Tag Archives: Omri Katz

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Yes, We’re Still Celebrating The Damn Anniversary!: KATHY NAJIMY SHARES THE SECRETS OF HOCUS POCUS TO CELEBRATE ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

Mister D: Ya’ll know I love Bette Midler. I’m ecstatic that one of her movies is a cultural phenomenon. And I do love Hocus Pocus! But I have articles out the ass of every aspect of this movie. What more can they tell us? OMG! And there are still articles to come! LOL My only wish is that we had this much information and more on all her movies. There are things I’m dying to know about each. Maybe we’ll have to be our own reporters. But everybody’s dying off, to put things bluntly, so I wish I could figure a way out to get some first-hand accounts. Maybe if we all put our heads together we could create a list of people to contact. Think about it. Leave comments, Now enjoy this fine Hocus Pocus article. Thank you! SYFI Wire KATHY NAJIMY SHARES THE SECRETS OF HOCUS POCUS TO CELEBRATE ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY Contributed by Kristy Puchko Jul 23, 2018
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch

I tried to play it cool as my fingers drummed the index cards that contained too many questions about a cult-adored ’90s kids movie. I’d over-prepared as a means of trying to tame the butterflies in my stomach, which were doing an intense FANGRRL flutter. It’d been 25 years since Hocus Pocus hit theaters in the thick of a summer ruled by Jurassic Park and Free Willy. But I’d been in awe of comedienne Kathy Najimy for far longer. The special guest for an anniversary screening at Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Theater, Najimy entered the theater to the delight of star-struck fans and sat down with one of them (me!) to answer questions about the witchiest comedy ever made. 1993’s Hocus Pocus was a live-action Disney movie that starred Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson Sisters, the terrors of 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts. Though they’d been hanged for sucking the lives out of the town’s children, this tricky trio vowed to return when a virgin dared to light the Black Flame candle on Halloween. 300 years later, a skeptical virgin named Max (Omri Katz) does just that, bringing Winifred, Mary, and Sarah back to life for one wild night of high-flying thrills and running amok amok amok! Singing nun by day, feminist comic by night The year before Hocus Pocus hit theaters, Najimy broke through with her scene-stealing role as the contagiously joyful nun in the Whoopi Goldberg smash-hit Sister Act. She regaled the Alamo audience with her journey from a San Fran stage to mainstream movie stardom. “I did a two-woman feminist comedy called Kathy and Mo Show for many years,” she began. “We did it in San Francisco. And I heard that they were doing a musical called Sister Act about singing nuns. So I would do Kathy and Mo in San Francisco’s Theater on the Square at night, wake up, and fly to LA and audition (the next day). And I had to audition five times for Sister Act. Then, right as we wrapped Sister Act, I got a call that was crazy.” fangrrl’s dream come true “My whole life, I had been a really sycophantic fan of Bette Midler’s,” Najimy said, continuing her tale. “I had broken in backstage on Broadway, in Los Angeles, into the theater. I had done a singing telegram to her from somebody else that was really from me. I had gotten into the gate in her New York apartment building and left a message for her housekeeper. I had done crazy things. I have a one-woman show, and the first 30 minutes of it is my relationship with Bette before she knew that she had a relationship with me.” “So then, I get the call from Jeffery Katzenberg, who ran Disney at the time, ” Najimy explained. “And he said, ‘Hey, listen, I don’t know if you’re available, but do you want to star in a movie called Hocus Pocus, playing Bette Midler’s sister?’ So they picked me up off the ground and mailed me to Los Angeles.” Najimy’s singing telegram stunt may have inspired Midler’s Beaches role. “Here’s the best part to that story,” Najjimy said, leaning in conspiratorially, “When I was in San Diego, I was a singing telegram person. And I (dressed as) a big furry bunny, because my boyfriend had designed Alice in Wonderland at some college…I had barged in backstage at some theater to get to see Bette, saying, ‘Singing telegram! Live wire singing telegrams. I have a singing telegram for Bette Midler.’ But it was really just from me.” “So anyway, I had done this singing telegram to her. (Years later), we go to see Beaches,” she said, “And in it, Bette plays an actress who makes a living as this big, white, furry singing telegram bunny. And that was me! She like inadvertently stole that from me. But that was before we really had met. That was really crazy.” When they met on Hocus Pocus, Midler didn’t recognize Najimy as the eager fan or the singing telegram bunny. “She didn’t know any of that,” Najimy said. “When I arrived, I was just an actress.” But she couldn’t contain her inner fangrrl. (Who among us?) “Slowly on the set, I’d say things like, ‘Oh my god, those boots. You wore those boots in 1979 in Chicago when you did the concert at the something.’ She was like, ‘Oh, OK, great.’ I’d go into her trailer—we’d go back and forth, Sarah and Bette and I, into each other’s trailers—and I’d be like, ‘Oh my god, that’s your little dog Pepe that you had backstage once in Canada in 1942. And slowly she started realizing that her co-star sister was her stalker.” But over the course of the six months it took to make Hocus Pocus, Midler, Najimy, and Parker grew to become friends. Mary’s crooked mouth and signature hairdo were Najimy’s ideas. Lovable and loony, Mary Sanderson’s look is a red dress complete with slanted smile and a hairstyle that looks like a witch’s hat, minus the brim. Najimy corrected the latter misconception, telling us, “The costume designer (Mary E. Vogt) was brilliant but then we were talking about wigs and we couldn’t really decide. And I said how about if her wig is the top of a pumpkin? Like the stem.” So, Mary’s style inspiration for her twisted ‘do is a Jack-o-lantern. As for that quirky smirk, that was something Najimy discovered in rehearsals. “The characters (in my previous films) came kind of easy, and I was struggling with Hocus Pocus. Then one day in rehearsal I just sort of went to the side,” she said demonstrating, “And we decided she was a like bloodhound, so this sort of sniffy thing sort of happened (as she hunts down the children).” The film’s choreographer helped the Sanderson Sisters to fly their own way. Najimy noted that director Kenny Ortega had a background as a choreographer, so the physicality of their performance was given a lot of attention. “You usually don’t rehearse much for a film,” Najimy explained. “You just rehearse that day. But we rehearsed for a month because there was flying and dancing and singing.” Hocus Pocus‘s choreographer Peggy Holmes didn’t just deal in the famous “I Put A Spell On You” dance number, she also instructed the witches on how to fly. “(Peggy went) driving with Bette and Sarah and I, and from our driving she developed how we flew. So Sarah was like very front forward so she would hold it. [She demonstrates miming a broom held closely to her chest] I was like very 10-and-2 while I was driving, so she was like. ‘That’s how you’ll fly.'” From there, stunt coordinator Terry Frazee instructed the stars on how to handle the wire rigs and teeter rig that’d allow to swoop in on Max and his pesky sister Dani (Thora Birch).

