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Watching Hour Preview: Guest Blogger Miranda on Teen Witch

When I heard that Teen Witch was coming to the Watching Hour, I knew that I was not the right person to do the writeup. Sure, I've seen and love Teen Witch, but mostly as a 'can you believe this craziness?' novelty. No, I had to bring in the big guns, someone whose love for this bizarre piece of 80s ephemera runs deeper than I could have known. I knew Miranda Harp loved Teen Witch, but she had never before related the origins of her affection...

I could call any one of my friends from middle school right this moment. No caller ID, no prior notice, with only a "Top that!" or a refrain of "I Like Boys" - instantly, they would not only be transported back to seventh grade but they would be able to sing along. We would catch up on homes bought and sold, moves made, lives lived, lovers who came and went and those who came to stay. But as soon as we got two lines into "Finest Hour," we would be back in middle school sassing the teachers, riding our bikes to the mall and telling secrets late at night in the cemetery between our houses. That's just how effective Teen Witch is at defining a time and place, even though its time and place were earlier than our own.

Both times and places have a nasty habit of changing, though. In the movie, both female main characters Louise and Madame Serena must make their choices about what remains of their powers. Outside the screen, titular teen witch Robyn Lively lives happily ever after with Bart Johnson, who IMDB assures me is a "Hot Disney Dad!" from the High School Musical series. Interestingly and unfairly, her half-sister Blake Lively is the star of wildly popular primetime soap opera Gossip Girl. Joshua John Miller, who played Homer in Near Dark two years earlier and is the best "little brother" character ever as Richie here, grew up into a man whose current visage I find distressingly attractive. The adorable, incorrigible, incomparable Zelda Rubenstein left this plane of existence behind in January. Out of the gang of five we were then, at least three of us are married. The lone male of the group is probably the Casanova of Missoula, but will have to probably move out of state to marry anyone. One has a young child and one is expecting her first. I moved away in tenth grade and married my high school sweetheart.

Time carries both viewer and actor forward, but the work remains firmly and endearingly fixed. At any time, I can pop in my VHS copy of Teen Witch and be instantly transported back to my friend's basement, eating cheesy popcorn from the gas station and bike chain grease spots from my trusty Huffy on my K-mart jeans.

THE MOVIE ADVOCATE CRAFT-A-LONG!

If I am invited back as a writer, I hope to share some kind of craft pattern with any review I might do [ED. NOTE: Miranda is a master crafter! I'm blessed to have someone like her I can call when I need my socks darned!] This one is an embroidery pattern of the late Zelda Rubenstein, drawn and presented by Beth Link. All credit is due to her.

Zelda Rubenstein embroidery pattern:

Look for an example stitched up in April.

-Miranda

[I will definately update with Miranda's Zelda Rubenstein embroidery when it's done. Oh yeah, that's right. The Movie Advocate now features custom embroidery patterns. Top that. - Ben]

The Watching Hour is a weekly film series at the Starz Film Center, highlighting new and old cult, genre, or otherwise bizarro movies. Quite simply, The Watching Hour is usually the best thing to do in Denver on a Friday or Saturday night. From Giallo to schlock, Blaxploitation to Aussiesploitation, zombies to martial arts to who-knows-what, and everywhere in between. This is good ol’ rock and roll cinema spectacle. Not to be missed. (See the schedule, buy tickets, get directions, etc. here.)

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