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Episode 130 - Teen Witch

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Paul, June, and Jason are back in the studio and welcome Deanna Cheng of OMFG! to discuss the 1989 film Teen Witch starring Robyn Lively and Zelda Rubinstein. They'll cover everything including bedroom chairs, condom chanting, the murder house that is not an appropriate place to be making out, and "Top That," the first ever rap battle on film. Don’t forget to check out Blake Harris’ Oral History of Teen Witch over at www.slashfilm.com! Get yourself a BB-8 “What Is Its Mission?” T-shirt or Tote Bag over at http://howdidthisgetmade.bigcartel.com/ People of the internet: Watch Paul and Jason star alongside Johnny Depp as Donald Trump in “Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art Of The Deal: The Movie” here: http://ear.wf/1RIqbHE and watch Paul in Fresh off the Boat on ABC. Awhile ago, Paul and Rob Huebel did a comedy special on a 60 foot glass bus that traveled around LA. Now you’ll be able to see it. Go to https://itun.es/us/3M4J9 now to buy it! You can also see Jason in Transparent on Amazon and in Dirty Grandpa in a theater near you! Also, check out June in Grace and Frankie available on Netflix, and in all the episodes of NTSF:SD:SUV:: on HULU for free, and Jason in The Dictator (he’s still in it!).

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Just in case anyone doesn't watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine, here's a gif of Jason doing Tai Chi to keep the demons at bay.

 

x5gHII1.gif

 

Alright... I'll listen to the podcast now.

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First off, special thanks to Jason.

 

Just one small point, the opening music does have lyrics- it's the "never gonna be the same again" song. Great episode guys!

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Since the internet is probably yelling at you guys right now:

 

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First off, special thanks to Jason.

 

Just one small point, the opening music does have lyrics- it's the "never gonna be the same again" song. Great episode guys!

 

YES. I don't remember them addressing this part, how there's a Tiffany Gibson figure in this movie that gives Luis the lucky jacket off of her back at her concert, where she sings the song from the opening credits. "This is my lucky jacket, I've had it since the first album" was the point where I thought, Nope, that's a yard too far. In a movie where talismans are a thing, taking someone's lucky jacket means that artist loses her entire mojo! If her next album sucks, it is on Luis' head.

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Did anybody else notice that some of the rap sequences sound like one guy with a shitty reverb or delay to make it sound like three guys?

 

Also, the trio's costumes are a perfect summation of 80's fashion clichés. The costume designer was like, "you can have a vest or a Hawaiian shirt or you can have suspenders." And the director goes, "well, we have three of them." "That's easy! One each. Done!"

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksBE53CIT8E

 

The sheer number of references in this movie to early-to-mid 80's pop culture for a movie shot in the very late 80's makes me think it was a period piece, which would explain the need to repeatedly remind us of the time period. It's almost like in Childrens Hospital when they constantly say things like, "in Brazil, which is where we are right now." This movie is saying, "you're watching an 80's teen comedy, guys. It's so 80's, even Tangena knows who Punky Brewster is."

 

The use of "For he's a Jolly Good Fellow" instead of the birthday song for obvious copyright reasons is the moment I started to love this shitty movie.

 

 

Did anybody notice that when Brad handed her the soda can he flipped it around as a way of showing off, thereby shaking it up? What a dick. Also going through Louise Guzeman's mind at that moment? "mmmm what a dick!"

 

Did the DJ say "grab your wallets it's going to be a slow song?" Wallets? What the hell is going on here?

 

Bolos were never cool, Brad. Not even in the 80's.

 

When they counterfeited the money, I was so hoping the movie would suddenly become an teen rom-com version of To Live and Die in L.A.

 

 

My biggest problem is the water reset magic rule. I'm sure a lot of folks will chime in about this, but for me it ruins any logical sense this movie inadvertently made. That poor theater teacher is in for a rough surprise the moment her lover-boy showers. Ew, and what if he doesn't? Talk about a stinky Sophie's choice. He'll die of thirst within a few days, anyway.

 

When the guys show up at her door when she's suddenly popular- one of them looks like a 30 year old dude with a mustache.

 

 

The spooky house scares me but then I hear the sexy 80's sax music and I'm like "it's OK. This is just a house for boning." The sax keeps going and Brad is all, "doesn't this dilapidated house make you horny?"

 

This movie's idea of the pinnacle of fashion: bedazzled jean jacket a acid wash jeans. In the credit roll there should be something like "Canadian Tuxedo from the Toronto After Six collection."

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I feel like this movie was pieced together from half a dozen different scripts. First we're told Louise will get her powers when she turns 16, then for some reason the pendant is necessary. The school play was established early on, Louise gets the lead role when Kiki breaks her leg, then we never hear about it again. There's the aspect where Louise's popularity is jeopardizing her friendship with Polly and we expect her to learn a lesson about the true meaning of friendship. Nope. I really thought we would find out that her mom was also a witch and she would impart some wisdom, not unlike with the dad in Teen Wolf. Didn't happen. I thought at least Louise would learn that she didn't really want Brad (maybe because he's kinda dumb and can't pass english, or dumps his girlfriend as soon as someone more popular comes along, or because he takes her to an abandoned rape house) but no, she's deeply enamored with Brad from beginning to end. You know, the end where none of the characters changed or learned anything.