Najimy worried the film might harm the reputation of witches. ...  Read More

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hocus Pocus TV Tropes And Trivia

TV Tropes Hocus Pocus TV Tropes And Trivia The Tropers 7-19-2018 Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Hocus Pocus A 1993 Halloween-themed Disney film for “kids”. This was the second film directed by Kenny Ortega, previously known for Newsies (1993). Now considered a cult favorite, the film’s rather campy, but pretty entertaining. It does, after all, contain a memorable rendition of “I Put A Spell On You” by Bette Midler. The song “Come Little Children” from this film went on to become a Halloween classic. The film opens in the year 1693. Thackery Binx (role shared by Sean Murray and Jason Marsden), a teenager living in Salem, Massachusetts, discovers his little sister Emily (Amanda Shepherd) has gone missing. Emily has been lured away to the farm of the Sanderson sisters, a trio of witches—consisting of older sister/leader Winifred “Winnie” (Bette Midler), middle child/tracker Mary (Kathy Najimy) and little sister/siren-like predator Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) — who suck the life-forces of little children to prolong their lives; such is the fate suffered by Emily. Thackery attempts to save her, but the sisters transform him into an immortal black cat. The sisters are soon after captured by the townspeople and hanged. Before her death, Winnie pronounces her death-curse, that “on All Hallows’ Eve, when the moon is round, a virgin will summon us from under the ground.” The scene shifts to 1993. The Dennisons are a California family who have just moved to Salem, bringing along teenaged son Max (Omri Katz) and 8-year-old daughter Dani (Thora Birch). Max is a virgin. Halloween night, Max takes his sister trick-or-treating and gets to hang with new love interest Allison (Vinessa Shaw). Allison tells him of the legend of the Sanderson sisters and of a supposed way to revive them; Max laughs and tries it out, bringing the Sandersons back to life. Now the three kids and the immortal cat Binx have to face the witches throughout the night, with the lives of every kid in Salem at risk. Midler claimed in a 2014 interview that she, Parker, and Najimy would be interested in playing the roles again if the producers asked. In 2015, she confirmed it was not going to happen. In 2015, The Magic Kingdom launched a Hocus Pocus themed musical revue as part of Mickey’s Not-So Scary Halloween Party: The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. In it, the Sanderson Sisters use the magic of the Magic Kingdom to return from the grave to throw a wild All Hallow’s Eve bash. While the sisters are Lighter and Softer than their film counterparts by necessity (having infanticidal witches at a Disney Theme Park wouldn’t exactly be ‘not-so scary’), the show is a loving tribute to the film, complete with a show stopping rendition of “I Put A Spell On You” as the finale. While a 1994 side-scrolling platformer by the same name also exists, they don’t have any connection to each other. Also unrelated is Kurt Vonnegut‘s 1991 novel of the same name.

This film provides examples of:

555: Max gives Allison his number at school. The paper only has this on it. Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Max, Dani and Allison have to flee the witches and zombie Billy Butcherson by following Thackery into the sewers, which are filled with spiders and rats, 

which is what Thackery eats as a cat ...  Read More

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hocus Pocus: The Original Script Focused More On The Sanderson Sisters; Studio Shifted Focus To Teenagers

Huffington Post There’s Actually A Good Reason To Make A ‘Hocus Pocus’ Sequel Sarah Jessica Parker said she would “love” to return to the Sanderson sisters. By Matthew Jacobs 10/07/2016 03:39 pm ET hocus-pocus-disney-bette-midler Like a virgin to a candle, rumors of a “Hocus Pocus” sequel have long lit up the internet. Sarah Jessica Parker fueled them once again during a “Watch What Happens Live” appearance on Thursday, saying, “I would love that. I think we’ve all been fairly vocal about being very keen.” Parker is right. Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy ― the other two Sanderson sisters ― have also expressed emphatic interest in making “Hocus Pocus 2.” Midler said in 2014 that it’s up to Disney, which produced the 1993 original, to get the cauldron boiling. I’m not one to encourage Hollywood’s nostalgia obsession, but there may be good reason to revive this particular Halloween staple. In a vintage interview with Entertainment Weekly, Parker said the “Hocus Pocus” we know now is nothing like the one she thought she was making. The original script centered more heavily on the Sanderson sisters, but the studio chose to shift focus to the teenagers who resurrect the witchy trio. ”I haven’t experienced editing to this degree before,” Parker reportedly said. The EW article indicates she was nearly edited out of the film, despite “weeks” of rehearsal. Considering Parker still appears in a solid chunk of “Hocus Pocus,” even getting her own musical number, I must admit I’d love to see a follow-up that showcases the full extent of the Sanderson sisters’ quirks. If not a sequel, maybe an alternate cut emphasizing the original vision? ”She was, like, Renfield mixed with Lolita mixed with a Shakespearean wood nymph mixed with, like, a 4-year-old with breasts,” Parker said of her character. “It was totally up to me to create her. I understand the choices that they made. I just wish they had left in a lot of the weird moments.”

