It’s the fight of the year month week as every 20/30-something girl’s favorite cult classic takes on…well, a cult. Yes, you guessed it. It’s Teen Witch verses Twilight in a fight to the finish. Vampires verses a little Gypsy palm-reader, a vegetarian heartthrob faces a Tom Cruise clone who went on to drug Pauly Shore in Son in Law and, of course, a 16-year-old girl steps up to battle a Zoloft-popping gal who is in love with a bloody-thirsty (and quite dapper) vampire from the 18th century.
Take your seats ladies and gentlemen. This is going to get nasty.
Teen Witch: I must have missed this one when it came out in 1989. Growing up I was all about the wacky “Teen” movies where some pathetic kid learns that he/she has a horrible disability which originally makes them a certified freak, but later makes them prom royalty. Teen Wolf, Teen Wolf 2, Teen….Tom Hanks, I couldn’t get enough. I recall strolling through Video Buffs in Aurora (which now looks bombed-out) and seeing the VHS box. “Meh,” I said as I grabbed Basic Instinct again. Nothing compares to Sharon Stone. Maybe Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Teen Witch focuses on Louise (Robyn Lively) who, by definition, isn’t a nerd. She’s a wallflower. She dresses conservatively with giant sweaters, a long, long dress, and even a larger dress over all her other clothes. I’ll be honest. I’m not sure if she’s supposed to be dressed badly or if this was purely an ‘80s thing. Like Aqua Net. Louise is madly in love with Brad (Dan Gauthier). He’s mixed up with the school’s most popular girl, causing Louise to pine for his sweet, sweet kisses in her diary. Don’t feel too bad for her. Her 16th birthday is coming up and she’s getting the best present ever, ever. She’ll become a witch with the ability to cast spells. Not lame spells like in The Craft (light as a feather, as if!) but spells to make it rain and carousels to run ON ITS OWN. She can also make herself the most popular girl in school by hypnotizing an apparently popular ‘80s singer to give her the coolest jacket ever made, spin around three times, drink goat’s blood and poof, Ms. Popularity. Now Brad will fall in love with her. Now her dreams are coming true. Or are they?
Twilight: Being the cool film guy that I am, I had to see this one and, in the end, I’m glad that I did. If not, I would have no idea what all the fuss is about. Now I have an idea…but I’m still not quite sure what all the fuss is about.
Kristen Stewart plays Bella, the lonesome teen who moves from Arizona to the rainy Pacific Northwest with her divorced father. She befriends a nice clique and eventually falls head-over-galoshes in love with the debonair, yet aloof, Edward (Robert Pattinson). Quickly, she’s advised against it, “He’s weird,” “He’s really pale,” “He hates skee-ball,” and so on. Bella doesn’t care. She digs that sort of thing.
Soon Bella learns that he is a vampire (not the jerk kind. The nice kind. The kind that only feasts on animals and grains) who is roughly the age of Thomas Jefferson. She meets his family, play’s a baseball game in a thunderstorm and barely escapes with her life when another vampire (the jerk kind) tries to kill her.
Teen Witch: While Louise is putting her clothes back on in the girl’s locker room after swim class, her fellow students erupt into a choreographed musical number for no apparent reason singing “I Like Boys” while clad in one-piece swimwear.
Twilight: Bella is miffed that Edward doesn’t want to be in the same science class as her. No dancing. No singing. Just hurt feelings.
Winner: Teen Witch
Teen Witch: Brad strays from the typical teen trappings of d-bag high school quarterbacks by being a decent human being. Though he almost runs Louise over with his car, takes her to an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere to make-out and is obsessed with status, Brad is actually an affable fellow.
Twilight: Edward is completely withdrawn, quasi-likable and looks shiny in the sun. What makes him different from other vampires is that he, like many whores, has a heart of gold. He saves Bella from a late night attack from three drunks simply by growling at them.
Teen Witch: A bow-tied, glasses-wearing hornball makes unwelcome advances towards Louise during a car ride after one of many school dances in the movie. Louise, flustered, accidentally makes him disappear. He’s neither seen nor heard from in the rest of the movie. In my profound judgment, Louise murdered him then makes a joke about it to Brad.
Twilight: Bella runs like hell away from her assailants and never lands a punch. Maybe a kick. Lame.
Winner: Teen Witch
While Twilight may score extra points for casting actual vampires in the lead roles, Teen Witch comes away with the victory.