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I thought the acting of the dog was unfairly criticized in this episode. The dog's resistance was in tune with the character's fear of the obvious drowning hazard of being a tiny dog in a full bubble-bath. How long can a dog tread water? Did the brother even have the canine motor skills to tread water? The teen witch was going to leave him unattended while she dealt with their parents. The brother had no idea that he would revert to human form. He thought he was going to die.

 

I haven't seen the film in a few years, but I also don't think the teen witch knew her brother would turn human. Was the teen witch trying to murder her asshole brother? Did the cycle of abuse continue? Did the brother grow up to become this guy?

 

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FYI Robin lively (who plays Louise) was only 17 when this movie was released, while Dan Gauthier (who plays Brad) was 26...this makes the final make out scene even more disturbing.

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Just in case anyone doesn't watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine, here's a gif of Jason doing Tai Chi to keep the demons at bay.

 

x5gHII1.gif

 

Alright... I'll listen to the podcast now.

 

Definitely doesn't have pancake butt.

 

Related: can we get Steph Beatz on HDTGM? Pretty please? Pretty pretty please?

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So, witches have the same weakness as the aliens from "Signs"?

 

Shit, maybe it's the other way around. Wicked Witch of the West and all....

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The thought I kept having while watching this movie was that it was shocking that this was a theatrically released movie. I was wondering how I had never heard of the Teen Witch riots of '89 from people who paid to see it. Then I found out it is because there weren't enough people to form a riot. From Wikipedia:

 

"The production budget for Teen Witch was $2,500,000. The film was released in the US on April 23, 1989 and grossed $3,875 in its opening weekend at the box office, and only $27,843 in its entire run.[3] April 1989 box office competition included Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner and Pet Sematary, written by Stephen King. Both films were released on April 21, 1989, two days before the Teen Witch release."

 

My favorite part of that article is the subtle implication that this movie would have done much better if Field of Dreams wasn't around.

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Based on the events happening at school (football season to prom) this movie has to cover months right? I'd say it felt like it happened over two or three weeks tops.

 

Despite all of the things this movie could have done differently there is really only one thing I wanted. During Brad's football practice scene when they cut from him throwing the ball to the stock footage shot of a football going through a tire they really should have played that up. Have him throw the ball, drop and do his push ups, THEN cut to the stock footage.

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My biggest problem is the water reset magic rule. I'm sure a lot of folks will chime in about this, but for me it ruins any logical sense this movie inadvertently made. That poor theater teacher is in for a rough surprise the moment her lover-boy showers. Ew, and what if he doesn't? Talk about a stinky Sophie's choice. He'll die of thirst within a few days, anyway.

I have SO MUCH to talk about but I'll make a separate post for that cause I need to throw in more crazy things now that we have all started thinking about this water situation.

 

1. Serena told Luis Guzman that nothing reversed the dog spell because her powers are new and weak, but then immediately says it was the water she dumped him in.

2. She makes it RAIN! Y'all does the act of making rain immediately reverse the rain spell and it just starts raining on its own???

3. Her popularity spell would then all be dependent on the fact that she would not be able to shower, right?! Like that spell must have been crazy strong for her to be probably stinking up the entire school and still be the most popular girl.

 

UNLESS THIS STUPID WATER THING IS WRONG AND MEANS NOTHING ugh

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Based on the events happening at school (football season to prom) this movie has to cover months right? I'd say it felt like it happened over two or three weeks tops.

 

Despite all of the things this movie could have done differently there is really only one thing I wanted. During Brad's football practice scene when they cut from him throwing the ball to the stock footage shot of a football going through a tire they really should have played that up. Have him throw the ball, drop and do his push ups, THEN cut to the stock footage.

Maybe it's like "Saved By the Bell", where it seemed like they were going to prom like seven times in any given year.

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The house where they go to "kiss" totally reminded me of the house the kid was squatting in when he was trying to hide from Fuck Ghost in "It Follows". The kids in this were totally safe though, because Fuck Ghost had a poker game to get to...

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To its credit, for all the 80s white guy rapping in this movie, I don't think I heard a single "...and I'm here to say", which is quite the accomplishment. I think we can agree that that line in any rap is THE worst.

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This whole movie to me had a very "Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" aesthetic to it, right down to the musical number...

 

 

He's practically saying "Top that!".

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Hey guys. They actually did address the home renovations. When Luiz goes to see Mr Miagi, she says she can't stop using magic, not when she's got all of "this" and points towards the furniture and walls. I guess she either made some waterproof cash to pay for it, or we are to assume that Luiz Guzman used her powers to do some interior decorating.

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I really thought we would find out that her mom was also a witch and she would impart some wisdom, not unlike with the dad in Teen Wolf.

