The Worst Witch

I wish I knew more about the origins of this magnum opus. It is apparently based on a series of kids’ books and yes, it’s very similar to Harry Potter, but The Worst Witch books came out decades ago (HBO later resurrected the concept as a series to cash in on Pottermania). The story centers around Mildred Hubble, the eponymous witch who just can’t seem to do anything right. Hubble is played by Fairuza Balk, who also starred as Dorothy in the very creepy mid-’80s film Return to Oz.

Obey Curry

I was fortunate enough to see The Worst Witch as a kid, so I’m capable of tapping into that childish appreciation in order to survive an annual viewing each Halloween. Still, it’s not easy. If time flies when you’re having fun, then The Worst Witch, which has a running time of 60 minutes, clocks in at about fifteen hours.

The film features a lot of terrible jokes, junior high school girl politics and awful blue screen effects, but these days I don’t pay much attention to any of that (as much for my sanity as anything else). No, I live for one thing: Tim Curry’s music video. It is, in the words of Matt from X-Entertainment, “The most disastrous ten minutes ever recorded, the most disastrous ten minutes…of all time.”

Curry plays “The Grand Wizard,” who all the young witches and even the witch-teachers swoon over. Even the suggestively-named Ms. Hardbroom can’t help but have a mock-orgasm just looking at a photo of the Grand Wizard.

Possibly the scariest thing I have ever seen.

The whole Grand Wizard thing always puzzled me. Did the Ku Klux Klan form some sort of alliance with the Witches’ Council? They seem unlikely bedfellows, but perhaps that’s what witches and clansmen are driven to these days. If that’s the case, we can expect a music video from Trent Lott anytime now.

Tim Curry is a fine comic actor, and even the best of us screw up once or twice (consider Raul Julia’s star turn as “Aram Fingal” in Overdrawn at the Memory Bank). I suspect Curry may have been zoned out on coke during the filming of his WW scenes. But none of this excuses Curry from participating in the most diabolical, destructive combination of visuals and sound ever etched on celluloid. Of course, through the magic of YouTube, you too can enjoy “Anything Can Happen On Halloween” (it’s only five minutes long, and you’ll be so busy trying to determine whether you’ve suddenly started tripping on acid the time will just fly by). Or, if you want Curry on your iPod, you can download the MP3.

For obvious reasons, The Worst Witch isn’t wasn’t the first film to be released on DVD. But eventually The Powers That Be caved to overwhelming public demand. If you would rather not spend actual money on the DVD, you can always enjoy Worst in mediated form via Caracappa’s extended—and hilarious—review.

Did you ever think you’d see an image like this?

Incidentally, one of my parents’ three pugs, Millie, is named after Mildred Hubble (my sister and I gave her the name, of course).

The Worst Witch. Melting minds for more than twenty years.

  1. Kate left a comment on October 2, 2006 at 9:12 am

    HAHAHAHA, wooohoooo, that just made my Monday. And I have an overwhelming urge to run around the office singing “Anything Can Happen on Halloween.” I fear, however, that I could never do it justice without a whale breaching behind me.

  2. On what chimp ruled faux Earth, is Tim Curry a sexpot?

  3. On what chimp ruled faux Earth, is Tim Curry a sexpot?

    I’ve pondered that very question on many a cold, dark Halloween night.

  4. jenn left a comment on October 3, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    Seriously? Have you guys seen Rocky Horror? That godawful musketeers movie with the insanely good cast where Curry is a lustful bishop? Tim Curry is HOT!

  5. Wait a second here. Hold that toast. Let’s do the time warp again and reconfirm something posted a few hours ago.

    “Tim Curry is HOT!”

    On what chimp ruled transexual Transylvania is that sweet transvestite considered a sexpot?!?!?

  6. You have to see the scene where he flirts with Diana Rigg’s virago to get the full creepiness of the whole Tim-Curry-is-hot theory this movie is predicated upon.

  7. First I have to look up ‘virago’.

  8. I admit I posted that comment primarily to see whether one of my meta tags was working. As for “virago,” I came across it on the Wikipedia entry for Worst Witch. I didn’t know what it meant either.

  9. vi-ra-go 
    Pronunciation[vi-rah-goh, -rey-]

    ?noun, plural -goes, -gos.

    1. a loud-voiced, ill-tempered, scolding woman; shrew.

    2. Archaic. a woman of strength or spirit.

    All right – now I gotta’ go watch the scene.

  10. Yikes! That is creepy… and HOT!!!

  11. Are you asking me to believe you actually went and watched the scene…?

    Grand Wizard: (to Hardbroom) Oh, Ms. Hardbroom?
    Hardbroom: Yes, Grand Wizard?
    Grand Wizard: (smiles) Your girls? I love it…let’s get this show on the road.
    Hardbroom: (smiles) Yes, Grand Wizard.

    All of that is just…creepy.

  12. jenn left a comment on October 7, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    OK. Let me clarify.
    If Snidely Whiplash were hot, he would be Tim Curry. *THAT* is how Tim Curry is hot. You have to take into account that he’s sick and creepy to appreciate the hotness. He’s like the flip side of Tom Baker’s Dr. Who.
    In the Three Musketeers, he is the only bright spot in that whole, sad waste of film. In Clue, he carried the day. He’s an evil comedic genius. Therefore: hot.
    But. That said, his hotness was dimmed while I was watching The Worst Witch. By which I mean temporarily squelched. So although I understand why they cast him, I would never describe the Grand Wizard as hot. Just Tim Curry.

  13. jenn left a comment on October 7, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Oh – and going back to my earlier comment. When I said “musketeers movie with the insanely good cast”, I was confusing The Three Musketeers with The Man In The Iron Mask (DiCraprio version). Tim Curry and Oliver Platt do not constitute an insanely good cast. However; Gerard Depardieu, John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons, Gabriel Byrne, Anne Parillaud, and Hugh Laurie, do. It’s kind of like Clash Of The Titans like that. Except Clash was a far better movie.

  14. I think we can all agree Curry’s hottest role was in Legend.

    Y’know, because he was a hellbeast. It’s hot in hell. What? It is!

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