Thrilling Thursdays: Hocus Pocus

Cover of "Hocus Pocus"
Cover of Hocus Pocus

Confession:  I totally love Hocus Pocus.

You might not remember Hocus Pocus.  It was a live-action Disney film released in 1993.  It was about Max (Omri Katz), a sarcastic kid from California who has just moved to Salem or some other random Northeastern town with his parents and kid sister Dani (Thora Birch, pre showing her boobies in American Beauty).  The town has this curse involving the resurrection of the Sanderson sisters, three dead-ish witches who ate children’s souls back in the 1600s and can be brought back by a virgin lighting a special candle on Halloween.   And, of course, said candle is just sitting around in a museum, waiting to be lit.  And of course Max, being a sarcastic virgin, lights said candle on Halloween and releases these 17th century witches into the 1990s.

Now the witches are by far the best part of the movie, they are:

Sarah Jessica Parker as sexy, clueless Sarah Sanderson.

Kathy Najimy as chubby, stupid Mary Sanderson.

Bette Midler as awesome, scheming, red-headed Winifred “Winnie” Sanderson.

So of course the witches want to eat more children’s souls, because if they don’t eat more children’s souls before sunrise then they are dead.  Forever.  So much of the movie involves the witches navigating the perils of 1993 (buses! black rivers that are actually just roads! flying vacuum cleaners instead of flying brooms!) and generally running a muck.  Or, as Sarah Sanderson would say, “A MUCK A MUCK A MUCK A MUCK!”

Image from Queen of the Madhouse Cosmetics

Bette Midler really makes the movie guys.  She is so buck-toothed and sneery and she leads her witch sisters in a stellar performance of “I Put a Spell On You” and I just love her I really do:

There is also a talking black cat (actually a 17th century boy transformed into a cat and doomed to live forever to deal with the fact that he let the witches eat his sister’s soul back in the 17th century and such), which is cool, and a mute zombie. Oh and a random blonde love interest who is boring.

This is a cutesy, fun movie.  I haven’t seen it in awhile and I’m hoping it lives up to the nostalgia factor.  I promise there are no seed-crying pumpkins but if you are looking for Sarah Jessica Parker in her pre-Carrie Bradshaw days or just want to see Bette Midler vamping it, this is a great opportunity.

4 thoughts on “Thrilling Thursdays: Hocus Pocus

  1. i swear you are my long lost sister. i love this movie. so freaking much. the moment i saw your post in my inbox i jumped up from my sick nest on the couch to put it in. and you even quoted my favorite bit! amuk, amuk, amuk! i want to jump around yelling that every time someone says the word.

    sigh. thanks so much for reminding me of this. it is about the level of my brain activity today.

    1. Amuck amuck amuck is the one line I remember super clearly. I haven’t watched this movie in years, but it definitely sticks out in my mind.

      I just had a weird brain juxtaposition of SJP as Carrie Bradshaw, skipping through NYC in her Manolos and chanting “amuck amuck amuck!”

      I hope you are feeling better!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s