the new living tenants away for good, they end up enlisting the help of the ghost with the most, babe. However, Betelgeuse doesn't exactly play by the rules and a shitload of chaos and hilarity ensues.
Laughs
Ghostbusters is one of the funniest movies ever made. The spooky circumstances involving ghosts ends up being the ideal backdrop for bouncing off tons of freaked out humor. Of course, without comedic genius Bill Murray in the lead, the whole film could have derailed badly. Fortunately, every word Murray speaks, every move he makes is utterly, perfectly hilarious.
After watching Beetlejuice recently again, it's almost hard to believe how well it holds up, especially comedically. The out-there quirkiness of master, Tim Burton, is evident in every frame. From sight gags to hilarious dialogue, the damn film's a riot! And Keaton is on a whole new level with his no holds barred portrayal of the title character. A 17-minute performance for the ages.
Scares
Thanks to some nifty computer and practical effects, Ghostbusters does actually offer some tense moments that do send a jolt up your spine. I remember jumping out of my seat when I was young when Dana opened up the fridge to find that hell hound saying "Zuul". You get some creepy ghouls here and there as well as some fast scenes of terror. Dana getting abducted when those hands come out of the easy chair could have stemmed directly from a straight-up horror film.
Although Tim Burton definitely knows his scary, Beetlejuice leans more on the brighter side of dark chills. However, there are still some ghastly undead creations that are sure to at least tingle the spine a little. The scariest parts I remember from my childhood were the two instances in the beginning where the Maitlands try to scare the Deets' by trying to reenact gross suicides and murders.
Film Legends
Yes, Bill Murray. He is a legend and was only at the start of his career with Ghostbusters. Without him, this movie would not have been huge. However, the flick's success certainly also stems from the legendary chemistry concocted by the likes of Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, and Rick Moranis. This was a recipe for the ultimate summer blockbuster back in the day!
Michael Keaton deserves to be considered right up there with Bill Murray. If he isn't located in your mind and heart as part of your great movie-watching history, I feel sorry for you. And yes, Beetlejuice could NOT be played by any other actor. And then we get Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Catherine O'Hara to help guide the film valiantly when Mr. Keaton is off screen.
Lines
This is one of the most quotable movies ever made. So many lines of dialogue pop with hilarity that hearing them over and over again never gets old. Here's just a small sampling:

"Don't cross the streams."

"We've been going about this all wrong. This Mr. Stay Puft's okay! He's a sailor, he's in New York; we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!"

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

"He slimed me."

"That's a big Twinkie."

"There is no Dana, there is only Zuul."

" We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

"Someone blows their nose and you want to keep it?

" I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft!"

It's fair to say that every word Michael Keaton speaks in this film is instantly quotable. His costars' dialogue fairs pretty well too. Have a look:

"I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified?"

"Go ahead, make my millennium."

"This thing reads like stereo instructions."

"I'm here with you. I will live with you in this hellhole, but I must express myself. If you don't let me gut out this house and make it my own, I will go insane, and I will take you with me!"

"Ugh. Deliver me from L.L. Bean."

"Attention K-Mart shoppers."

"I'm a ghost with the most, babe."

"Nice fuckin' model!"

Ghostbusters
Please, know that I was trying my best not to play favorites here. I guess since I love both these movies so much, it would be tough to be biased towards either side. Yes, both of these films are horror/comedy classics, so it makes sense that this Face-Off was beyond close. At least it didn't end in a tie because that would have just felt cheap. I'm also not sure which of these two films I'd rather see a new sequel to. I guess, if done right and with respect, I wouldn't mind seeing both. What's your view on all of this? Kindly blast them bullets below! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at mikecatalano@joblo.com

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