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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Looney Legacy – Broomstick Bunny

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! October is upon us, and that means we’re all counting down to Halloween. Except my mom. She hates it. Seriously, I don’t know how we’re related. Personally, I don’t countdown to Halloween so much as the annual screening of Rocky Horror. It’s my favorite event of the year, that I look forward to for months. Some would call that sad, and they might be right, but only cause they’re comparing my life to their own. This season brings me joy, and I refuse to apologize for it. Anyhow, today’s post is on one of my favorite Looney Tunes, that doesn’t feature Daffy Duck. Side note, I found a new DVD today featuring something that’ll be fun to review. For now, let the geeks begin! 

Halloween night, Witch Hazel’s house. We see her diploma from the Malevolent Order of Witches. She’s got bats in a birdcage, and is currently in the kitchen. Hazel is serving a dress of basic blue, nasty black hair, green skin, bloomers, a giant bosom and torso, coupled with stick-like legs. She’s still fierce. As she’s stirring her brew, she sings. A cup of arsenic, a spider, some glue. A lizard’s gizzard, an eel’s head or two. For little folk, some poison oak. Despite her lyrics, she clips some poison ivy from her “herbs”. We won’t fault her though. On the way back to the cauldron, she stops to look in the mirror. Magic mirror, on the wall, who’s the ugliest one of all? By his troth he will avow, there’s none that’s uglier than thou [her]. She breaks the fourth wall to say she’s dreadfully afraid of getting pretty as she gets older. Pretty! She then laughs her ass off, and bolts back into the kitchen, leaving bobby pins spinning in the air. I love that gag. 

Outside we see a witch walking with a sack. It stops, pulls off its face to reveal that it’s Bugs Bunny in a mask. He said he likes the trick or treat racket, and wishes it were more than once a year. Back inside, Hazel is wishing she had guests. Cue the knock at the door. She answers the door and sees Bugs, who asks if she’s got any goodies for a Halloween witch. Witch? Hazel doesn’t remember seeing her at any of the union meetings. Oh, but isn’t Bugs the ugliest little thing? Ugly! Hazel rushes to the mirror, leaving more bobby pins in her wake, and asks the mirror again who is ugliest. The mirror looks at Bugs and gives Hazel the news. She was the ugliest, it’s true, but that creep is uglier than you [her]. Hazel freaks, but quickly comes up with a plan. Running back to the door, more pins flying, damn, Hazel got some strong weave game. 

Darling! She exclaims, as she drags Bugs to the dining room. Hazel warns Bugs that’s she’s going to worn out all of her ugly secrets, then asks who undoes her hair. Bugs asks if she likes it, and Hazel says its positively hideous! Bugs said he did it himself. There’s nothing like a home permanent. Hazel says she’s being a bad hostess, and is going to get some tea and goodies. She runs out of the room with, you guessed it, more pins flying, tells Bugs to make herself homely. Bugs breaks the fourth wall and delivers the best read ever. “She may not be very pretty now, but she was somebody’s baby once”. Shade! In the kitchen, there’s several ingredients out. Pretty pills, beauty ointment, allure unguent, handsome oil, and de-uglifying something we can’t make out. We won’t question why she had these things in the house. Based on her earlier singing, you’d think it’d all be eye of newt type stuff. Anyhow, she brings the “tea” to the table, ready to dish. 

Hazel tells Bugs it’s her own brew, and hopes she likes it. Bugs holds the cup up, and Hazel encourages her to drink it. Bugs says he’s gotta take off his mask first. He does, and when she sees his real head, she bolts out of the room. More pins spin in the air. I’m staring to think Hazel can’t really walk, and just runs all the time. Looking in her book there’s a recipe that calls for rabbit clavicle. We then hear Bugs saying his inner sense of danger tells him there’s something unhealthy about the atmosphere of the cottage, and begins walking for the door. He runs right into Hazel, who has a cleaver behind her back. He says he got trick or treating to catch up on, and bids her adieu. He runs, and she’s hot on his heels. Like any good victim in a horror scenario, he runs deeper into the house, and up the stairs. Here’s hoping he’s a virgin. 