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Will Hocus Pocus 2 Ever Happen? Here’s What Sarah Jessica Parker Says

CineBlend Will Hocus Pocus 2 Ever Happen? Here’s What Sarah Jessica Parker Says BY COREY CHICHIZOLA October 7, 2016 hocus-pocus-1024 With us now in the midst of October, the Halloween spirit and tendency for all things spooky is beginning to once again rise from the dead. As such, there are certain TV specials and movies that suddenly become must see TV in order to truly feel the spirit of Halloween. Chief among them is the 1993 classic comedy Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. This iconic 90’s romp plays annually around this time, with many people marking their calendars to ensure they catch an airing before October 31st. Because Hocus Pocus is still so popular more than 20 years later, many have been wondering: are they ever going to make a sequel? Sarah Jessica Parker, who played everyone’s favorite sultry witch in Hocus Pocus, recently did an appearance on her buddy Andy Cohen‘s late night show Watch What Happens: Live. While publicizing her upcoming HBO dark comedy Divorce, Parker was asked if a Hocus Pocus sequel was in the cards. She said the following:
I would love that. I think we’ve all been fairly vocal about being very keen but that hasn’t created any groundswell of movement.
Well, there we go. The three Sanderson Sisters seem to be down to fly another day. But it looks like the House of Mouse isn’t exactly rushing to produce a long awaited sequel. It’s actually quite surprising that there hasn’t been a Hocus Pocus sequel yet. While the film opened to modest success at the box office in 1993, it has since become a true cult classic. Generations of fans tune in to annual airings of the film, and the dialogue is all quotable to this day. Considering how much of a cultural icon Hocus Pocus has become over the years, it would probably behoove Disney to make another one while it’s still plausible for the cast members to reassemble. I can’t imagine Hocus Pocus 2 not making buckets of money at the box office with an October release, and it’s also plausible that Disney could up the price of airing the original movie on TV, making even more money in the process. The cast of Hocus Pocus have only continued growing growing their star power since 1993. Bette Midler is a living legend who is returning to Broadway this year in Hello, Dolly!, so she clearly has the stamina and vocal prowess to lead the cast once more. Additionally, Sarah Jessica Parker has become a massive star due to her long run on Sex and the City, and Kathy Najimy has continued her career of chewing the scenery in popular movies. Additionally, Thora Birch gained notoriety as an adult actress through American Beauty and Vanissa Shaw was recently seen in Showtime’s Ray Donovan. The only problem would be Omri Katz aka Max who retired from acting in the early 2000’s. Are you ready for a Hocus Pocus sequel? Or is it perfect the way it is? Sound off in the comments below.

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    Thursday, September 22, 2016

