Come on, you didn’t think I could review childhood Halloween movies without talking about “Hocus Pocus”, did you? Frankly, I’m a little offended you would think I’d forget a movie like this. I’m not sure we can still be friends.
I’m going to assume everyone has seen this and if you haven’t . . . I’m sorry your parents didn’t love you.
7 Reasons This Movie is Perfect:
1. East Coast v. West Coast. Disney seemed to want to capitalize on the current Tupac v. Biggie drama that was currently happening (but in a family-friendly way, of course). In order to reinforce the fact that the main character, Max, unwillingly moved from Los Angeles to Salem, Massachusetts with his family, there are constant mentions of his West Coast origins. He wears a tie-dye shirt, he plays the drums, his bullies nickname him “Hollywood”, and the witches mockingly call him “dude.”
Even his teacher makes fun of him and asks him to share his “California, laid back, tie-dyed point of view” when he dares to say he doesn’t believe in the town’s mythology of the Sanderson sisters.
2. Jay and
These two might be the most ridiculous/hilarious bullies in a kids movie. They mock Max for being smart and steal his shoes at the beginning of the movie because he won’t smoke weed with him. They’re also stupid enough to refer to the Sanderson sisters as ugly chicks which leads to them being locked up in bird cages in the Sanderson house, presumably left for dead once the sisters turn to dust at dawn.
3. OMG, THAT KID IS A VIRGIN!!! There is a ridiculous amount of emphasis on Max being a virgin. Yes, a virgin had to light the black flame candle to bring back the Sanderson sisters, but it gets a little excessive with how much it’s brought up in casual conversation. Even Max’s eight-year-old sister seems to think he’s a loser for being a virgin and tells Max’s crush that he loves her tits (playfully called “yabbos” to get past the censors).
For how often it’s mentioned, Max may as well be wearing a t-shirt that says “UNFUCKABLE.”
4. Sarah Jessica Parker.
She plays a man-hungry witch obsessed with youth and beauty.
5. The Talking Cat. Thackery Binx, after watching the Sanderson sisters suck the life out of his little sister in the 1600s, is turned into an immortal black cat. When I watched this movie as a kid, I was extremely disappointed that my cat couldn’t talk.
Instead, my cat stayed boring and refused to talk. Like an asshole.
6. Penny and Garry Marshall.
This brother and sister duo are hilarious as a middle-aged married couple whom the Sanderson sisters mistake as Medusa and Satan when the trio inadvertently trick or treats at their house. The wife is annoyed that the witches are in her house, eating her food, and dancing with her husband while he wears tights and boxers. The husband, on the other hand, loves getting felt up by Carrie Bradshaw and thoroughly enjoys the fact that three women arrived on his doorstep to worship him and call him master.
7. Bette Midler.
Let’s be honest, without Bette Midler this movie might’ve been complete crap. Yes, the rest of the items on this list are great, but without a compelling lead like the Divine Miss M, this movie might not have the cult status it does today.
I’ll just leave this right here.
When this movie was initially released in 1993, it received horrible reviews. Even Roger Ebert, with whom I generally agreed, only gave it one star. For a frame of reference, Roger Ebert notoriously hated 2004’s “The Brown Bunny” and said it was the worst film to ever be screened at Cannes and even that has three stars on his website
However, despite negative reviews, “Hocus Pocus” has gained a cult following over the years and has remained immensely popular with fans. Last summer, rumors began circulating that a sequel was FINALLY in the works and Tina Fey was attached to produce and star. Fangirls and boys everywhere lost their collective minds in a fit of joy . . . until it turned out that Tina Fey was attached to an unrelated Disney witch project. Bette Midler recently quipped that the holdup in producing a “Hocus Pocus” sequel is due to Disney’s inability to find another virgin. She went on to say that she’s already talked to Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy and all three of them would love to reprise their roles. Her advice in a Reddit AMA last year was to inundate the Disney company with requests if fans really want to see a sequel.