Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Witches: A Classic Review

There are some movies that enter our lives as children, and stick with us. You could watch them again as a teenager, young adult, senior citizen, and they will always enduce the same reaction. They make you feel all weird inside, make you want to giggle, flail your arms, scream, crawl out of your body with excitement... it's always the same.

I don't care who you are. It's ALWAYS the same.

I'm sure Obama drops a load in his presidential pants when he sees a flick from his childhood. Nelson Mandela freaks out when a gem re-enters his life. Fidel Castro, Gorbachev, Madonna, Michael Jordan, Flava Flav... They've all been there.

The year was 1990. I was 7 and Angie was 5. We already understood the concept of book-to-movie since our obsession began at a very early age. That's beside the point... Flashback to 1990:

Angie: Chanty! Mommy and Daddy say we can go see The Witches at the show!!! Do you think it will be a satisfying adaptation?

Chantale: You're so well-spoken for a 5 year old! Yeaaah! Let's go!

Angie: Can we get donutas and popcoin?

Chantale: Of course we can. But I get more cause I'm older. Na na na poo poo!
I digress.

Roald Dahl's classic and oh so popular novel was about to come to life before our very eyes! And with Jim Henson Productions behind it, success was guaranteed! (Yet another side note - this was Jim Henson's last project before the legend passed away in May 1990)...

So off we went. We left reality for exactly 92 minutes. We travelled to both Norway and the United Kingdom where we cacced our pants in fear from scary little girls in paintings:

And freaked out as Anjelica Huston peeled off her face to reveal this horrific mess:

From Fab to -------------> SCABBED!

Aiiight. Plot - here we go. Little Luke moves to England with his grandmother Helga following the tragic death of both his parents. Nana Helga has educated Luke on the very real existance of witches. She's taught him about their square toes, itchy, bald scalps under their wigs, and of course, their very intense sense of smell.

After Nana collapses, the doctor prescribes a 'holiday by the seaside'. Because, afterall, everyone knows that a holiday by the seaside is a great remedy for diabetes. Duh. Anyhoo. Off they go on their vacay! During their stay at the Luxurious Seaside Hotel... that's what we dubbed it... Luke decides to go exploring! Luke wanders into an empty conference room, when suddenly, a group of women barge in to begin a very secretive meeting. Who are these women you ask? They're a 'children's charity' led by Evangeline Ernst (Huston) AKA The Grand High Witch - Wow, what a title!

Luke watches as the doors are locked and the meeting commences. The wigs come off, the toeless biatches are revealed! Oh me oh my! But alas, Luke is a child, and since children smell like dog shite to witches (niiiiice), he is discovered!

Luke is turned into a mouse and is now on the run from the witches! Shenanigans, shenanigans, shenanigans!

If you haven't seen it, obviously, you need to. If you have, I'm sure it gives you that same creeped out but oh-so-glorious feeling of nostalgia!

P.S. Anyone else remember her ridiculously long fingies?

P.P.S. Guillermo del Toro plans to remake this classic in stop-motion animation. Hmmm... Could be epic! We're in!


JRL said...

Although i know the feeling you speak of, this movie does not bring those feelings out in me.. possibly because i've never seen it. I'm pretty sure if i did see it as a child, it would have scared me for life!

Amber said...

I was watching this movie a couple of weeks ago and realized that I used to dress exactly like Luke--the ugly acid was jeans, the exact same sneakers, etc.

Witches is totally scary and that little girl in the picture used to creep me out.

Serge said...

Might actually check this movie out now thanks to you. Nice post.

Weight Loss said...

Thanks for the review. It seems to be interesting movie and i cant wait when i see it

Sadako said...

Oh god, this film frightened the crap out of me. It wasn't till I was past college that I could watch it without leaving the room during...THAT scene. You know the one I mean. The face mask and...ugh.

I actually recapped this on my blog a few weeks ago. It sort of helped me get over my fear. Of course the bad dreams came back:

If anyone needs me, I'll be in therapy.

Henna @ AboutDivorce Blog said...

the pictures remind me of the great witches of narnia and oz, what great movies they were and what characters these ladies portrayed - it looks promising too