They run down the stairs, and Bugs runs past the magic broom closet. We know this cause it’s labeled. Who is that for? It’s Hazel’s house. She knows where her booms are. We the audience would be able to infer from context if she went in and then came out flying. Oh well. Hazel enters, and declares hi-oh Sliver, away! Get it? The broom is wood. It’s an older joke. They got it back then. Moving on. The broom takes off, and begins sweeping the floor. Oops. Bugs gets behind a wall and catches his breath, saying that she wants to do him serious hurt. A carrot lowers behind him, and he’s transfixed by it. Bugs starts chomping, and Hazel reels him in, and scoops him in a net. Dumb bunny! 

Back in a room off the kitchen, Hazel is sharpening her cleaver. Bugs is bound from ankle to neck, watching. Hazel runs her finger along the edge and says its sharp enough to split a hare. Split a hare? She cackles her enjoyment at her own pun. More pins fly as she rushes to Bugs. In a signature Chuck Jones move, he’s got the big eyes thing going on, ears back, and we hear the violin. She winds up. Tears start to form in Bugs’ eyes. Hazel sniffles. Bugs is silently crying. She drops the cleaver, and starts blubbering. Bugs asks what’s wrong. She says he reminds her of Paul. He asks who Paul is. Her pet tarantula! I’ll assume he died. Like spiders should. Bugs does too, and tells her we can’t carry the torch for our loved ones forever, and to pull herself together. Um, wasn’t he the one who broke her? He walks on his toes to get her something to drink. He carries over the saucer and teacup in his mouth. Uh oh! 

Hazel, still blubbering, grabs the cup without looking, and drinks it down. She’s instantly transformed into a curvy, stacked, beautiful, redhead. According to commentary, Hazel’s “pretty” look was based on her voice actress June Foray, who I adore. Anyhow, Hazel realizes what happened, and runs to the mirror. Bobby pins still fly, cause there are some things magic doesn’t change. She asks it once more who is ugliest of them all. Rawr! The mirror then tries to grab her, and chases her out of the house. More pins fly, as there’s still time in the cartoon, and you can’t beat a good sight gag to death. The spirit of the mirror gets on his flying carpet, and goes after her. This time she gets the right broom from the closet, and escapes into the night. Much like the end of Transylvania 6-5000, Bugs makes a phone call. He tells the operator she won’t believe it, but he just saw a genie with light brown hair chasing a flying sorceress. 

Hope you enjoyed the October kickoff as much as I did. There will always be a fun level of nostalgia for these cartoons. More to come soon! Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

Disney Dynasty – Trick or Treat 

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Happy Halloween, geek fans! Before Marvel vs DC, Playstation vs Xbox, and even before Spy vs Spy, there was Warner Bros vs Disney. Unlike the other examples, where I have a clear favorite, I’m at a draw on these two. I’ve loved Disney shorts, and the Looney Tunes for as long as I can remember. I have several Disney Treasures and Looney Tunes Golden collections. I’m a fan for life, and why wouldn’t I be? These cartoons are able to stand the test of time, even though they were made before tv, cell phones, and internet were a thing. It’s good ol’ fashioned quality humor like Walt used to make. Today’s post is Donald’s Halloween adventure. Let the geeks begin! 

We open on a city. We can see a bell tower, backlit by the full moon, naturally. We hear a witch laughing as she flies through the sky. Based on the clock in the tower, we know it’s midnight. The witch scares the bats hiding in the belfry, and rings the bell, cackling the whole time. Then she approaches a black cat, raises her hat, and scares it. This witch knows how to party. She hops along the fence, stopping at a pumpkin. It turns, and is a Jack-o-lantern. This time she’s the one who gets scared. She and her broom hide behind a tree. 

  

She watches as the pumpkin moves on the head of Louie, who is dressed as a ghost. Huey is a red devil, and Dewey is dressed as himself, but with a small witch hat and broom. As we established, it’s midnight. Why are these three still out trick or treating? They ring the bell, and Donald knows it’s them from his living room chair. Why is he still up waiting on trick or treaters? Where is his brother/sister to keep their kids in line? Anyhow, Donald moves his candy bowl, grabs the firecrackers behind it, and heads for the door. He greets his nephews, and they say their standard “trick or treat”. He puts something in each of their bags, and they thank him. For once, they didn’t start this. The firecrackers go off, and destroy their candy bags. It spooks the witch and her broom, Beelzebub, too. Donald laughs as the kids look upset. Personally, I’m a prankster, but you don’t mess with kids, let alone family, on Halloween. To add insult to injury, Donald gives them their trick too, and pulls a bucket of water down on the boys. He tells them so long, and leaves them to walk home. Alone. At midnight. With a witch in town. 

