Top Ten Tuesday – Witches

By Joshie Jaxon

Halleloo, I’m back bitches! I know I haven’t provided a lot a of new content lately, but those who follow our Facebook page know I’ve discovered the joy of memes. I try to at least provide some entertainment for my nerdy gay community. Life has been fun, but time has been limited. Gonna work on getting new entries added. Gotta do what feeds the soul, after all. Speaking of souls, today’s entry features some poor unfortunate souls. I realize that I usually do Top 5 Tuesday, but this list I couldn’t narrow down to five, so you’re getting ten. Without further ado, let the geeks begin!

Witches have been a staple in modern media since it’s inception. Ever since Margaret Hamilton brought the Wicked Witch of the West to life in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, there have always been some magical misunderstood ladies that just want things to go their way. I know that witches go even further back, I’m looking at you, Salem, but for a friend of Dorothy, I’d much rather be friends with Elphie. Those who’ve followed my past entries know I have an affinity for villains. Such an affinity caused me to leave the “good” witches like the Charmed Ones, Glinda, and Sabrina off my list. While it’s hard to rank them, I’ll do my best. Even as I type this, I’m not certain what my deciding factors will be.

Honorable Mention – Witch Marge

Treehouse of Horror VIII (1997)

Marge is usually a killjoy, but on Halloween episodes she gets to be a little more fun; when she’s not warning the audience about how scary the special will be. Goodie Simpson was thrown to an honorable Christian death in Salem, only to be revealed for the witch she really was. She gets an honorable mention for eating children, turning the chief into a gopher, and for getting a nod to another classic witch by correcting her sisters that his name is Homer, not Derwood.

10 – Endora

Bewitched (1964)

Speaking of Derwood, I’ll start the official list with Endora from Bewitched. She’s fabulous, shady, passive aggressive, powerful, and wears blue eyeshadow. She treats hers son-in-law with the contempt he deserves, at least with modern eyes. For the Sixties, his repression of his wife’s true self was to be expected, as was the cliché hatred of Endora as the meddling mother-in-law. She constantly kept him in his place, as best she could. Her fierceness for her time is what inspired me to name my black cat after her. Witches honor.

9- Magica DeSpell

Duck Tales (1987)

I adored Magica as a kid. No one should’ve been surprised when I came out. Oh wait, almost no one was. This diva duck is always after Scrooge’s number one dime. It’s an ingredient/focus for some of her powerful spells. We know this cause she gets her hands on it now and then. Her crow companion, and total disregard for the Beagle Boys make her a fabulous entry on my list. I plan on dusting off my Duck Tales dvds and giving her another visit soon.

8- Witch Hazel

Bewitched Bunny (1954)

Oh, Witch Hazel. How I adore thee. She’s only in a handful of cartoons, but she’s a delight in each one. That’s why Broomstick Bunny was one of my first Looney Legacy posts. Everything from June Foray’s exceptional voice talents, to her bobby pins when she leaves a room. I can’t think of a better villainess for their world. Well, Bugs in drag could qualify, but he’s far too entertaining. Plus, he’s more hero than villain. Unless you’re a fan of Elmer.

7- Dark Willow

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Seeing Red (2002)

I didn’t like them doing the whole, you’re addicted to magic, thing to Willow. I would’ve loved it if they’d had her doing what she was doing cause she wanted to, as opposed to a lousy drug metaphor. I kind of got what I wanted when Dark Willow came calling. Granted, her lesbian lover had to be killed to do it, but it freed the beast, and allowed her to revel in it for a bit. Now, to be fair, flaying Warren alive was a little darker than I was hoping, but from her added confidence, to her callback to Vamp Willow’s “Bored Now”, to threatening to kick every square inch of Buffy’s ass, I loved her short time on screen. So much so, I went as her for Halloween one year. Gender-bent version, of course.

6-Elvira

Movie Macabre (1981), Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Unpleasant dreams, darlings. Cassandra Peterson is an undead living legend, and oxymoron. She’s got some huge talents, and doesn’t mind showing them off a bit. If I played for another team, I’d find them sexy, but they’re just fun bags to me. Able to twirl tassels in opposite directions, I could leave it there and justify her place on the list, as that is witchcraft. However, I include her, not for her bespelling bosoms, but for her appearance in Mistress of the Dark. Elvira thinks she’s cooking, and summons a monster. She’s not a malicious witch, but since she’s not wholesome, I’m not counting her as good either. Besides, we get the great line “how’s your head?”, “no complaints yet” from her movie. Tens across the board.

