A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

The Worst Witch

October 29, 2010

The Worst Witch

I honestly can’t remember why we bought this movie. I blame the internet. When Amanda was in college she read a hilarious summary of this movie (I believe she will have linked to it in her review.) We had trouble believing that something starring Diana Rigg and Tim Curry could really be as bad as we had heard that it was. Then we tracked it down on video and laughed uproariously. This movie has all the class and great special effects that you would expect from a 1980s made for TV movie.

This is the story of the hapless young Mildred Hubble who is attending a very Hogwartsian boarding school for young witches. She is terrorised by a strict and unforgiving potions master. She has trouble flying her broom. She is the only young witch with a cat that is not all black. In short she is an outcast and an oddball amongst witches.

Ye gods! I cannot express how ludicrous this movie is. It has random musical numbers. It has a ton of very cheap bluescreen work. It has a lengthy and pointless segment where the girls form teams to scare each other by making silly faces. (Not quite as riveting as Quidditch I know.) It has a pink-haired villain who speaks with a ridiculous southern accent in spite of the fact that the character’s sister is clearly Brittish.

I’m fully aware that I am about as far from the target audience for this movie as you can possibly get. It’s intended (I believe) for teenaged girls. I am a middle aged man. So perhaps this would be easier for young girls in the eighties to watch… or perhaps not. I can’t imagine anybody doing anything but staring in slack-jawed disbelief at the lengthy musical number about Halloween sung by Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard.

I will say that it is fabulous casting to have Tim Curry in the movie. There’s a special kind of weirdness to all these girls swooning over his photograph (since the Grand Wizard is apparently the most desirable man in all the witching world. Sort of the Edward Cullen of his day.) And his musical number must be seen to be believed. What I don’t understand, however, is how on earth the film makers got Diana Rigg for the part of Miss Hardbroom. I’m just not used to seeing an accomplished and sell trained actress like her hamming it up to this degree. She plays the part with what I would call a madcap intensity. Particularly noteworthy are her over-the-top exits – her character being the type to always get in the last word.

You know what? I give up. If you want to understand this movie you just have to give in and experience it for yourself. I think THAT must be why we own it. Because we can try all we might to describe it to our friends but the only real way to communicate its particular cheesy charm is to just put it in the DVD player and watch it. At least it has the benefit of being pretty short.

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October 30, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

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