Monday, March 7, 2016
Magical Watch: Teen Witch (1989)
A while back I became aware of the 1989 low-budget, more or less straight-to-cable movie, Teen Witch, that was not then, nor is it now aimed at me in the slightest. I would have been a 14 year old boy at the time this movie came out, likely in my freshman year of high-school, and while I can imagine the scenario that would have occurred where I'd have watched this one (stumbling across it on cable and force-feeding it to a friend), that never happened. Had I stumbled across it myself, I would have been far, far too embarrassed not for me - but for everyone involved in the movie - to stick with it.
Luckily, that's no longer a problem.
Yes, this movie is ungodly terrible, and it is everything you think it is, and more. And it is currently streaming on Netflix, so I genuinely welcome you to check it out.
Released in 1989, it's a post Sabrina The Teenage Witch from the comics, pre Sabrina The Teenage Witch TV show movie about a girl who, on her 16th birthday, comes into possession of magical powers, and with the power of little person actor, Zelda Rubinstein, comes to understand her powers and use them to manipulate reality to make the quarterback fall for her. Also, Dick Sargent plays her dad. Because what the hell else was Dick Sargent doing in 1989?
What's kind of amazing about the movie is that it has this weird feel like it's a movie made by people who have only ever read about movies, but have never actually seen one. They can't seem to decide if this is a movie for 12 year old girls or a more Rated-R sort of thing, and in the 1980's, that may have been a legitimate question. Back then we had Rated-R movies about high schoolers looking at boobs and having awkward sex.
Everything about the set-up feels like it should have been written in a Trapper Keeper with a unicorn on the cover, but then our chaste hero drops her birth control on the floor. When she finally gets alone with the quarterback in an abandoned house, it's not clear what, exactly, happens. There's a whole awkward sequence that's utterly unnecessary to the plot where a teacher has to deliver a lecture on sex education that feels like it was air lifted in from a different and somehow worse movie.
But the movie then has, like, three guys doing that horrible sort of "rapping" they used to make you do for book reports if you wanted extra credit and when white America still thought you started all rhymes with "My name is (blank) and I'm here to say, I'm going to (blank blank) in a major way!".
One bit of strangeness is the guy who's supposed to be dressed like the repugnant nerd is dressed in, what in 2016, would be a very trendy get-up. It's kind of awesome, really.
But, yeah. It's not really something I need to go on about. I could, and I want to, but life is short, my friends.
But if you're wondering why I was curious about the movie:
This storyline, btw, goes literally nowhere. As do many things introduced and then which just fade out. Really, to the point where you have no idea what is happening sometimes.
Oh, and the little brother is the kid from Near Dark.
And if you want to read a lot of people making excuses for themselves, Slashfilm has you covered.
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So you were browsing Netflix and came across this movie and decided to watch it?
Oh, no. I should be clear. Jamie mentioned it to me when I saw the above "rap" clip a couple years ago. She'd seen it in Junior High. Then someone did that Oral History of Teen Witch last week and it really piqued my curiosity. The filmmakerss made it sound like this movie went super-duper well and was much better than people said.
It was.. it was something special.
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