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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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – Day of the Dumpster 

  

By Joshie Jaxon

Ahh, after 10,000 years I’m free! It’s time to conquer Earth! Alpha! Rita’s escaped! Recruit a team of teenagers with attitude! Go! Go! Power Rangers! I loved this series from the very beginning, over twenty years ago. Lord, I feel old now. I didn’t care about the dubbing, the stock footage, or the bad acting. All I cared about was how I was gonna get $2 from my mom so I could have a blank VHS so that I wouldn’t miss anything if I didn’t get home from school in time. I still have my original Megazord, secure in a plastic tub with all the other Megazords through Rangers in Space. However, adult-me sees things that kid-me didn’t. Let the geeks begin! 

  

We open on a space shuttle, landing on what is supposed to be our moon. However, that opening shot isn’t our planet or moon, and when we see the explorers on the surface, there’s what appears to be another planet in the distance. Unless it’s a moon dome and I just think it’s another planet. I dunno, I never saw the super sentai. Alright, hold up, if this is supposed to be the moon, why are there clouds in the sky? Twenty seconds in an already I’m having issues. I’ll have to channel my Voltron nostalgia filter to get through this. Activate interlock! Dyna-therms connected! Nostalgia filter is go! The explorers see what they can only naturally assume is a space dumpster, cause why not? They go to open it. Cause again, why not? For that matter, why is it that the prison for an evil empress is able to be opened so easily? 

  

Goldar, Finster, Squatt, and Baboo appear. Note worthy, Goldar has no wings. The minions tell Rita to get up, and that they’re free. Also noteworthy, now Goldar has wings. Finster is glad to be free after 10,000 years. Funny, they emerged as energy balls, but somehow were able to count the days while they were contained. Then again, evil space aliens, led by a fierce diva with a Madonna cone brazier and hair to match. Stranger things have happened. Anyhow, Rita destroys their former prison, and the space explorers scramble to get away. She says they shouldn’t miss her coming out party. She’s going to take over the nearest planet. We pan up to what is allegedly earth. Gasp! 

  

Angel Grove youth center. Kimberly, in pink, is on the balance beam. Jason in red and Zack in black are sparring. Trini, clad in yellow, is doing her breathing, and striking poses. Tai chi? Then Billy shows up in his glasses, white Gi, blue headband, and matching button down under it. I get that he’s supposed to be the nerd, and Jason the hunky jock, but I always liked Billy more, over all. While we’re at it, I’d like to point out how stupid the producers must have felt that kids are. Each of these teens is in the color of the ranger they’re going to become. I’d call spoilers on myself, but the opening credits already show us who’s who. In case you can’t keep them straight when they’re not fighting bad guys, and even though they’re individuals that you can identify on sight, all you need to know is what color they’re wearing. Give us a little credit. In 1993 I may not have been able to fully tell when it was original vs US footage, but I knew the characters. Side note, I can totally tell on the footage now. Where was I? Oh yeah, enter Bulk & Skull, the “punks” of the series. They ask out Kimberly and Trini, and are naturally shot down. As they get all bulk smash, Zack steps up. The girls say they’ve got this. Bulk & Skull launch themselves at them, and are flipped over for their trouble. Girls rule! Boys drool! 

  

Actual Earth moon this time. Palace of the empress of evil. Rita is looking at the Earth through her telescope. Goldar, sans wings, and the others, speak of world domination as Finster is ordered to make putty patrollers. 
Back in Angel Grove, Jason is teaching his karate class. Billy, in stereotypical nerd fashion, isn’t doing as well. Jason pauses the class, and they stand with their backs to Billy as Jason gives him some one on one. Dunno if that’s a respect thing or what, but I wouldn’t mind one on one with either of them. Jason says even he was a beginner once. I just bet you were. I remember those gay porn rumors. Untrue, of course, but still. Jason asks what martial arts teaches. Yet again, in stereotypical nerd fashion, Billy gives the right answer and is praised for memorizing it so quickly. Bulk & Skull show up and wanna learn how to beat people up. Jason says that’s not what martial arts is for. Bulk didn’t sign on for the geek class. Jason shows him a high kick, and surprisingly, Bulk does it. Tornado kick on the other hand, lands him on his ass. Later, in their color appropriate street clothes, Jason is telling Billy he did good for his first class. Trini agrees, it’s all mental. Ernie shows up with smoothies, and that’s when the earthquake hit. 

