Bad Movies We Love:Â HocusÂ Pocus
Whip up a cauldron of haterade, because this weekâ€™s Bad Movie We Love is a foray into childrenâ€™s Halloween cinema. Itâ€™s a bargain binÂ Addams Family ripoff with spooky gusts of wind beneath its wings. Itâ€™sÂ Hocus Pocus, my pretties, Disneyâ€™s perennial Halloween favorite for people who were exactly 7 in 1993. (Present!) Weâ€™ve got yer veteran character actresses in hag attire, a couple of winning child stars, and two songs that should render you songless until Thanksgiving. No, this is not aÂ prequel toÂ Sex and the City 2.
Director Kenny Ortega (!!!) has a tale on his hands that would send chills throughout Sleepy Hollow: Three witches (Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker) hanged in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1600s come back 300 years later to terrorize two youngsters (Thora Birch and Omri Katz), thanks to a curse placed on their bodies. Thereâ€™s also some business involving an immortal cat, but you just need to call this flickÂ The Excrucible, pretty much. Like all Bad Movies We Love, there are five great perks worth revisiting here, and we have them all tallied down. Talk about aÂ Ghost World â€” this weekâ€™s selection is damn haunted!
5. At age 11, Thora Birch knew how to matter.
Sure, sheâ€™s not even the kid star who acts as our main protagonist (that honor belongs to Omri Katz, whose character hilariously has to keep asserting his virginity â€” though his floppy hair remains the envy of all early â€™90s fifth graders), but Thora Birch is pretty fresh as young Dani. Sheâ€™d reach her true potential inÂ American Beauty, but her performance is that rare version of precociousness that doesnâ€™t seem unbelievable on camera. Sheâ€™s smart, but not an adult hiding in a kidâ€™s body. Refreshing. Not creepy. Tolerable.
4. Am I buying discount leopard heels? Because it appears weâ€™re at â€œMarshalls.â€
Please click to 1:50 for the most confusing pair of cameos from Garry and Penny Marshall. What is this,Â Lost in America? How are Marshall cameos even legal in 1993. Theyâ€™re a married couple here (chills), and theyâ€™re also pretty goddamn sick of this movie, it appears. I donâ€™t know what or whose favor reeled them into the picture, but their involvement is a glamorously dada moment in such pedestrian fare. Talk aboutÂ Awakenings! I wonâ€™t sleep for days.
3. Remember when Sarah Jessica Parker ruled?
I brought this up before, but Sarah Jessica Parker used to be prettyÂ unpredictable as an in-demand Hollywood thespian. Before Carrie Bradshaw set her up for life as a bonily chic romcom star,Â SJPtook on character roles that can best be described as â€œwacky.â€ I could stand to rewatchÂ L.A.Â Storyand, hell,Â Honeymoon in Vegas. Or evenÂ Mars Attacks! (again). Here, as witch Sarah Sanderson, she spends most of her screentime working up giggles and witchy shivers during All Hallowâ€™s Eve. Sheâ€™s brassy!Â And scary! I donâ€™t know how she does it, but actual witchcraft is officially not out of the question. Just putting it out there: Kim Cattrall may have stolen her Samantha Jones laugh fromÂ SJPâ€™s work in this movie.
2. Remember when Sarah Jessica Parker wooed children to their doom?
Hocus Pocus is a bona fide cult sensation, and I think part of the reason why is Sarah Jessica Parkerâ€™s creepy, yet oddly alluring siren song â€œCome Little Children.â€ Sure, sheâ€™s caressing a broom while soothing unsuspecting children, but she makes their doom sound like an irresistible dollop of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. Enjoy the succulence of death, sweet kids. Just watch and gawp with me.
1. Bette Midler puts a spell on you, and itâ€™s got soul.
Onetime Oscar nominee Bette Midler is a three-layer sassafras casserole inÂ Hocus Pocus, and her zeal only multiplies as head witch Winifred Sanderson during the course of the film. Some solid one-liners from Winnie: â€œOh, look. Another glorious morning. Makes meÂ sick.â€ Not quiteÂ Morticia Addams, but good enough. Or: â€œYou know, Iâ€™ve always wanted a child. And now I think Iâ€™ll have oneâ€¦ on toast!â€ Both hilarious and lame! Thanks,Â Hocus Pocus. But Midlerâ€™s fearless campiness culminates in a near-unprecedented rendition of â€œI Put a Spell on Youâ€ later in the movie. Is it embarrassing? Not really. Well, not when you realize theÂ karaoke disaster it couldâ€™ve been. Sarah Jessica Parker, how could you be involved in two of the nuttiest karaoke segments of the cinemaâ€™s past 20 years? How? It bears repeating: I. Donâ€™t. Know. How. She. Does. It.
- Hocus Pocus (thatswhatkimsaid.com)
- Hocus Pocus (1993) (lolablueblog.wordpress.com)
- Thrilling Thursdays: Hocus Pocus (thedilettantista.com)