Thursday, November 6, 2014

Watching "Hocus Pocus" for the first time - At 24 years old

Based on people's reactions when I told them that I'd never seen "Hocus Pocus" before, I have been living a half-life. An unfulfilled life. People, it's not like I said that I've never seen "Muppet Christmas Carol." If that were the case, I'd throw myself out the nearest window.

Anyway, sorry it took so long. Blame my current lack of laptop. Hopefully you're still in the Halloween spirit on November 6th!

The film opens, and I suddenly realize that I've rented the wrong movie. By a fantastic twist of fate, I've rented a movie titled Bette Midler. 

Ah, wait. I see. A common mistake, I'm sure.

I would like to now take a moment and point out that I am perfectly suited to analyze this movie. I am, after all, named after the great Cotton Mather.

Hello, handsome. This gentleman was around during the Salem witch trials. And he was... cool to the witches. Or maybe he was super uncool to them. One or the other, though - ya know? What I'm saying is, my bloodline makes me qualified to dissect the dialogue of early 90s Halloween movies.

So anyway, we're in the year 1693 and there's a young boy with a very expressive face running around Salem. Wait, is this Salem? I suppose I'll find out. 

His name is apparently Thackery. Which is not (and has never been) a name. But I'll go with it.

He's looking for his sister, but it's too late. She has melted into a truly spectacular showing of early 90s special effects. And it also appears that these three (gasp) OLD women are sucking out her soul.

So Thackery (not a real name) busts in and mocks them for being old and ugly. Which, they had it coming, I suppose. Daring to exist while being old and ugly? Why didn't they kill themselves years ago?

"Who you calling old? We've sucked enough soul to make us middle aged, and we're feeling generous. Instead of killing you, we'll turn you into an immortal cat!"

"Makes sense."

So then Bette Midler and Co. throw a blanket over the child corpse they just created.

"They'll never know."

SOMEHOW the villagers discover the child corpse, despite valiant efforts to hide it. And they follow Cotton Mather's lead. 

And then Thackery's dad is like, "WHERE'S MY SON?"
And the witches are all, "That's a dumb name."
And Thackery is all, "Meow meow look down here, father!"

But the dad can't understand him (He's a cat, you see). The witches die, Thackery looks sad in a corner, and we time warp to present (aka 1993) day.

In this present-day, teachers spend an hour reciting a fairytale to high schoolers, because it's a good use of their time.

"Hello, new kid. You're from California, right? Well, I'm assuming from your tie dye shirt. I'm going to point out your differences because I'm the worst teacher in the world."

Well wouldn't you know it, Tie Dye McCoy doesn't believe in Halloween. And 90s dreamgirl in the background takes umbrage with that.You better believe she tells him so.

"Even though you believe in Halloween, and I'm from California, I still think we can make this work. Here's my number."

And the teacher watches all of this because she's the worst.

All that flirting, PLUS a run-in with the school bullies? Somebody has a real case of the Mondays.

Man this kid really needs to blow off some steam. But how could the movie display that in the weirdest way possible?

Let's have him be super into drums for one minute and then never bring them up again - EVER.

Alas, no one is immune to familial obligations, no matter how much you wanna bang on those drums. 

The girl from American Beauty shows up. She is jonesing for some candy and wants her big brother to take her trick-or-treating. Man, I hope this doesn't end up embarrassing for Tie Dye McCoy. 

"Sigh... Can't catch a break. Hey, little sister. Let's bond for a quick sec, then we'll enter a mansion without being invited."

Wouldn't you know it? It's 90s dreamgirl's house!

"90s dreamgirl! It's you!"

"Tie Dye McCoy! It's you! Let me just change out of this pesky ballgown and we can go explore an abandoned home that witches used to live in. American Beauty child, you can come, too."


"For a town obsessed with these three witches, they have not kept up the witches' historical home very well. Oh well. How about I light this candle that will bring them back from the dead? But first I'm going to use the word 'virgin' about 6 times."


Unperturbed by the black cat omen, Tie Dye McCoy lights the candle. And wouldn't you know it, Bette Midler & Co. shall rise again. 

Thankfully before they can suck out any souls...


"I saved you. Oh and also, I can talk."

