Obsessive Halloween Nostalgia Disorder: The Worst Witch

I really don't watch that much TV.  Really.

Yet I realize that all of my "Halloween Nostalgia Disorder" posts have been television-related.  I am so sorry.     I don't know that I have any books that fit into this category I've created for myself.  (Wait until Christmas!)  I was an '80s kid, though, and both of my parents worked.  The combination made for an unholy amount of TV viewing, I guess.  On top of this, I was also a book nerd, who started reading on my own at a very young age.  Should I mention I played no sports and had no extracurricular activities, or is this too obvious?

Um, anyway.

Let's look at today's long-lost bit of Danzel's childhood:  The Worst Witch, an 1986 HBO TV movie based on a book I've never read.  (Perhaps I should fix that.)



It starred a young Fairuza Balk as Mildred Hubble, a clumsy girl attending a witch academy.  The kindly headmistress, Miss Cackle, is played by Charlotte Rae, as is Miss Cackle's evil twin sister Agatha.  The demanding, imperious teacher who gives Mildred a hard time is played by Diana Rigg.  And showing up as The Grand Wizard is Dr. Frankenfurter himself, Tim Curry.

My sister was cool enough to find and buy this on DVD as soon as it came out.  For the past several years, though, it has resided in my house.  Once in a while, a little girl - or a sad, weird little girl at heart - gets an itch to put it in the DVD player.

Did it cast such a spell?  I don't know, but it is funny when Mildred accidentally turns the mean girl into a pig.

I know there was a British television series made years later, based on the same series of books.  Has anyone ever seen it?   Has anyone read the book(s)?  Heck, has anyone ever seen this movie?

Because if you have, you won't forget it.  The cheesy effects and the "Growing Up Isn't Easy" theme song will stay in your head for years.

Here's the movie on YouTube:




Or you can just skip ahead and watch Tim Curry.  Those synths!  Those special effects!  The weirdness!


And don't worry.  I have many book posts planned.  And crafty posts.  Even nonYouTube-dependent posts! Stay tuned tomorrow for a "visit" to a little Dutch town in New York...  Follow along with Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes on FacebookBloglovinInstagram, and/or Pinterest!

Comments

  1. I too watched a great deal of TV in my youth... but we only had the basic networks. In fact for most of my youth we only had an antenna so the choices were very limited indeed and reception depended upon the weather. PBS was my best friend. and Saturday mornings of course.

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    1. By the time this aired, we no longer had cable, either. But the babysitter did! And my mother. My parents divorced in '85, and we lived with my dad. I watched this at their houses.

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  2. I was also an early reader who didn't do sports or extracurriculars! All I did was read pretty much! I think I read the book, but I honestly can't remember. Fairuza Balk! Remember that terrible 'Oz' movie she was in?? Charlotts Rae and Diana Rigg! Oh priceless, some of these old shows...:)

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    1. I linked to the trailer for Return to Oz and the TV movie version of Best Christmas Pageant Ever, if you click her name. My version of Easter eggs. ;o)

      Do you know what's sad? My sister loaned the girls Return to Oz when they were very little, like 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. Big Sis was already a HUGE Oz fan. We were several books into the series and she loved the MGM movie. Little Sis was so tiny, though, that Return to Oz was her first exposure to Oz, and she LOVED it. Princess Mombie fascinated and frightened her, but in a good way, I guess? Big Sis and I watched it, then scoffed at how dark it was and all the things that were different from both the books and the MGM movie. It was definitely its own animal. Lucky for us, we haven't had to watch it in a good long while, as Little Sis is firmly on the classic Oz bandwagon.

      When I was a kid, my sister and I would rip all the heads off our Barbies, place them on a turnstile doll shopping rack, and play "Princess Mombie" with a single doll.

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  3. I loved this movie! (Also a child of the 80's) A few years back I went on a chilldhood-movie-buying-spree. I got this, Rainbow Brite & the Star Stealer & Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas.

    Now I know what I'll be watching tonight.

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    1. I bought Emmett Otter, my sister bought Rainbow Brite, The Worst With, and Care Bears: The Movie! And my kids have seen them all. Rainbow Brite, Emmett Otter, and The Care Bears have all been on Netflix at some point, too... Glad to know we're not the only ones still watching this junk! :o)

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  4. LOL! Yay for book nerds. When I was a kid I pretty much read most of the time, with a little tv and guitar lessons thrown in. I love anything 80's.

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    1. I still have tons of my series books at my grandmother's. You know how they brought the Babysitters Club back? In a couple years, Big Sis can just read mine. And all my Nancy Drew books, the original series AND The Nancy Drew Files (the '80s series). And the Taffy Sinclair books, and Satin Slippers (ballet!), and Sleepover Friends, and Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley Twins!

      Eek.

      Or I'll just nudge her in the direction of Frances Hodgson Burnett and Madeleine L'Engle. ;o)

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  5. Cooooooooool!! But yes probably The Secret Garden or A Wrinkle in Time would be better to read than Sweet Valley. LOL.

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    1. Anything would be, I'm sure. But dang, you had to know who Jessica was going to go after next, and what about Elizabeth and Todd, or Elizabeth and Jeffrey, or Elizabeth and Todd again, and aren't Bruce and Lila just awful people...

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  6. LOL oh the drama!! That reminds me I think I heard they were going to be making a '10 years later' book or something...

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    1. http://shelf-life.ew.com/2012/07/06/sweet-valley-sweet-life-excerpt/

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    2. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20475516,00.html

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  7. Cool. I found the British TV series with Czech dubbing. It seems I totally missed it on TV :) It's very nice, by the way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2ViYCAHhqs

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    1. I still need to watch the TV series. The movie is such a favorite!

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