I'm all excited. It's that time of year again. I'm gearing up for Halloween by joining the zombie hordes on the streets and at the movies, babbling to everyone about my favorite vintage decorations, and thinking about candy. Oh, and being really creeped out by explicit Halloween porn.
I thought I'd let Tim Curry, who I gave some props to earlier this week, kick off the season with a cheesy gem from the mostly abysmal* kiddie film The Worst Witch (1986). This pre-Harry Potter made-for-cable special (based on a best-selling children's book) features young Fairuza Balk, Charlotte Rae (Mrs. Garrett from the Facts of Life), and the original Emma Peel herself, Diana Rigg, as the stern headmistress.
All of this talent still couldn't elevate the flawed story, horribly painful comedic scenes, shoddy video, and, oh, those special effects. But it is worth watching for Tim's scene alone. He arrives, in full Frank-N-Furter mode, as the exalted Grand Wizard. He then performs a song in which all the production flaws come perfectly together - in a blender. Anything Can Happen on Halloween implies just that, as the scene includes every single video editing trick in existence in 1986, all crammed together in to a spooky, creepy, kinda sexy, and rather confusing thrill ride.
* Update: One comment took offense at my choice of adjective, but I stand by it. I loved this film as a kid, and I own the DVD and everything, but unfortunately I cannot in good conscience refer to it as anything other than abysmal. I especially like that word because it can mean "bad", or "immeasurably deep", "great", and "unfathomable". All these definitions apply when talking about not-exactly-award-winning-straight-to-cable-video productions.
See The Invisible Child for another fine example.
As one IMDB user said: "The Worst Witch is bad to the core, and all the better for it."
As the Grand Wizard would breathlessly reply: "Oh, absolutely."