Awfully Good: Teen Witch

With a return to the world of Harry Potter this weekend, Awfully Good revisits our favorite movie about magical adolescents…

Teen Witch (1989)

Director: Dorian Walker
Stars: Robyn Lively, Zelda Rubinstein, Dan Gauthier

An awkward high school outcast gets magical powers on her 16th birthday and uses them for pure evil.

Not every movie about teenagers from the 1980s can be a John Hughes film. And not every 80s teen movie can be as memorably bad as TEEN WITCH.

Even without Marky Mark, members of the Bunch still had their fans.

TEEN WITCH exists as a product of its time, which is a nice way of saying that it's exceedingly lame and cheesy, like many movies from that decade. Specifically, it’s just like one 80’s film in particular… TEEN WOLF. That makes sense since TEEN WITCH was initially conceived as a sister sequel to the furry Michael J. Fox flick, but was then changed at the last minute. And by "changed," I mean they literally just switched the main character from a werewolf to a witch and didn't bother to update anything else. Most other characters, plot points and even jokes are eerily similar to the point of copyright infringement.

What is it with the 1980s and saxophone players? How can we get this back in our lives? This is what our country needs more than anything.

If there's one thing you remember or have heard about this movie, it's no doubt "Top That," the heinous rap battle that inspired a thousand Fred Dursts. Despite what the characters claim, it's one of the most un-"hip" moments in cinema history. And it's only one out of many terrible, terrible musical moments in the film, which is more of an MTV showcase than it is an actual movie. TEEN WITCH exists in a terrifying world where everyone thinks they can sing, rap and dance and break in to goofy rhyme or awkward choreography completely unannounced. Get ready to be subjected to some of the worst 80s songs ever written. Catchy audio abortions like “Popular Girl” and “I Like Boys” will haunt your subconscious for days, rendering your life utterly useless. (You'll find samples in the Best Parts video if you like to live dangerously.)

This is not Phoebe Cates, but it still makes me miss Phoebe Cates.

The film stars Robin Lively (Blake Lively's sister) as Louise, a socially awkward teenager whose only friend Polly dresses like John Cusack in SAY ANYTHING and whose little brother—well, I don't even know how to describe her brother in this movie. He's invented his own school of bizarro acting that's part old British woman, part maniacal villain. Anyways, Louise is super in to hunky quarterback Brad, which means she writes erotic fiction about him and stalks him from the shadows when he's changing clothes. For reasons never really explained, when Louise turns 16, she is randomly bestowed magical powers to make her sordid dreams come true. Her witchcraft mentor is none other than POLTERGEIST’s Zelda Rubinstein, who deserves an award for Worst Role Model in a Feature Film. Throughout the movie, Rubinstein continually tries to teach Louise how to commit financial fraud, brainwash celebrities, destroy the lives of all those who oppose her, force her crush to dump his girlfriend and fall in love with her, and even turn amphibians in to human sex slaves. Of course there's an eventual moral lesson ("The real magic is believing in yourself!"), but for the most part TEEN WITCH is a sordid exposé on how absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Movie You Didn't Know You Wanted to See: A Zelda Rubinstein lesbian romantic comedy.

And if you assumed that horny Zelda Rubinstein and white people rapping were the most cringeworthy parts of TEEN WITCH, wait til you get to all the weird sex stuff. There's the sex-ed class where students freestyle about penises and chant "CONDOM! CONDOM! CONDOM!" the first time they see a prophylactic. Louise casts a spell on her English teacher that forces him to strip and expose himself to his students and the principal. A REVENGE OF THE NERDS character tries to comedically sexually assault Louise, until she ostensibly murders him with her powers. But worst of all is the super creepy sex scene, where Brad invites Louise to an abandoned house in a field of sunflowers. She walks in, sees his discarded shirt on the floor, takes off her shirt, and walks up the stairs to find her Lothario basking in the sunlight. They circle each other as sexy saxophone music plays before finally doing it on the floor of a building which I can only assume has been condemned for safety reasons.

The professor of Ron Jeremy 101 was very passionate about his studies.

TEEN WITCH is painful to an almost enjoyable level, like a gory car wreck you can't help staring at. Also, I'd like to point out that Louise and her BFF Polly never reconcile after their predictable second-act falling out, only because the writers clearly forgot about that plot thread.

"Zipper lizard, tally whacker, trouser snake, schlong!" and other winners.

Obviously the "Top That" rap battle, as well as other amazingly lame song and dance numbers. BONUS: A sample of the creepy love scene in an abandoned house.

Zelda Rubinstein keeps her clothes on. Drat.

Geez Louise! Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:
  • Somebody raps, sings or dances
  • The brother is weird
Double shot if:
  • Louise casts a spell

Thanks to Jillian, T_Mar, and Freddie for suggesting this week's movie!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Extra Tidbit: Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat did her own version of "Top That." Watch it here.
Source: JoBlo.com



Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Featured Youtube Videos