  

Speaking of, she saw the whole thing. She approaches Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They can’t believe they’re seeing a real witch. She’s so excited that they believe in witches, she’s going to help them get candy from their uncle. She goes back to Donald’s and rings the bell. She introduces herself as Hazel, Witch Hazel, that is. Side note, on my Looney Tunes set, they freely admit they ripped of the name Witch Hazel from this cartoon, but since it’s also a plant, no one could prove it. Anyhow, Donald pulls on her nose, douses her with water too, and closes the door while laughing. Good thing they aren’t in Oz, she’d be dead. She tells the boys that Donald’s more stubborn than she thought. Time for the big guns. Cut to boiling caldron. Witch Hazel recites her spell while the boys grab ingredients. Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble. Eye of needle, tongue of shoe, hand of clock that points at two. She tells Huey this is the real thing, right out of Shakespeare. Neck of bottle, tail of coat, and whiskers from a billy goat. Hazel tastes the concoction, and has a suitable toon-style reaction. She tells the boys it’s loaded, and fills a bug sprayer with the brew. They all gather on Beelzebub and fly off to Donald’s. 

  

Donald is snacking out of his pantry. He hears Hazel laughing, and rushes to the window, to see his nephews riding on a broom. Time for a musical number. There’s a voiceover song as Hazel starts animating objects. She starts with a pumpkin, which moans in Donald’s face. Next, she enchants a paintbrush to paint Donald’s house green. It gets him in the process. She turns a post into a ghost. They all come up the walkway, singing the last bit of the song. When ghosts and goblins by the score, ring the bell on your front door, you better not be stingy or your nightmares will come true. They ring the bell and disappear. Hazel flies handle first into Donald and pins him to the pantry door asking if he’s gonna treat or not. He says yes ma’am, and starts filling his arms. Hazel tells the kids that he’s a pushover. Donald takes objection to that, and puts all the goodies back. Then he locks the pantry door. He lives alone. Who is he trying to keep out of there? Daisy, when she visits? Anyhow, he defiantly swallows the key in front of Hazel. Time for an irresistible force to meet an immovable object. 

  

Hazel has been itching to cast a spell on Donald. Beelzebub holds Donald up by his collar, as Hazel sprays his feet with her brew. Hocus pocus, magic shower, put his feet within my power! Donald’s feet turn blue, so we the audience know they’re enchanted. Hazel orders his feet to kick the key out of him. We hear drums playing the beat as the feet make contact with his ass. 

  

Hazel uses her broom as a banjo and starts singing. Dance with your feet just as fast as you can, flipping like a flapjack in a pan. Hopping and lumping like a flea on a griddle. The key for the door is the key to the vittles. Do si do now mind the rules, with your old flat feet just kickin like new. Promenade way out west, that’s where the cactus grown the best. Now swing down south and turn on the heat. End the dance and take your seat. During all of this, Donald has kicked the key out, and re-caught it with his mouth a few times, despite also being poked in the ass by a very happy cactus. He finally sits right by the fire, gets burned, and spits the key across the floor. 

  

Donald gets to it before Hazel does, and throws it under the very door it’s supposed to open. Now he’s made old Hazel mad. She sprays him with more potion, and casts a spell that’s double grim. She orders Donald’s feet to smash the door down, with him. Donald rams head first into the door several times, but it doesn’t break. Things were built to last back then. She sprays him again while saying it hurts her more than it does him. Yeah, didn’t buy that as a kid, and I don’t buy it now. She orders him to get a mile or two of steam on his next run. Donald runs balls out, cause he doesn’t wear pants, get it? Anyhow, this time he hits the door and it smashes. Donald is dazed on the floor, as Beelzebub starts sweeping up treats. The boys shout hooray for Uncle Donald, as they take his food. Hey, Hazel did all the work, he was just a tool. Hazel tells Beelzebub they need to go, it’s nearly dawn. She flies away telling the kids goodbye. They say goodbye to her as well. At nearly dawn. After Halloween night. With a witch as their only supervision. Ah, the fifties.