After Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland are killed in a car crash, they find themselves trapped as ghosts in their beautiful New England farmhouse.
Their peace is disrupted by the pretentious and obnoxious new owners of their house. Barbara and Adam try to scare them out but they are either ignored or laughed at.
Finding the Handbook for the Recently Deceased unhelpful, they seek advice from their afterworld caseworker Juno (Sylvia Sidney). Eventually, in desperation, the couple contract the services of ‘bio-exorcist’ Beetlejuice in order to remove the new owners.
At one point Barbara is silenced in manner that gives a whole new level of meaning to ‘Put a zip on it!’.
Robert Short was responsible for creature and makeup effects; Steve LaPorte & Ve Neill were the makeup artists; Dale Brady, Matt Rose & Thomas Floutz were the special makeup effects artists (uncredited); William Forsche was Barbara/Adam transformation assistant (uncredited).
On his website Robert Short says Beetlejuice was one of the last films to be made without CGI and that ‘some the film’s challenges resulted in the first use of airbrushing to apply makeup’ in a movie.
Steve La Porte, Ve Neill & Robert Short won an Oscar for their work on the movie.