    New book about ‘Hocus Pocus’ now available

    New book about ‘Hocus Pocus’ now available September 21, 2016 | Disney, Movies hi-res-front-cover-hocus-pocus-in-focus-331x500 Hocus Pocus in Focus: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Disney’s Halloween Classic, a newly released book by author Aaron Wallace, is the first to dive deep into every aspect of the cult favorite film. “Something has changed,” Wallace says. “Far from the forgotten relic it was destined to become, Hocus Pocus has taken its place alongside The Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, and Home Alone — a bona fide classic that’s sure to stay alive for generations to come.” Aaron Wallace began his career as a lawyer, but he eventually returned to his undergraduate background in literature and film studies. His first book, The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom, was a Top Ten bestseller on the travel lists at Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Amazon.com. Now, Wallace turns to Hocus Pocus, offering a lighthearted but scholarly look at the movie “in all its spooky-kooky glory,” as he puts it. Readers will learn: • The fascinating history behind “I Put a Spell on You” and “Come, Little Children (Sarah’s Song)” • How Steven Spielberg shaped the movie • Why sexuality plays such a prominent role in the story • Insider secrets from the making of the movie • The clever hidden meanings in Walt Disney World’s Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular • And much, much more The book features a foreword by Thora Birch, who played little Dani in the movie. Birch is the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated star of such films as American Beauty, Ghost World, Now and Then, Clear and Present Danger, USA Network’s “Colony,” and three films set for release in 2017: The Etruscan Smile, Above Suspicion, and political thriller Public Affairs. Hocus Pocus writer and producer Mick Garris also provides an afterword for the book, detailing the creative process that turned a spooky children’s bedtime tale into a generational gem. Garris is well known for his work on Batteries Not Included, Showtime’s “Masters of Horror,” and Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories.” “Having Thora and Mick on board for this project means the world to me,” Wallace says. “I truly grew up with this movie — and with so much of their respective filmographies — so to have them taking a personal interest in my work now is beyond rewarding. As a Hocus Pocus fan myself, I know readers are going to be over the moon with the insights Thora and Mick are sharing in this book for the very first time.” Wallace also uncovers the largest collection of Hocus Pocus fun facts and trivia ever assembled, and he pairs them with movie recommendations culled from Bette Midler’s filmography, the Disney vault, and beyond. “I have to admit I didn’t know some of the facts and connections I uncovered while researching this book,” he says. “It’s enough to blow a Halloween movie fan’s mind!” Hocus Pocus in Focus is available at Amazon.com, on a variety of eBook formats, and in select bookstores, just in time for the 2016 Halloween season. The author also offers signed copies through his website, AaronWallaceOnline.com, where the book is also available in discounted bundles with his other titles. Later this year, Wallace is set to release his third book, The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Epcot. Neither book is affiliated with The Walt Disney Company or its affiliates or subsidiaries. “I’ve been a Hocus Pocus fan a lot longer than I’ve been an author,” Wallace says, “and even though I wrote it, I know this is the type of book I’d have gone crazy for. I think fans are going to walk away loving the movie even more than they knew. In the film, Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler) clings to her spell ‘BoooOOOoook’… now we fans have a Hocus Pocus ‘BoooOOOoook’ to call our own.” Bette Midler – Are You Surprised You Found A Home At Disney? Bette Midler Wants a ‘Hocus Pocus’ Sequel! Do You? BetteBack October 5, 1989: ‘Stella’ reshooting will scratch Midler from 1989 Oscar race BetteBack March 31, 1990: Rumor Has It That Bette Midler Will Bring ‘Legends’ To The Big Screen

    Is ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Happening? Producer Hints At Possible Disney Channel TV Movie | BootLeg Betty ...  Read More

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    Saturday, November 8, 2014

    Bette Midler And Company Game For Hocus Pocus Sequel – Write Disney

    Comic Book Bette Midler Says She and Hocus Pocus Co-Stars Are Game For A Sequel By Dennis Upkins 11/08/2014 screen-shot-2013-09-26-at-01-33-30 Bette Midler is more than game for a Hocus Pocus 2 and she’s urging fans to make their voices heard with Disney. On Reddit yesterday, Midler reported that she and Hocus Pocus co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy were game to do a sequel but it’s ultimately Disney’s call. “Inundate the Disney company,” Midler said. “Because I have canvassed the girls and they are wiling to do it, but we have no say in it, so if you want a Hocus Pocus 2, ask the Walt Disney company. You have been SO adorable. This has been most enlightening. SISTAHS! And don’t go chasing waterfalls…” In Hocus Pocus, Midler, Parker and Najimy, played the Sanderson sisters, a trio of witches who are resurrected on Halloween by a teenager, his younger sister and a classmate crush. The three kids have to stop the witches from sacrificing Salem’s children in an effort to gain eternal youth through witchcraft. The film has grown a loyal cult following since its release in 1993. Midler has also been keep busy herself. Her latest album, It’s The Girls, is available now. Write Walt Disney: Walt Disney Pictures 500 S Buena Vista St Burbank, CA 91505 Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures

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    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    11 Spellbinding ‘Hocus Pocus’ Facts You Might Not Have Known!

