Make us your home page

Having some fun with movies about death



I've been thinking a lot about death and the great beyond lately. Thankfully, I'm stuck in the 80s, a decade that is home to at least five classic movies on the subject: Night Shift, Better Off Dead, Beetle Juice, Always and The Big Chill.

But if you had to pick just one movie to cheer you up, which would it be?

Night_shift Stars: Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelly Long.
Pros: Takes place in a morgue, but involves hookers. I'm cheered up already.
Cons: Shelly Long is one of the hookers? My vital signs are fading.
Line to remember: "Hello, this is Chuck to remind Bill to SHUT UP!" (podcast)

Betteroffdead Stars: John Cusack, Diane Franklin
Pros: A comedy about suicide? Only Cusack could pull this off.
Cons: Not to be grim, but no one actually dies. Though clearly, we'd all like to strangle Ricky's mom to death.
Line to remember: "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that." (podcast)

ALWAYS (1989)
Always Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman.
Pros: Moments of unexpected comic genius between the three stars.
Cons: Director Steven Spielberg never likes to cheer people up.
Line to remember: "Boy, what a jerk I turned out to be. Dead! And now I'm sitting in the woods, getting my hair cut."

Bigchill Stars: Kevin Kline, Tom Berenger, William Hurt, Jeff Goldblum, Meg Tilly, Glenn Close
Pros: Two things any classic movie needs -- a great soundtrack and Jeff Goldblum.
Cons: A movie that sums up everyone we hate about the yuppie generation.
Line to remember: "Amazing tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can't come."

Beetlejuice Stars: Michael Keaton, Alex Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder
Pros: Perhaps the only comedy produced where the dead people outnumber the living ones.
Cons: Tim Burton makes Spielberg seem about as dark as Jiminy Cricket.
Line to remember: "Open this door you dead people or we'll bust it down and drag you out by the ropes you hanged yourselves with!"

MY VERDICT: I'm going with Night Shift. Only one dead character, Franklin the Pimp, and a soundtrack featuring Quarterflash and the Rolling Stones. Plus, I get to say "Loooove Brokers!" all night long.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:22pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours