Pretty sure everybody who grew up in the 90s and 00s remembers watching Worst Witch/forgetting to turn the channel over whilst an episode was on. Heck, I even ended up at uni with one of the girls from the reboot (sadly not Rogue One star Felicity Jones though- shame). What you may not be so familiar with is the 80s feature length film about the hapless hex-caster.
Except you DO know this film because it gave us THIS:
This masterpiece has everything you could want:
- The best special effects the 80s had to offer
- Shout-out to the VHS for being a piece of modern technology
- The prop heart they shoved at Tim Curry
- That fancy cape work
- Tim Curry’s face appearing in a cat’s eye
- The line “has anyone seen my tambourine”
- Everything about the video bloody hell I love it
The question that follows is of course: is the rest of the film at all worth watching after this beauty has come and gone?
In short, not really. I mean, it’s completely baffling that they’ve roped in both Tim Curry (who to be fair is treated with the utmost reverence as a Halloween king) *and* Diana Rigg? Not to mention Mildred’s cat, whose human mewing dub make him a standout performer.
It’s all fairly run of the mill high school adaptation until we stumble across the sideplot: Miss Cackle’s sister (who’s American for some reason) wants to take over the school with her coven. If you like the incredibly niche movie subgenre of “Colonel Sanders and an overenthusiastic teaching assistant bob around on a hill” then it’s one for you. For me, it could not be more cringeworthy. And then she started singing.
We’re also treated to an atrocious belter of a Matilda rip-off about how school is tricky. It includes the infuriatingly non-sequitur of a line, “20 seems so far away”. Is that what 12 year olds aspire to, being 20? You’re a witch, Mildred, way to dream big.
Spoopy Rating: 2/3 but 4/3 for Tim Curry because ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ON HALLOWEEN, YOUR TONGUE COULD TURN RED AND YOUR HAIR TURN GREEN YOUR TEACHER COULD BECOME A SARDINE YOUR DENTIST COULD BECOME A QUEEN