I can never get enough of cute comedies featuring loved ones turning into some sort of supernatural creature or gaining magic powers—especially if they came from the 80s! But are these two from 1989 worthy of the best decade ever?
TEEN WITCH (1989)
Teen Witch came out just in time to be in the decade where it belongs. Holy 80s cable crap perfection! Obviously, the plot is about a high school chick that uses witchcraft to become popular. You also get:
- Song and dance video numbers, including white boys rapping….
- And a locker room cheerleader performance of “I Like Boys,” a new wave girl group ditty that would make The Flirts jealous.
- Robyn Lively (who appeared in Ouija and is also the sister of Blake) as the teen witch.
- The annoying kid from Near Dark as her annoying brother (he was more recently in The Wizard of Gore remake).
- Dan Gauthier as the hot love interest.
- Dick Sargent as the dad (that would be Samantha Stephens’s second dick…I mean, second Darrin on Bewitched, and Dick’s second time as the father of a witch).
- Lovable 80s actress Caren Kaye (Pumpkinhead II, Satan’s Princess) as the mom.
- Zelda Rubinstein of Poltergeist as the teen witch’s mentor…who lives in the house from the “Thriller” video!
- Marcia Wallace of The Bob Newhart Show…and Ghoulies Go to College….
- A big dance in the school gym…on Friday the 13th!
The only disappointment is that in the end, the teen witch pretty much learns nothing about the negative consequences of using magic for her own selfish purposes, gets exactly what she wanted, and doesn’t make amends for all she did wrong because she dabbled in witchcraft (like losing her best friend, making a guy disappear, etc.).
MY MOM’S A WEREWOLF (1989)
My Mom’s a Werewolf has some 80s charm, but it’s a fairly flat movie with little in the way of actually funny humor. It also fails to decide exactly what type of movie it wants to be. Is it a teen horror comedy or an adult horror comedy? The lead girl is trying to figure out what’s up with her noticeably changing mom, but the film focuses so much on the mother dealing with transforming (and what it does to her libido) that there ends up being a “main girl” conflict.
Anyway, highlights of the film include:
- Late 80s acid wash jeans.
- A female horror geek as the daughter’s best friend.
- A sci-fi/horror convention scene.
- Ruth Buzzi as a fortune teller.
- The best movie dog EVER.
- John Schuck as the dad (Herman in The New Munsters and a transgender politician on The Golden Girls).
- John Saxon as the werewolf who bites the mom (and also gets shirtless).
- A gory monster dream sequence.
- A Halloween party loaded with new wave dancing.
- A hot young caveman showing off his pecs at the Halloween party and turning on the mom.
- Marcia Wallace of The Bob Newhart Show…and Ghoulies Go to College… (holy déjà vu).
- Marilyn McCoo (lead singer of The 5th Dimension and host of Solid Gold) as a reporter.
- An awesome werewolf battle!
- A pervy fetishist neighbor who likes what he sees when he peeps at the battling werewolves.
Like I said, My Mom’s a Werewolf doesn’t really deliver and is like two underdeveloped movies mashed together. It either should have been adolescent fun about the teen girl’s attempt to figure out why her mom’s acting differently (also leaving the audience in the dark as to what’s wrong with the mom) or taken a more adult route and focused solely on the mom navigating her changing body and attempting to keep her secret from her family—while exploring her sexual desires, which are hinted at but never fully exploited. I vote for the Boy (caveman kid), bear (John Saxon), and hairy mom route.