Monday, October 5, 2015

Black Cats and Witches and Stuff - An Ode to Hocus Pocus

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To really kick off my Halloween theme here on the blog, I decided to have a ramble about my all-time favourite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus.

Released in 1993, it wasn't supposed to be a big hit. It was intended to be a Disney Channel Original Movie and was a box office flop - but became a cult hit through home video. I first saw it around 1995/1996 on video. It was one of the first films I ever remember crying at (the end where Binx whispers in Dani's ear) and I have been in love with it ever since. I'm not exaggerating when I say I have seen it at least 50 times. At least.

Sarah Jessica Parker

The cast is just perfect. There isn't one dud. Not one. Thora Birch is fantastic as the slightly bratty Dani, Omri Katz was a huge crush of mine as a child after seeing him on Eerie, Indiana, and the three sisters couldn't have been played by anyone else. Sarah Jessica Parker irritates me in nearly everything she is in, but she is my absolute favourite Sanderson Sister. The movie could have been very different - Leonardo DiCaprio turned down the role of Max to do What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and Rosie O'Donnell turned down the role of Mary as she "wasn't comfortable playing a character who killed children."

The Best Mondegreen of All Time

Everyone can sing along with I Put a Spell On You - "I say, it's a pie, up and baby, up and die!" - right? Nope. Here's what she's really singing:

Ah say ento pi alpha mabi upendi
Ah say ento pi alpha mabi upendi
In comma coriyama
In comma coriyama

So that solves the mystery of why a song about babies and pie would make people dance until they died. 

It Started as a Bedtime Story

If you're a fan of the movie at all, watch this video. It's just under a half hour long, and it's a panel discussion held for the 20th Anniversary featuring Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw, Kathy Najimy, Thora Birth, Doug Jones and David Kirschner, who came up with the idea from a bedtime story he told his daughters.


See those moths flying out of Billy's mouth? They were real moths. Actor Doug Jones couldn't swallow them because of a type of mouth guard. Gross, yes? Also - no need to feel like a weirdo if you thought Billy was probably once a little bit hot. He was supposed to be. He also ad-libbed his famous "Wench! Trollop! You buck-toothed mop-riding firefly from hell!" line. All he was originally supposed to say was "Bitch!" but he deemed it unsuitable for a Disney movie.

The Four Things That Still Annoy Me

This doesn't ruin my viewing - I can literally recite the entire film dialogue when watching it - but these four things still occasionally WRECK my head.

- How does the tub of salt last that long?
- At the start, the teacher tells the entire story and THEN says "so, the Sanderson sisters were HANGED!" but we had already seen them be hanged.
- How does anyone know that Binx was turned into a cat? The only people who witnessed it were the Sanderson sisters, so who knew he was a cat??! Why didn't he talk to his father?!
- When Dani meets Allison at her house, she says "There's a museum about 'em?" and then in the same conversation says "Max, I'm not going up there, my friends at school told me about that place" - why didn't she tell Allison that instead of pretending she didn't know?!

I'm pedantic. I know. It's a disease.

Was Venetian Princess Emily Binx? (NO)

This is like that Marilyn Manson in The Wonder Years rumour was - it will not die. Even IMDB credits the role of Emily Binx with Amanda Shepherd, said to be youtube star Venetian Princess' (now Ariella Grace) acting name - she has cleared it up multiple times, but still.......nobody listens.

There is NO Sequel

Sorry folks, it's not happening. Not yet, anyway. However, Sony ARE remaking The Craft, which I am disgusted about.

These Nails

This nail art by Madam Luck Nails is the best Hocus Pocus art I've ever seen - I made my own stab at it but it pales in comparison, this is just my absolute dream Halloween nail art. 

Satan and Medusa

Remember these? They have what is probably my favourite exchange in the whole film:

Satan: They call me master!
Medusa: Wait 'til you see what I'm gonna call you...

Well, they're brother and sister in real life. Penny and Garry Marshall. Garry was the director of both Princess Diaries movies, Pretty Woman, and Beaches (among others). 

I'll Just Leave This Here

Really genuinely going to watch it right now.


  1. In LOVE Hocus Pocus. Very disappointed that the sequel rumours aren't true though #Heartbroken

  2. Watched AGAIN Saturday night and I swear it just doesn't age. It's still as brilliant as the first time I saw it and subsequently every weekend through my late kid / early teen years. I'm sorely disappointed there's no sequel confirmed yet as I think, having rewatched it again, that it could work!
    YES to the tub of salt btw! And Billy was definitely a bit hot.....
    Great post <3


  3. LOVE this post! Watched HP for the first time on video at my birthday party, Prob 95/96 too. I've loved it ever since as well. Watch it a few times every Halloween, still love it!

  4. Always love your posts Sharon, this is brilliant! Looking forward to watching it again ASAP!

  5. Love it as do my girls.I love that it's funny scary and we can all watch it together, while I day dream of living in an American neighbourhood for Halloween festivities.Halloween obsessed 🎃👻😈

  6. LOVE THIS FILM! My cousin and I used to dress up and pretend we were the witches when we were 7-8. I always figured the reason Binx didn't talk to his father was because he wouldn't have believed him, that he would have thought it was just another witches trick and that he'd then be in trouble for saying he heard a cat talk.

    I remember watching NCIS for the first time and thinking 'I know this guy!' about one of the main guys and turns out he was Binx! I've watched all of NCIS and there was one episode where this extra looked really familiar and turned out it was ICE!

  7. I adore Hocus Pocus, watched it with the little man for the first time on Saturday.....he loved it.

  8. I have loved this movie ever since I was a kid cos the little girl was called Dani and literally nobody ever shared my name.
    I also definitely fancied Binx - as a boy, of course. I feel the need to point that out seeing as I fancied Casper both as a ghost and boy.

  9. I watched this (again lol) 2 days ago! I absolutely love it! My black cat was actually named Binx lol I did read somewhere that they were going to do a sequel, I didn't know this was now not the case. I didn't know about The Craft either. In any case this is a brilliant movie that makes me laugh every time! lol


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