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Liveblogging the '90s: Hocus Pocus

By Courtney Enlow | Liveblogging the 90s | October 24, 2014 |

By Courtney Enlow | Liveblogging the 90s | October 24, 2014 |

Shit yeah, OF COURSE WE’RE DOING HOCUS POCUS. I’m offended you’d even think otherwise.

0:00 - OK, did not recall this film was directed by Kenny Ortega. I hope he is remembered as a hero for all the goodness he’s brought us.

0:00 - Also, Vinessa Shaw is in this. I thought she and Hilary Swank were the same person until Hilary Swank became fancy and important. But before that, in the 90210 and Next Karate Kid days? Same person.

0:01 - Did everyone else grow up thinking the floppy-haired boy at the beginning/eventual cat’s name was Zachary, only to discover when the internet was invented that his name is Thackery? What is a Thackery? Is it that stuff grandma’s chairs are made of?

0:04 - You know how sometimes when you were a really good kid and said your prayers and ate all your vegetables how sometimes Universal or Disney World would make a magical play land out of your favorite movie, like when they made Honey, I Shrunk the Kidsville or whatever? They totally should have made one of the Hocus Pocus house. Up till about ‘98 they probably could have gotten Sarah Jessica Parker to work it.

0:05 - “A bit of thine own tongue.” *chomp* Yep, that part still hurts me in the mouth after all these years.

0:06 - SJP is kind of a child molester in this movie. I mean, they’re all very literally child murderers, but she is super into “boys.” It’s disconcerting.

0:07 - We need to talk about little sister Emily. She sits there the whole beginning of this movie with the blankest look, almost content, definitely dumb. It actually looks like she was greenscreened in. She may have been. She was probably garbage.

0:09 - “Hang him on a hook and let me play with him.” Have a seat, SJP.


0:10 - Oh. I guess his dad very clearly says “Thackery.” WHATEVER, I didn’t live in that world where a Thackery existed.

0:11 - This movie has child murder, hangings, implied desire to torture and molest teen boys. This movie really does have everything. Also, NO ONE CARED ABOUT VACANT DAUGHTER EMILY. Probably because she was such vacant empty greenscreen garbage.

0:14 - NOW IT’S THE FUTURE. Omri Katz (Max) is smug and from California. You know because he wears tie-dye and has floppy hair. But Thackery had floppy hair, too. Everyone between the years of 1992 and 2003 had floppy hair.

0:15 - Max put on a hat (to cover his floppy hair) and rides a bike daredevilishly through a cemetery. Local rapscallions hang out in the cemetery. One of them has long blond hair and a Pauly Shore thing and is making fun of Max for being from California. This movie may have had casting issues.

0:17 - Max says “sucks” and his parents get mad because this is the ’90s and that was still a tweenishly edgy term.

0:18 - Max starts cuddling with his pillow and calling it Alison (Vinessa Shaw’s character) and he’s probably about to start getting sensual when Thora Birch bursts forth. Max starts playing drums to show us that Omri Katz knows how to play drums.

0:20 - Thora is Dani and she is sassy and she gets sassy with the cemetery rapscallions. Max did not stand up to the rapscallions. Dani has a problem with this. Max will learn a valuable lesson about standing up to dangerous thugs (or, rather, moon-faced day players he could totally take).

0:24 - Max and Dani walk into a rich people house and start stealing their candy. Alison is wearing a costume that cost more than and is nicer than my wedding dress so she’s very rich. Everyone is dressed like Amadeus. They might have a weird rich orgy later, who knows?

0:25 - So they live in Salem but the only witches anyone cares about are the Sanderson sisters. This movie is a factual documentary shot in real time.

0:30 - Nice job, virgin.

0:32 - Thora Birch had the best tiny yelp scream. We miss you, Thora Birch. Come back to us. Leave your weird dad, though.

0:33 - “Let me play with him.” SJP. GET IT TOGETHER.

0:36 - SJP, molestery though she may be, is stacked as shit in this movie.

0:37 - So, because kids are stupid, I also thought the witches couldn’t enter the cemetery because it was “hollowed” ground, like, ground that was hollow. Like it was just the top of ground and the inside was empty. That’s how the got all the coffins in there. I wasn’t smart like you, adult humans, bet you feel REAL COOL being smarter than an 8-year-old.

0:38 - I never noticed that Kathy Najimy has purple hair in this movie. GUYS, BLURAY IS BETTER THAN VHS.