  

Buildings shake. Freeways shake. People are fleeing the safety of door frames and tables to run into the streets. 
Command Center. Danger! Danger! It’s the big one! Calm down, Alpha, it’s just Rita. She’s attacking the planet. How very matter of fact, Zordon, thank you. Now, teleport five overbearing, and over-emotional humans. No! Not teenagers! Alpha pushes a button, and we cut back to the youth center. Our five color-clad kids are wondering what’s going on, as they stand on stairs. You’re in California, shouldn’t you know earthquake safety? Jason yells for them to hold on, as they’re teleported away. They arrive in an empty command center. Billy is in nerd heaven. Despite the situation being so dire that they needed outside help, Zordon and Alpha still wanted to make an entrance. Alpha tells them not to touch anything, as Zordon appears. Who are you? What are you? Oh, just an inter-dimensional being caught in a time warp. Again, vat the hell is a time vorp? Zordon brought them cause the planet is in danger, and they need to save it. Observe the viewing globe. We see Rita, and a winged Goldar terrorizing a city. 

  

Zordon tells them they will be given power based on the ancient creatures they call dinosaurs. Does that mean they have them on other planets, and Zordon calls them something else? Morphers appear on each of them. Zack asks what they are. Yet another side note, Zack only has four fingers on his left hand. Oddly, all five fingers of the black ranger move. It’s almost like they spliced two shows together. Anyhow, Zordon says that if they raise them to the sky, and call their dinosaur name, they will morph. Morph? Yes, Kimberly, metamorphosis. Trini explains for Billy that it means to change. Smart Asian; shocking. Time to divvy up some powers; Jason, bold and powerful, Tyrannosaurus. Zack, clever and brave, mastodon. Kimberly, graceful and “smart”, pterodactyl. Billy, patient and wise, triceratops. Trini, fearless and agile, Sabertooth tiger. Zordon says their zords will be able to combine when needed to form the mighty Megazord. Zack and brain-trust Kimberly are ready to bail. Jason, Billy and Trini hang around a moment until peer pressure makes them leave too. Now, even though they walked out on him, Kimberly still complains that Zordon could have sent them back to town. Bitch.

  

On the moon, Rita is surprised that Zordon is using teenagers to try and stop her. Um, in a space dumpster for 10,000 years, yet is able to see exactly where Zordon and the super teens are on Earth; still opts to attack the city each week, rather than the command center. No wonder your boss shows up next season. Oops, spoilers. Finster makes plenty of puttys. Time to get those teenagers. Again, Rita blasts at the teenagers, rather than the command center. I’m just saying, it’s right there. The puttys attack, and power teens go down one by one. First Billy, naturally. Gotta reinforce nerd stereotypes. Then Kimberly. Same thing, but with pretty girls. Then Zack, cause, you know. *whispers, he’s black. Next is Trini, leaving the last one standing as Jason, the straight, white, jock. Am I reading too much into it? Maybe, but it is what it is. Tired of sitting in a pile, they decide to finally do something useful. It’s Morphin time! Mastodon! Pterodactyl! Triceratops! Sabertooth Tiger! Tyrannosaurus! Since they earned Zordon’s favor by using the Morphers, they get teleported back to the city. Guys? There are still putty patrollers near the command center. Guys? Oh, forget it. They’re too busy posing on a rooftop. 

  

Winged Goldar shows up with puttys, and the fighting starts. This time around, they actually kick some ass. Rita is less than pleased. Baboo suggests she makes Goldar grow with her wand. She has to do everything around here. Magic wand! Make my Goldar grooooow! *Joshie gets chills. Goldar grows, and loses his wings in the process. Power poses! We need dinozord power! *more chills. As the zords merge into tank mode, Trini makes a comment about them knowing how to operate them. Billy agrees, it’s like second nature. Well, at least they got that in there. In the cockpit, left to right, we have blue, yellow, red, pink, black. Remember that in a sec. They use the mega tank to blast Goldar, but it isn’t enough. Activate battle mode. Megazord sequence has been initiated. *Joshie has merging Voltron flashbacks, and fanboys a little. As the megazord stands, we have a reverse view of the cockpit. Now, left to right is black, yellow, red, pink, blue. Kimberly and Trini must have played musical chairs. They’re back to normal seating once the battle starts. Darn editors. The megazord fights Goldar, but they aren’t damaging him. They need the power sword! Goldar sees how big it is, and flees. Rita can’t believe he failed! He says it won’t happen again. Shut up! She has a headache! 

  

Zordon congratulates the team on beating Goldar. Um, he fled. Anyhow, there are three rules that must be followed. Don’t get Rita wet. Don’t feed Rita after midnight. Oops, that’s Gremlins. 

  

Don’t use your power for personal gain. Don’t escalate a fight unless Rita forces you. Finally, keep your identity secret. Zack says that’s great and all, but they got lucky. Nonsense, they’re as fine a group of super heroes as there has ever been. No way! Yes way, Kimberly. They’re all in. Except Kim. The outfits are cool and all, but her hair gets all tangled in the helmet. She doesn’t think she can do it. Priorities and all. Not! Yes, actual dialogue. She said “Not!”. It was 1993, we’ll cut her a tiny bit of slack. Her vapid 90’s bimboness causes Aloha to blow a fuse. He just can’t believe people thought that was funny. Group hands in the center. Leap in the air. Freeze frame. Credits. 

  

Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing!