Aaaaaand…we’re off! To start the month of fear, terror and silliness, I’m beginning with a classic/cult based around Halloween itself.
Bette Midler as Winifred
Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah
Kathy Najimy as Mary
Directed by Kenny Ortega
Synopsis: The Sanderson sisters were accused of and hanged for witchcraft in Salem in the 1600’s, but left behind a curse that will bring them back 300 years later. On Halloween night, three kids from present-day Salem join forces with a headless zombie and an immortal cat to defeat the Sanderson sisters forever, and saving the lives of all the children in Salem.
This is such a silly movie it’s fantastic. It’s a bit too silly in some senses, such as Thora Birch’s performance (talk about overacting!) and the hokey effects, but it just makes it that much more fun. The fabulous Gumby Sasquatch, Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), appears as Billy. The Marshalls, Garry and Penny, appear as Satan and his “little woman”. And the oft-picked-on Probie, Sean Murray from NCIS, plays both Thackery Binx from 300 years ago and his immortal feline counterpart. Such fun!
What makes this silly movie worth a view by adults in today’s world (yes, this movie is 19 years old, and it still holds up)?
1. The Divine Miss M. Steals the show (which isn’t hard in most cases, as she’s the star). She is so fabulous, in any connotation of the word, you might just giggle with glee every time she steps on screen. She also gets to sing, and who can’t love that voice? She’s amazing, sarcastic, and frumpy. The perfect 300-year-old witch returned from the dead.
2. The sisters Sanderson. Mary is the caretaker, but with a very interesting skill. She’s so worried about letting everyone down that she gets a bit too hyped up sometimes, but she’s also the master of relaxation techniques, which is used to great effect. Sarah is a twit, and she’s so damn good at it! Just a flippy little blonde with big boobs and no idea how to take care of herself when the other two aren’t around. She’s so flaky, you can’t help but ignore everyone else in her scenes as you watch her run amok. And eat spiders.
3. Winnie’s creep-tastic relationship with her spellbook. It’s downright bizarre. Maybe that’s where J.K. Rowling got the idea for Mad-Eye Moody? Hmm…
4. The cheeseball effects and script. It’s totally hokey, but that’s its charm. I love the inflatable cat.
So if you haven’t yet had the privilege of viewing this cult classic, you’d better get on it. It’s one of the most quotable Halloween movies ever, and it’s all so silly. You can’t help but enjoy it, because it’s too cute to hate.
Scream Meter: 2/10 It’s not scary. At all. But there are a couple of gags that might make you jump.
Buddy Meter: 1/10 Again, it’s not scary in the slightest. But you’ll all love watching it together and imitating the Sanderson sisters.
Overall Rating: 7/10 One of my seasonal favorites. I’ve already watched it twice.