    MoviePilot 11 Spellbinding ‘Hocus Pocus‘ Facts You Might Not Have Known! by Kristin Lai â‹… Posted on October 28th, 2014 at 3:23am -24f02613-25a0-4384-b3af-855e5717193f Let’s talk Hocus Pocus! Yes, everyone’s favorite Halloween movie. Okay, it might not be everyone’s favorite, but it’s definitely earned its place as a Halloween classic. I’ve almost never lived a year without the Sanderson sisters around for All Hallows’ Eve. What would the holiday be without them? Largely the same, but perhaps a lot less fun. Even though this movie has been out for nearly as long as I’ve been alive, but I was still shocked at how many cool facts I didn’t know about Hocus Pocus! In case you’ve missed them like me, here are some of the highlights. 1. The man who played Billy Butcherson, Doug Jones, later went on to play Fauno and Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth. This guy really has a thing for playing tall, creepy characters! 2. Jones also revealed during a 20th anniversary screening of Hocus Pocus, that the moths that come out of his mouth at the end of the movie are real and not CGI. That’s…gross. 3. The hunky 90s dreamboat role of Max Dennison almost didn’t go to Omri Katz, but another famous teen star. Leonardo DiCarprio turned down the role to be in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. 4. During the 2004 show Who Do You Think You Are, Sarah Jessica Parker, who played Sarah Sanderson, found out that her 10th great-grandmother was arrested in Salem in the late 1600s and accused of committing “acts of witchcraft” and choking a neighbor to death. Luckily, the Salem Witch Trials ended before her case made it to court. Could you imagine? We could have lost SJP because of alleged witchcraft! 5. Even though this is a Halloween movie, it was actually released in July of 1993. Makes sense since the first thing kids want to think about during Summer vacation is having to go back to school in the Fall! 6. I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Kathy Najimy playing Mary Sanderson now. Back during casting, the role was almost given to Rosie O’Donnell! Rosie ultimately turned it down because she didn’t want to be seen as a “scary witch.” 7. Out of all of her movies, Hocus Pocus is Bette Midler’s favorite. At least it was back in 2008 during an interview on the BBC show “Breakfast.” 8. When Winifred appears on stage at the adult’s Halloween party, she says the line “Hello Salem, my name is Winifred. What’s yours?” If you’re a real theater fan you know that this is a spin on Mama Rose’s line “Hello world, my name is Rose, what’s yours?” from the musical Gypsy. Bette Midler played Mama Rose on the TV version of the musical in 1993. The same year that Hocus Pocus was released! 9. The director of Hocus Pocus, Kenny Ortega, is also the man behind the High School Musical movies. Just imagine if “Come Little Children” was replaced with “We’re All in this Together.” Now that’s a scary thought. 10. According to the writer and co-executive producer Mick Garris, Hocus Pocus was almost called Disney’s Halloween House. I only wish I knew what that storyline would have looked like. Did it only take place in a house? Were the classic Disney characters present? 11. Had his plans worked out, the film rights to Hocus Pocus would have been owned by Steven Spielberg. But as we know, the rights went to Disney, and the rest was history!

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    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    13 Days of Horror: Five Freaky Facts About “Hocus Pocus”

    Too Fab 13 Days of Horror: 5 Freaky Facts About “Hocus Pocus” October 25, 2014 hocus_pocus_bette_midler_kenny_ortega_054_jpg_nuyu With Halloween right around the corner, we’re counting down the days by posting five fun or freaky facts about our favorite fright flicks. Today’s featured film is “Hocus Pocus.” 1. Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Sarah, is actually singing “Come Little Children” in the movie! 2. The role of Max Dennison was originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio, but was given to Omri Katz when DiCaprio turned it down to appear in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” 3. This is the only feature film Kenny Ortega has directed without also providing the choreography. His other works include “Dirty Dancing,” the “High School Musical” movies and “This Is It.” 4. Sarah Jessica Parker researched her family history and was shocked to discover that her 10th great-grandmother, Esther Elwell, was arrested in Salem in the late 1600s for committing “sundry acts of witchcraft” to choke a neighbor to death. Esther’s case never went to court as the warrant for her arrest was issued after the Salem Witch Trials ended. 5. In 2008, Bette Midler said on the BBC show “Breakfast” this was her favorite film out of all the films she’s done. Ours too! 8 Fun Facts You Never Knew About Hocus Pocus Until Right Now 12 Crazy, Interesting Facts About Hocus Pocus You Never Knew The 31 Days of HOMO-ween – Day 11: Bette Midler In “Hocus Pocus” (1993) – “Hello Salem, my name is Winifred! What’s yours?”