5- Rita Repulsa

Power Rangers, Day of the Dumpster (1993)

Here we are, the top 5. Rita has earned her place as the Shangela on my list, cause she just can’t seem to win no matter how hard she tries. No shade, I do love me some Shangie. Rita is a fabulous witch, imprisoned for ten thousand years, only to be freed by accident. She spends a year with bad dub, and fierce eyeshadow, trying to stop teenagers. Failing, getting banished by her boss, coming back, marrying said boss, still failing, fleeing to avoid the Machine Empire, coming back to stake her claim, and, you guessed it, failing again. Her minions give her a headache. Her wand makes things grow. Giggity. You go, space diva.

4- Ursula

The Little Mermaid (1989)

What can I say about Ursula? She’s purple. She’s got drag queen origins. She knows the art of the deal. She’s the total package. The merfolk just didn’t read the fine print, so is she really evil? As people have pointed out, she was nice enough to give Ariel human legs, rather than say, making her a satyr. Ursula just wants to help people, she’s got a whole song about it. Granted, man-stealing so that she can collect her prize is a little low, but again, Ariel didn’t tell her she couldn’t. Ursula is just a victim of bad press, and a broken pole to the abdomen. To be fair, who knows what sort of ruler she’d be? Benevolent? Standard? Metric? The world will never know.

3- Wicked Witch of the West

Wizard of Oz (1939)

I was conflicted on putting Elphie here or the number two spot. Although she did get her own musical, is played by the legendary Idina, not to mention Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch just couldn’t be put at number two. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a fierce diva who only wanted her dead sister’s property back, but she’s just not the icon in my eyes like the top picks are. Now, I love the use of minions, and doing whatever it takes to get what she wants. I’ll even over look the whole “I’m melting… melting…” bit. I just wasn’t a fan of Zelena and how whiny she was portrayed on Once Upon a Time. Unlike my next pick…

2- The Evil Queen

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1939)

The second queen to appear in the late 1930’s. Certainly one of the first villains I recall from my youth. Clad in purple, regal, dignified, friends with a crow, obsessed with being number one; how could I not like her? Ok, there’s the heart-carving thing, but what majesty hasn’t abused her power on a whim? I know, I know, most people root for the good guys, but I’m not one of those people. There are rare exceptions. The reason I’ve got her at first runner up is her magnificent display on Once Upon a Time, by Lana Parilla. Loses the love of her life, wants to make the whole kingdom suffer like she has, and lets nothing stand in her way. Again, I know I’m supposed to be on Snow’s side, but I just can’t. We’ve all had that loss that consumed us so deeply we couldn’t help taking it out on others. Regina is the embodiment of that. She’s also redeemed in her arc, but that’s more Lana’s input on her character than how they may have wanted to keep her. In either event, I love the evil queen. Long live Regina!

1- Winifred Sanderson

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Was there any doubt that Winnie would be the top slot, grand diva of the list? She’s been an annual tradition for 25 years. She put a spell on me. She’s got the sarcasm and eye rolls that have become a part of my very being. She takes care of her sisters, since they can’t seem to manage on their own. She just wants to be young and beautiful. So a few kids have to go. They weren’t gonna live past 30 anyways. She was just ending their pre-midlife crisis. Saved them from disease, or being put to work as child labor. She’s a humanitarian. Really, she eats human. Well, their essence, but that’s splitting hairs. She gets a great catchy song to curse the town. She’s played by the divine Bette Midler. Hell, if she hadn’t been bent on revenge against Dani, she wouldn’t have lost. But, it’s Disney, and we can’t have bad guys win for whatever reason. Winnie will always be the witch I root for, even when she’s tricked time and again. Woo hoo, witchy woman.

There you have it, my favorite bad girls. Well, of the magical variety. Did I mention your favorite? Did I miss any one? Feel free to leave a comment. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing!

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