0:40 - “It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus.” How did Winnie hear Max say that earlier? THIS MOVIE IS LIES.

0:40 - SJP being all seductive riding her broom telling the virgin she’ll be his friend. This movie has a so many thises.


0:42 - If you guys didn’t know, Dead Billy is Doug Jones! He also doesn’t not look like Matt Smith as a Walking Dead extra.


0:43 - So fun fact, remember vacant empty Emily from the beginning? This is her now. I’m not saying she isn’t not still vacant and empty. I’m not saying she’s not that.


0:46 - I have a very vivid memory of the TV spots for this movie identifying each witch as “the ___ one.” I don’t remember what Bette and Kathy were, but SJP was “the sexy one” which is a weird thing to say about a children’s movie character. I also have a very strong fear that the spot called Kathy Najimy “the fat one” and I hope I’m wrong, but I might not be wrong, because 1993 was a dumber time.

0:47 - No joke, SJP’s agonized scream at the little angel girl saying “bless you” is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

0:48 - Garry and Penny Marshall play a married couple in this movie. That’s…that’s not right. That’s not OK, movie.

0:50 - They bring up Max’s virginity a lot on this movie. I recall it leading to some questions in my young age. Like why would anyone NOT be a virgin because sex sounded gross. But I went to Catholic school so we learned about sex from weird workbooks that had pictures of penguins and whales. I still don’t really understand why the penguins and why the whales.

0:54 - AMOK AMOK AMOK AMOK A-*act of violence*

1:00 - Marc Shaiman did the arrangement on “I Put a Spell On You” because some people are brought into this world to only bring us wonderful things.

1:05 - So they try to burn the witches alive. It doesn’t work. Murder in kid’s movies is OK if a) it’s ultimately thwarted, b) it’s the bad guy, c) it’s a vacant empty child I guess. Sorry Emily. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU.

1:08 - Look. I wouldn’t realize how vital SJP is until later. At this age, she only existed for me in this movie and Honeymoon in Vegas because that was my shit right there. Kids love James Caan. But Bette Middler and Kathy Najimy? HEROES. HEROES FOR TINY COURT. My grandma’s favorite movie was Beaches and my great-grandma had this magical ability where every time I went to her house, Sister Act was on because grandparents have the power to summon goodness and that’s why we must honor them.

1:11 - The cat’s a really good actor. He should win a cat Oscar. A Pusscar.

1:12 - Max’s family’s pantry is full of 7-Up and Sugar in the Raw. That’s all you need though. That’s all I use to make cakes, souffles, omelets, smoothies, anything really.

1:14 - This “Come Little Children” song is really lovely. I mean, it might totally lure me to my death. I also can’t seem to think it’s also what she sings to her creepy boytoy sexy torture victims. That’s her thing.

1:15 - So many children walking to their deaths. Cat suffocating in a bag over an open flame. Teenage boys in birdcages being force-fed candy. It. Has. Everything.

1:18 - People keep getting all caught up on Max’s Californianess, but there’s nothing California-y about him. Also he leaves two other teenage children to die. That’s totally not chill, brah.

1:21 - There’s that thing in movies where people from the past come into modern times and they don’t even know what cars are but then they make modern references and it just confuses me in my mind because I’m easily rattled.

1:22 - Two integral childhood films—this and Hook both use the phrase “firefly from hell.” It’s highly specific.

1:25 - Doug Jones didn’t play the headless Billy. That seems like a waste. I think he could have totally pulled off headless.

1:28 - OK, the legend said they’d turn to dust. Bette turned to stone and then into green glitter. THIS IS WHY MY GENERATION IS ALL ATHEISTS BECAUSE WE IF WE CAN’T BELIEVE IN THIS MOVIE WE CAN’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING.

1:30 - This movie has a lot of shots of dead cats. Dead cats running around everwhere only not running because they’re dead cats.

1:30 - Thackery is free of his cat body to have floppy hair again and go hang out with his empty sister who’s still totally empty.

1:31 - A lot of things I liked in my youth involved the ghosts of dead kids. How are kids today supposed to have a healthy terror of mortality.

1:33 - And all the parents are wasted and the two rapscallions are still in birdcages and the book is still alive but I don’t know how helpful that is to anyone because it’s a book with an eyeball and can’t do much.

That was special. A delectable pre-holiday fun-size Twix before the sugarcoma of next week. Which reminds me. I’ve struggled with deciding upon the official Halloween Liveblogging the ’90s. So, I turn to you.