Classics of the Corn: Teen Witch (1989)

(Image via No More Popcorn)

(Image via No More Popcorn)

Louise is a young girl struggling her way through high school as one of the invisibles — an honor student, a member of a few academic clubs, and not popular enough to catch the eye of the hunky football player that she has a crush on.

She’s had a terrible day, accidentally giving a page from her diary to one of her teachers in place of an assignment, then losing the lead role in the school play, and nearly being hit by a car on the way home from school.

With a storm brewing and her bike broken, Louise stops at the home of Miss Serena, the local psychic, to use the phone. Miss Serena tells Louise that on her 16th birthday she’ll inherit some sort of power. The details are vague, and Louise doesn’t take it very seriously.

Her birthday comes the next week, and sure enough, strange things begin to happen!

I’ve been wanting to add Teen Witch to the COTC Hall of Shame for ages. It was finally added to Netflix in March, and I immediately gave it a re-watch for the purpose of covering it here. It had been a few years since I’d seen the film, but in that time, no corn has gone rotten. Teen Witch is absolutely hilarious.

Who could forget this iconic scene, which alone is worthy of an entry into the Classics of the Corn series?:

“Look at how funky he is!”

The musical moments bring a lot of the corn to this movie. From the slow-mo opening credits accompanied by a pop tune, to the “so fab” new cheer that the squad performs in the locker room, to the legendary “Top That!” and “Most Popular Girl” — the fun doesn’t stop with all of the terrible music and dancing in Teen Witch.

The music isn’t the only source of corn. The supporting cast brings it, too. Zelda Rubinstein as Miss Serena, the kooky psychic, makes a wonderful life coach to novice witch Louise. Louise’s best friend, Polly, is nerdy in the best way and full of snark. And then there’s Richie, Louise’s little brother, who speaks with the raspy voice of an elderly New York woman. (At one point, Louise uses her powers to turn him into a dog.)

Favorite corn-kernel quotes:

  • Louise: “All you think about is food.”
    Richie: “All you think about is BRAD. The red hot lover. Brad, the great. Oh, Brad!”
  • Polly: “LOUISE. The worst possible thing is happening. It’s like birthday on Elm Street.”
  • Louise: “I have a little brother, I know about men.”
  • Cheerleader: “To tell you the truth, Kiki, your voice is lousy. You sound like Pee-wee Herman.”
  • Polly: “Are you kidding? Look at how funky he is! I will never be hip.”
  • Polly: “Well, the price of fame and fortune is to be envied, then copied, and finally discarded.”
    Louise: “Says who?”
    Polly: “I read it some place! Probably Rob Lowe.”
  • Polly: “You became a swan, and you left me right in the duck pond!”
I haven't even mentioned the outfits, but yes -- you will be just as baffled by them as by the corn from the script! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

I haven’t even mentioned the outfits, but yes — you will be just as baffled by them as by the corn from the script! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

The ’80s were a crazy decade, accounting for the high number of films from that time which appear in the CotC series. Teen Witch is one of the best, if you prefer your corn cobs with a dash of ridiculous dancing and a pat of teen comedy.

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