 

I thought this exact same thing! Especially knowing that it was inspired by Teen Wolf, it all makes sense. Since it is implied that her powers is due to ancestry, I thought that it would follow, since they share the same bloodline, that her mother had the same powers. I definitely thought this is where the movie was going, especially when her father shows her a picture of her mother as an awkward teen--which I found to be a...questionable parenting technique. I thought her mother was going to represent a more balanced view of witchcraft as opposed to Serena's "gimmie-gimmie" attitude.

 

I have SO MUCH to talk about but I'll make a separate post for that cause I need to throw in more crazy things now that we have all started thinking about this water situation.

 

1. Serena told Luis Guzman that nothing reversed the dog spell because her powers are new and weak, but then immediately says it was the water she dumped him in.

2. She makes it RAIN! Y'all does the act of making rain immediately reverse the rain spell and it just starts raining on its own???

3. Her popularity spell would then all be dependent on the fact that she would not be able to shower, right?! Like that spell must have been crazy strong for her to be probably stinking up the entire school and still be the most popular girl.

 

UNLESS THIS STUPID WATER THING IS WRONG AND MEANS NOTHING ugh

 

I totally agree with you with the water, but it is actually (sort of) addressed, at least through Serena's implication. Basically, while her powers are weak and new, water will reverse it, but as she grows in her power, water will no longer have an affect on her spells. It took me a while to get that line, and I can't find a script online to confirm it, but I do believe it is in there. Until I caught that line though, I was very concerned for her teacher's trip to Aruba...

 

I think it is also confirmed in this scene that the weird, rapey nerd she banishes to the Hell dimension will return--although, in my opinion, he probably deserves to stay there..

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*rubs hands together*

 

I wanted to start off my entire post by going into the selfish assumptions that Louise had with everyone that I personally think is a greater image of what the studio, writer, and director had of teenage girls. To me this entire movie is saying that in order to feel complete and cool you need a man. Louise wasn't fulfilled by her popularity when she had people chasing after her but did whenever she was with Brad. Now she had that existential crisis about whether or not he actually liked her or it was just the spell but still at the end of the movie when we are I guess supposed to assume that when she takes off the necklace and he still comes over to dance and kiss her that means he likes her for her and nothing else. However, there is no lesson for her to learn like the gang pointed out in the episode. She still thinks that the thing that ultimately makes her happy is that Brad likes her and everything is cool again. They don't even show her properly making up with Hats so are we to assume that they never talk again because now Louise has Brad?

 

And Hats does actually tell Louise that she likes the white rapper and thinks she could never be as "funky" as him (which oh my lord calling him funky was enough hilarity to last me a lifetime) so Louise fulfills her wish and gives her the power to be funky and win the guy over... but then doesn't follow through because a few scenes later we see him chasing after Louise during the "Most Popular Girl" montage. Louise is really a shitty friend if she can't even do that for Hats.

 

So then that brings me to one of my main points about the assumption of teenage girls in this film. I LIKE BOYS!!! That whole thing not only assumes right off the bat that every single one of those girls automatically knew the choreography for a song they had never heard before but it completely assumes the sexuality of every single one of them as well! There was maybe 15 cheerleaders in that locker room doing that number and you're telling me that every single one of them just likes boys? Okay I'll give it the benefit of the doubt that maybe some of them were bisexual or pansexual and could still comfortably be like "YEAH BOYS!" but it's genuinely hard for me to think that not a one of them would be like, "Okay but I like girls so..." Maybe I'm thinking just way too much in the modern times because I know for certain that girls in the 80s who were not straight would have still just gone with the flow to avoid being the pariah and a social outcast. Especially if they were cheerleaders. But it still just shows how much heteronormativity was within our culture when the entire movie specifically points out that girls are in want of a boy in high school.

 

Also that all boys are just creeps! I wasn't sure how I was gonna tie this into this post I was making but bam I just did it! Every single man in Louise's life was absolutely creepy in one way or another! Her brother is introduced by eating an entire chocolate cake underneath her bed while she fucking slept, her father likes to point out how much he likes her appearance (which she responds with a, "Yeah I know this is your favorite color." So I have to agree with June that that relationship was weird.), Brad is introduced through her sexual dreams and stalkerish behavior (which is less on his part and more hers but it's still a super creepy way to introduce the main love interest), her English teacher emotionally abuses her and reads her diary out in front of the entire class like it's no big deal (she then goes on to sexual assault him and turn him into a pedophile who should have been arrested ON SPOT after undressing in front of a class of minors!), and Randa's cousin actually tries to rape her!! What is the real message here with these?! That sexual harassment is a hilarious gag to move the plot along? That creepy behavior is to be expected of men?? That women are to be expected to play along in most of this creepiness???

 

OH! And let us please not forget that Louise was full on going to turn Brad into a sex slave with Serena's encouragement and take away all consent he had in the matter. If her whole "but does he like me for me!" thing hadn't taken over this movie would have given me the a worse taste in my mouth than it already did.

 

I'm sure I have more and I'm sure I'll be back with it. I would apologize for the length but I'm not sorry for it at all hahaha.

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