This movie is an hour and a half time capsule of everything that was amazingly stupid about the late ‘80s. Its most notable accomplishment, however, is spawning the most glorious rap-off of all time:
Teen Witch belongs to the sub-genre of ‘80s teen movies that spice things up by involving spooky powers. Movies like Weird Science, Once Bitten, Zapped!, The Heavenly Kid, and Teen Wolf. In fact, Teen Witch was originally pitched as a sort of spiritual sequel to Teen Wolf—basically, Teen Wolf for girls.
The plot hits the familiar teen movie beats. It stars an average teenage girl who dreams of being with the hunky and popular sports-car driving football dude.
But Hunky Jock only seems to have eyes for the most popular girl in school, a busty blonde cheerleader.
Of course, everything changes when Plain Jane goes into a spooky house and meets the creepy short lady from the Poltergeist movies, who informs Plain Jane that she’s totally a Teen Witch! Then, donning her magic witch amulet, the Teen Witch casts a love spell on Hunky Jock, and uses her magic to get glammed up and become the most popular girl in school, completely tossing aside her dorky friend in the process.
Despite mostly following the genre formula, this movie does some very unusual things. It’s not really a musical, yet there are a few scenes (particularly one in the girls' locker room) where characters break out in a song and dance number as if it were.
It’s also heavily implied that Teen Witch gets boned by Hunky Jock while he’s under the influence of her charm spell. Which totally makes her a rapist, right?
The ending of Teen Witch is also strange. She goes to the school dance, and is the center of attention. Then she tosses away her witch pendant, apparently to symbolize her giving up on the whole witch thing, and yet she remains all glammed out and Hunky Jock still seems infatuated with her. They dance and the credits roll. The most glaring thing is that she never makes amends with the best friend that she snubbed upon becoming popular. That’s a super odd choice for a movie that’s otherwise saccharine as fuck.
It’s an incredibly dumb movie that completely bombed when it came out in ‘89, but it’s since become a cult classic because of just how charmingly stupid and ultra ‘80s it is.
Teen Witch Age Mystery
I always do a bit of research on movies after I watch them, and while doing so for Teen Witch, I stumbled upon a strange and stupid mystery.
At one point in the movie, Teen Witch uses her powers to get backstage passes to see her favorite pop star, Shana. In the middle of performing a song, Shana notices Teen Witch standing off to the side of the stage. Ensorceled by Teen Witch’s charm magic, Shana goes over to her, greets her, then gives away her iconic jacket (making Teen Witch a thief as well as a rapist and a friend snubber).
Here’s a clip of the scene (skip to about the 1:40 mark):
Here’s where the mystery comes in. Shana was played by Cindy Valentine Leone. Every bio on her I can find online claims she was born in late August of 1975. Teen Witch was shot at the end of ‘87, meaning she would’ve been 12 years old.
There’s no fucking way she was 12 in this movie.
Here she is in a 1984 music video for her first album. If she’s to be believed, she was nine at this time:
Sorry, Cindy, I know some girls babe-out earlier than others, but there’s no way you were nine in that video. I’m totally calling bullshit on your birth date.
Teen Witch Ratings
Satan Factor: Pretty low, despite the witchcraft, rape, and dancing.
Ninja Factor: None.
Boob Factor: Low. No nudity, despite there being scenes in the girls' locker room. But the popular cheerleader babe has a nice rack, and there's a busty dancer in red during the school dance showcasing some nice bounce action.
Actress Lying About Age Factor: Mega high.
Overall Rating: 2.5 pentastars out of 5. It'd be a five out of five if the entire movie lived up to the pure gold of the "Top That" scene.