Thursday, August 26, 2010

Woo-hoo Witchy Woman, See How High She Fliiiiies

The Worst Witch is a salacious tale of sexual awakening masquerading as a cute family film about a misfit preteen witch. I don’t think I have to tell you how many fairy tales and classic children’s fantasy stories have some sort of sexual subtext. But that subtext is so obvious in The Worst Witch, that it can hardly be called subtext. It’s almost like a co-text or *ahem* ko-text. Further, the movie seems designed to make you want to bone Tim Curry.

Mildred Hubble (Fairuza Balk), the titular witch, is kind-hearted and inept. She’s taunted by blondes and her teachers have no problem telling her that her shit is weak. Mildred is our naïf heroine. 

On Halloween night, The Grand Wizard (Tim Curry) plans to visit Mildred's school. Yes, he is sexy, and all of the students at Miss Cackle’s all-girl witch academy lust after him in a kind of abstract, innocent way--Mildred says that he makes her feel "all squishy inside."
Squishy indeed. 

But because he is the lone male, The Grand Wizard is Sexuality, plain and simple. 
Once The Grand Wizard arrives at the school, it’s almost impossible to ignore the sexual implications.

  • He has a giant cloak. I think it’s pretty obvious what that cloak represents. As he soars above the girls, they all stare up at him, agog. They’ve never seen such a massive cloak! One interesting feature of the cloak is that it grows while The Grand Wizard is flying and then shrinks or retracts once he lands.

  • He has crazy rhyme skillz. OK, so this isn’t remotely sexual, unless you’re suggesting a relationship between "Anything Can Happen on Halloween," the little ditty he sings to the young, virginal witches, and romantic poetry created specifically to get guys laid. But I thought it necessary to call attention to the illest bit of rhyming ever: Anything can happen on Halloween, your toenails grow long and your hair turns green, your teacher could become a sardine, your dentist could turn into a queen. Has anyone seen my tambourine?

  • He sings “Anything Can Happen on Halloween” but never once mentions any of the more carnal things that can happen. The omission calls attention to itself and in not saying “it,” he’s essentially saying “it,” especially since he alludes to sexual climax (or maybe actually has one) when he sings, “Tonight, the most wonderful night uuuhh...ohhh...vvv...the year.” 

The guy really likes Halloween.

At the end of the movie, Mildred stops headmistress Cackle’s evil sister from destroying the school. Her heroism not only changes everyone’s opinion of her, but it also draws the attention of The Grand Wizard. He rewards her bravery by allowing her to ride his tremendous cloak. 
And, in the process, ushers her into womanhood. 
Underscoring all of this is the movie’s theme song, "Growing Up Isn’t Easy," which includes the following lyrics: "Twenty seems like lightyears away, the girl in you goes, but the freckles stay...wish the time would hurry by, will I ever learn to fly."

If you decide to watch the movie this Halloween here’s a short glossary--basically summarizing everything I’ve said here--that will help you to understand the movie:
Mildred Hubble: Virgin
The Grand Wizard: Sexuality
Cloak: Boner
Flying: Coitus

Casting Tim Curry as a heartthrob may seem bizarre to some people but I think it was actually quite appropriate, considering this alternative reading of plot. Curry, at least to me, is both attractive and terrifying.
In fact, I think he’s attractive because he’s so terrifying. Like, if Tim Curry circa 1975 were to proposition you, you’d think, “ehhhh, I’m not entirely sure that I’m into this dude but yeah, OK, let’s do this.” Anyway, I think that sex, when you look at it as a rite of passage, is both scary and enticing. Just like Tim Curry’s face.

methinks Tim Curry is pretty hot in this video.


Melanie's Randomness said...

Omg I remember this movie. I never realized so many of the sexual undertones. Yikes!! It was cute back in the day but I completely forgot it was Fairuza Balk! Wth? I forgot she was in the craft. Yikes I guess that school didn't do a good job making a good witch!

MJenks said...

