St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

“Hocus Pocus” (1993)

Hocus Pocus title card.

Parker and I won’t usually watch really well-known movies, and if we do then I won’t usually write them up because we’ve all seen them already and there’s not much to say. Buuuut it’s the month of Halloween and you can’t have Halloween without some classics, so I’m planning to break my rule and do Spooktober on my blog this month. We led with a pretty good number, the Egyptian Rocky Horror, and to chase it up tonight we bring you Hocus Pocus (1993).

Me: Just so you’re aware, this is like two separate movies. All the bits with the witches are great, and all the bits with the kids are excruciatingly awful.

Parker: You give your opinions quite decidedly.

Parker later informs me he was quoting Pride and Prejudice at me.

Me: You were pleased with yourself for that little literary reference, weren’t you?

Parker: I was, yes.

Bette Midler in her old-person makeup.

Me: They’ve got pretty good old person makeup on Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy, but all they did to Sarah Jessica Parker was stick a wig on her.

Parker: People make fun of her for the way she looks, but look at her in this. She’s beautiful.

Me: Yeah, when she’s dressed as a witch. She should dress as a witch all the time, then we’ll talk.

Sarah Sanderson makes a pass at a teenage boy.
“Hang him on a hook and let me play with him.”

Me: Oh my god, Sarah Jessica Parker, stop trying to have sex with teenage boys!

This teenage girl's French Revolution party.

Me: What the fuck kind of Halloween party is this girl throwing? Everyone come dressed as your favorite French revolutionary. Oooh oooh, I hope I can be Robespierre this year. Also, is it just me, or does she look a lot older than all the kids in this movie? She’s supposed to be like fourteen, right?

Parker: She’s clearly twenty-five.

Winnifred Sanderson brings her ex-boyfriend back from the dead.

Me: He looks like Johnny Depp.

Parker: I bet he was hot when he had human skin.

The three Sanderson sisters camping it up.

Me: You know who she is, of course. Prominent front teeth, frizzy hair. She’s Hermione Granger. This is what happens to Hermione after a few rough decades and a crate of rougher whiskey.

Parker: So you think J.K. Rowling secretly set Harry Potter in the same universe as Hocus Pocus?

Me: That’s exactly what I think.

The two teenage protagonists kiss (almost).

Parker: Ew.

Me: What’s ew?

Parker: It’s five o'clock in the morning.

Me: All the best make-out sessions happen at five a.m.

Parker: Yeah, if you want stale, nasty breath.

The Skinny

Winnifred Sanderson on a broomstick.

“Oh look, another glorious morning. Makes me sick.”

For what it is, this movie is flawless. It’s just so much fun, Bette Midler is a complete star as Winnifred Sanderson, and it’s not hard to see why this is a camp Halloween classic. There is a reason I don’t watch many big popular films, though, especially Disney ones. I ultimately find them a little uninteresting and forgettable. Is it really fair to hold that against Hocus Pocus? And do you care? You’ve already seen this movie and you already know what you think about it, so you don’t need my opinion. It’s like how a friend of mine used to have a bee in his bonnet over “The Monster Mash” because it was so overplayed, but I’m here to tell you, you can’t overplay “The Monster Mash”. I once did a Halloween song countdown and the entire week leading up to Halloween was just different covers of “The Monster Mash”. The normal rules don’t apply. It’s Halloween, just enjoy it.