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    Monday, October 20, 2014

    What’s Going On In Kansas City? A Staged Reading Of Hocus Pocus!

    10-20-2014 9-48-54 AM   The witches are back for an encore performance! After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to the witches’ reign of terror once and for all. Based on the 1993 campy comedy, the films comes to life for one night only…until the Black Flame Candle burns out! VIP price includes a trick-or-treat bag and seating in the first two rows! Limited availability. STARRING Daisy Buckët as Winifred Sanderson Genewa Stanwyck as Mary Sanderson Heidi Banks as Sarah Sanderson

    Brian Cross as Max, Binx, & Various Roles Matt Anderson as Alison, Dani, & Various Roles … and Dirty Dorothy as all the others! ...  Read More

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    Friday, October 10, 2014

    Hocus Pocus: TV Tropes And Idioms

    caricature-bette-midler-as-winifred-sanderson-in-hocus-pocus
    Film: Hocus Pocus
    A 1993 Halloween-themed Disney film for “kids”. This was the second film directed by Kenny Ortega, previously known for Newsies (1993). Now considered a cult favorite, the film’s rather campy, but pretty entertaining. It does, after all, contain a memorable rendition of “I Put A Spell On You” by Bette Midler. The song “Come Little Children” from this film went on to become a Halloween classic. The film opens in the year 1693. Thackery Binx (role shared by Sean Murray and Jason Marsden), a teenager living in Salem, Massachusetts, discovers his little sister Emily (Amanda Shepherd) has gone missing. Emily has been lured away to the farm of the Sanderson sisters, a trio of witches—consisting of older sister/leader Winifred “Winnie” (Bette Midler), middle child/tracker Mary (Kathy Najimy) and little sister/siren-like predator Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) — who suck the life-forces of little children to prolong their lives; such is the fate suffered by Emily. Thackery attempts to save her, but the sisters transform him into an immortal black cat. The sisters are soon after captured by the townspeople and hanged. Before her death, Winnie pronounces her death-curse, that “onAll Hallows’ Eve, when the moon is round, a virgin will summon us from under the ground.” The scene shifts to 1993. The Dennisons are a California family who have just moved to Salem, bringing along teenaged son Max (Omri Katz) and 8-year-old daughter Dani (Thora Birch). Max is a virgin. Halloween night, Max takes his sister trick-or-treating and gets to hang with new love interest Allison (Vinessa Shaw). Allison tells him of the legend of the Sanderson sisters and of a supposed way to revive them; Max laughs and tries it out, bringing the Sandersons back to life. Now the three kids and the immortal cat Binx have to face the witches throughout the night, with the lives of every kid in Salem at risk. While a 1994 side-scrolling platformer by the same name also exists, they don’t have any connection to each other. Also unrelated is Kurt Vonnegut‘s 1991 novel of the same name.

    This film provides examples of:

     
    • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Max, Dani and Allison have to flee the witches and zombie Billy Butcherson by following Thackery into the sewers, which are filled with spiders and rats, which is what Thackery eats as a cat! Very squicky to the trio.
    • Accidental Misnaming: In one scene Max introduces himself to the two bullies, Jay and “Ice”, and says he’s from Los Angeles. They start calling him “Hollywood” from then on.
    • Adults Are Useless:
      • The children tried to get help from their parents and the rest of the party-goers. They don’t believe them and think it’s some kind of Halloween prank.
      • They also tried for help from the man they thought was a police officer. (He was only in costume.)
      All Hallows’ Eve: The Black Flame Candle only works on this day, and once lit, will not last beyond this day. All Part of the Show: What the adult party-goers think of the Sandersons taking over the stage and singing a song to them, to the point they indulge in audience participation and sing too, thus 

      unknowingly enchanting themselves ...  Read More

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