If he could talk, why did Thackery the cat never tell anyone that the witches were real until today? Why didn't he tell his dad who he was? WHAT'S HAPPENING?!

Anyway, the kids escape. And Bette is left to explain every detail of what's about to happen for the next 45min because you've probably already forgotten what was explained at the beginning of the movie. 

The gist: Must eat kid souls by sunrise or will die. 

Thackery the liar cat, not to be outdone by Bette Midler, also takes 5 minutes to go through his exposition for the audience. 

"LOL let's use the word 'virgin' 6 more times. And also, DON'T OPEN THAT BOOK. Hint hint."

Those pesky witches keep showing up. And this time they woke Billy Butcherson (Played by Doug Jones) up from the dead. You know Doug Jones, but you don't know that you know him. He's the guy that plays every creepy character ever.

Look familiar?


Anyway, ol' Billy couldn't get the kids, so the witches are forced to take the most bizarre bus ride that has ever been chronicled in a movie. 


Don't worry kids - He's immortal! Remember? I sure didn't. I thought we had just witnessed cat homicide. 

So anyway the cat is alive and the adults in this town are being super inappropriate to teenagers, so the world is as it should be.

So now the witches seem to be confused by a man in onesie pajamas and devil horns. Man, these ladies sure are dumb, amirite?


Okay the devil bit felt like a padded 10 minutes that were thrown in because the producers felt like featuring Penny Marshall.

...I'm okay with it.

And now the children are finding their parents (remember their parents?) to explain that there be witches in this town. 

But first -- DaNCe BrEAk!!!!

*phew* enough of that. Now how about those kids take about two seconds to try to talk to their parents about the witches. The parents, of course, are having none of it. Because adults are devilspawn in this movie.

You wanna know who keeps his damn mouth shut this whole time?!

LIAR CAT THACKERY HIMSELF. One little explanation out of his tiny cat lips would have brought these witches down.

Well trying to explain everything to adults did nothing. You know what that means - It's time for a school chase!

The chase culminates in a Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego situation.

The book of Daniel, people - ever read it? Perhaps you shouldn't. It's a story from the Old Testament so it's quite dark. Or rather... quite HOT.

Get it?!

Anyway, let's celebrate! The witches are gone!

Let's take naps with immortal cats. But let's NOT open books that we have been expressly forbidden to open.

DAMMIT. Well at least the witches are dead. Definitely dead. No need to worry about -

Well, fine.


Oh dear. Now the witches have tiny American Beauty girl AND the book.

Well thankfully Sarah Jessica Parker is now able to expose herself in a children's movie.

Guys, you can keep your "Say hello to my little friend" and your "This time it's personal." I'll take the classic, "Daylight savings time" movie quote any day of the week. 

 "We've been had! Tricked by headlights! To the graveyard again!"

Apparently Billy the sewn-up lip guy is actually a good guy. He un-sews his lips just to hurl a few choice words at ol' Bette. Not entirely certain why he's been following the children around this entire time, then. 

Kids: Billy! You were a good guy this entire time?
Billy: Yes!
Kids: Then why were you following us around?
Billy: None of your damn business.

Cut to: Dramatic Fight Scene

Dramatic Fight Scene

Dramatic Fight Scene 


And finally - Did I leave the oven on (part 2)

The witches have turned to stone! Or dust, which is what they said would happen in the beginning of the movie. But really, what movie writer has time to flip back THAT many pages?

She's looked better. 

Binx is dying! His cat attacks saved you fools three times in this movie. He may be a liar cat, but he doesn't deserve to go this way!

Let me tell you, nothing preserves teeth better than having your mouth sewn shut for 300 years. They has braces in 1693, right?


"The witches are gone! And I look fabulous, to boot."

Oh and don't worry about that dead liar cat. He has come back as the ghost of Thackery - the boy with too many facial expressions whose name isn't real.

Now let's just squeeze in one more joke about Max being a virgin, and we'll pan over to his sister Emily (remember her?) who is the spectral equivalent of Muppet Christmas Carol's Ghost of Christmas Past.

And with one final wave back to the trio who turned him from immortal liar cat to expressive ghost, he's gone.

DAMN. Just four words away from the word "virgin" being the last word of the movie. It would have been appropriate.


Well I don't know about you all, but I'm ready for a sequel.