Tuesday, July 16, 2013

20 Years Ago, Hocus Pocus Put a Spell on Me

Hocus Pocus came out in theaters two decades ago!

First of all, I'm old.  Second of all, I didn't realize that Hocus Pocus came out in mid-July.  I guess I should have remembered, because my brother Anthony wanted to see Rookie of the Year much to my chagrin.  Why wouldn't he want to see three diva witches in a fish out of water movie?!  That's brothers for ya.  It's not the tentpole summer movie that we have nowadays.  A Halloween family comedy headed by The Diving Miss M?  Oh, the simple pleasures of the early 90's!

Hocus Pocus turns 20 today, and I couldn't be happier.  Mainly because it gives me a legit excuse to go home and watch it.  I remember seeing it when it came out.  It was the first movie that I saw twice in the theater.  Well, I saw it once with my mom, and then my parents took me and my uninterested brother to a drive-in.  Two firsts in one night: first double viewing of a movie and my first drive-in experience.  1993 was a very important year.  Obvi. 

I fell in love with Sarah Jessica Parker, the flakiest of the Sanderson Sisters.  Sure, Bette Midler was the wicked Winifred and Kathy Najimy was the delightfully zaftig Mary, but Sarah Sanderson was the (black) cat's meow for me as Sarah.  I always gravitated towards the prettiest of female stars when I was young, so it's a wonder that I didn't turn into a drag queen.  Don't think I didn't prance around the house and sing "Come Little Children" like a mincing nancy.  Theater aspirations don't just spark themselves, you know. 

Like many people out there, I wanted the Sanderson Sisters to prevail over those meddling kids.  I will always associated Thora Birch and Vinessa Shaw with Hocus Pocus.  I saw Eyes Wide Shut a mere six years later and was traumatized that Shaw played Domino, an HIV-positive hooker who makes a connection with Tom Cruise.  I remember that innocent Allison was now trying to lure Cruise into sex while wearing that big, furry hat.  My childhood would never be the same. 

"Max loves your yabos.  In fact, he loves 'em!"

I would associate Omri Katz (our hero, Max Dennison) with my favorite Halloween movie...but who knows where he is.  Max Dennison will sort of always be associated with my definition of virgin.  By the way, what summer Disney tentpole nowadays could get away with openly discussing what a virgin is?  They couldn't.  I am clearly part of the last awesome generation. 

So, happy twentieth, Hocus Pocus.  You will always be my favorite!

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