Aren't witches supposed to be a symbol of sexuality, anyway? Like, witches were always supposed to represent a woman who enjoyed sex and such?

At least, that's what I've always been led to believe.

Amber said...

MJenks: You're totally right. And I think this movie is just trying to stick to witch mythology even though the story is intended for kids.

One Blonde Girl said...

Okay, first off, how have I never seen this movie?

Second, was Fairuza Balk in every witch movie (I base this question off of the fact that I've seen her in two other witch movies, Return to Oz and The Craft)?

Third, Tim Curry has always had that slightly creepy/slightly cool vibe to him (It/Clue).

Christina In Wonderland said...

It is so posts like this that make me want to kidnap you... er, I mean, collaborate with you on various assorted projects. I didn't mean kidnap. That's just weird, right? Anyway, I tried watching this movie once, and I kind of wanted to gauge my eyes out with a fork. Maybe because I couldn't get Fairuza Balk in The Craft out of my head. :P

Megs said...

Tim Curry is sexually attractive to me in the same way that David Bowie or Prince are sexually attractive to me. I don't know WHY they are attractive...taken feature by feature none of them are stunners. I just know that they ARE attractive, and I sort of want to take off my pants.

Also, how have I never seen this?

Amber said...

One Blonde Girl: You must gather your friends around the Youtube machine on Halloween and watch this movie.

Christina: You're awesome. Maybe we could work out some kind of mutual kidnapping.

Megs: You hit the nail on the head. I'd definitely lump Curry in there with Bowie and Prince. And when I watch this movie, it's clear that Curry was channeling Bowie in Labyrinth or vice versa...I don't know which movie came out first.

RMb said...

i totally agree about tim curry being sexy in the same way that bowie & prince are. good call!!

i mean, he was super hot in rocky horror...

i missed this movie as a kid too. so now i'm off to put it in my netflix queue to fix that!

Emily said...

Seriously we are the same person.

I've wanted to make sweet love to Tim Curry since I could remember.

My first weird childhood crush was Frank-N-Furter, I still supress tears when he dies in the end.

His music was SO good as well, like this little ditty:

Shit this is a long comment. Words cannot describe how much I loved this blog and the fact that there is someone else out there that appreciates Tim Curry's wanton sexuality.

Amiee said...

I haven't seen this one either..but yeah I have a love/hate relationship with Tim. On one hand his clown was the stuff of childhood nightmares but then there was Rocky Horror and Home Alone 2!
Are they seriously remaking IT? Could it be any scarier with another actor?

Jen said...

I watched The Worst Witch last October and it was so bad it was good.

I actually just made an mp3 of the Tim Curry song this week! It's so going on my 2010 Halloween mix.

Boonie S said...

This is a great post.
Re, “….to make you want to bone Tim Curry”: Actually, ‘or anyone will do’, but that’s just me.

All the best, Boonie

Hipstercrite said...

sexy, sexy, sexy.
it's messed when you're like 12 and in love with tim curry in rhps. or maybe it isn't. droooool....

Sada said...

I had no idea that Tim Curry's cloak was so large.

soft nonsense said...

Amber, I'm actually disappointed in this post. Not for lack of quality, as I still giggled despite not having seen this movie, but instead for lack of insight.

I'm disappointed that I have to be the one to tell you this, but every movie ever made is created with the intention of highlighting Tim Curry's hotness. Whether it is because he is ravishing on screen or because the actors and actresses in non-TC movies are so clearly inferior in every way, I assumed that you, of all people, would know that.

Except, of course, any movie with David Bowie in it.

Angie said...

How have I never heard of this movie? O.M.G.

Anonymous said...

It's freaky how weirdly enticing Tim Curry is as a transvestite.. I just can't place exactly what it is that makes him attractive :L Besides..he wasn't all that bad a person in RHPC, he created a gorgeous being and only killed the guy Meatloaf was playing..(his name's right on the tip of my tongue) I LOVE RHPS!!! <3

Anonymous said...

EDDIE!!! :L && Typo (RHPC) << RHPS!