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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Good Witch of Laurel Canyon

An obscure witch from an obscure TV show is featured in today's Witch-A-Day post. In the early 80's a short-lived TV series called Tucker's Witch starred Catherine Hicks. In the show, Catherine played Amanda Tucker who worked as a private investigator with her husband played by Tim Matheson.

This husband and wife team worked to solve crimes each in their own way. Tim's character Rick Tucker used old-fashioned detective skills while his wife used witchcraft. She had a Siamese cat named Dickens and her mother, also a witch, was played by Barbara Barrie. Though Amanda's telekinesis worked fine for the most part, some of her spells didn't work properly and caused some problems, but everything worked out in the end. Well, except for the show. Moved around on the schedule a few times, Tucker's Witch never developed an audience.


A sidenote on the show: The first pilot of the show was called The Good Witch of Laurel Canyon and starred two actors from the film Porky's. Art Hindle played the husband while the witchy wife was played by Kim Cattrall. After filming on the pilot was completed, Porky's came out and the network executives were appalled at the raunchiness of the film, specifically Kim's scene in the locker room, so they immediately called for recasting and changed the name of the show to Tucker's Witch. It's funny to think they passed up on the gold mine of using Kim to market the show because she might have found the audience that the show never found.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Power of Three

This Witch-A-Day post is on Charmed. After the death of their grandmother, the Halliwell sisters find the Book of Shadows and discover they are witches, each with a unique power. Prue (Shannen Doherty) had the power to move things with telekinesis. Piper (Holly Marie Combs) could freeze (not in the ice sense) objects. Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) had premonitions. Over time, their powers increased and they discovered new ones.

Together, they were the most powerful witches fighting against evil and demons. By combining their might in "The Power of Three" they could vanquish powerful demons and defeat most foes. Sadly, Prue died at the end of season three and it looked like "The Power of Three" was broken, but luckily, their mother had an affair with her guardian (Whitelighter) and the girls found their half-sister Paige (Rose McGowan). While the mythology became muddled over time, the show was entertaining enough to last a total of eight seasons.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Witch and her familiar

In Bell, Book, and Candle, Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak) met her upstairs neighbor (James Stewart) and was intrigued. When she found out he was about to marry her old school rival, she cast a spell using her cat Pyewacket to make him forget his girlfriend and become infatuated with her. Though he eventually finds out about the deception, it's too late...he's fallen in love. Unfortunately for Gillian, she fell in love, too. The problem...when a witch falls in love, she loses her power. Sadly, in addition to losing her power and her familiar, she loses all sense of style. In the end, Gillian is no longer selling exotic tribal art or dressing in cool, dark and sexy clothes. Now that she is mortal, she is selling seashell flowers (yawn) and dressing in boring white bland clothes. It's a good thing that didn't happen to Samantha on Bewitched, or the show would have been over by the pilot and eight seasons would have been lost to us.


A little sidenote...Mom Smackley and I have a cat that we named Pyewacket because of this movie.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Sanderson Sisters

Three witches headline today's Witch-A-Day post. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy starred in the Halloween feature Hocus Pocus.

Bette Midler played Winifred, the leader of the pack who is also able to fire blasts of energy. Sarah Jessica Parker played Sarah, the dumb blonde (which isn't saying much because none of them are all that bright). Sarah had the power to put children under her thrall with her melodic voice. Kathy Najimy played Mary, who could sniff out children from their hiding places.

Why would the Sanderson sisters need children? To suck out the lifeforce of kids to restore their youth and beauty.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tabitha and Aunt Minerva

Two-for-one on today's Witch-A-Day post. In 1977, Lisa Hartman headlined the short-lived sitcom Tabitha as the title character. This Bewitched spin-off had the Stephens' daughter as a young adult working at a local Los Angeles television station. Adam was also on the series, but displayed none of the powers he exhibited at the end of the parent series. In fact, he was now Tabitha's older brother and was just as nervous about Tabitha using her powers like his father Darrin was with his mother Samantha.

It may not have been a true continuation of Bewitched with minor changes in established history, but appearances by Abner and Gladys Kravitz, plus a special appearance from Dr. Bombay, helped in connecting the audience with the past.


Along for the ride, was the Endora-like character of Aunt Minerva. Aunt Minerva was not mentioned in Bewitched, but from the looks of things, she was always involved in Tabitha's life. She encourages Tabitha to use her powers and is a bit of bad influence on the young witch. Karen Morrow does a great job as Minerva who is kind of a cross between Endora and Serena.

I'll do an actual review of Tabitha's short half-season run in a future post.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Apprentice Witch

Today's Witch-A-Day post presents Angela Lansbury as Eglantine Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Miss Price had been enrolled in the Emelius Brown Correspondence College of Witchcraft. She didn't realize that it was a con and the spells she received were found in an old spellbook of a sorceror named Astoroth that Professor Brown jumbled up and gave a flair (which changed the results of some of the spells). She wanted the Substitutiary Locomotion spell which would have given life to inanimate objects so she could help with the war effort against the Nazis. Though the spells were just a bunch of words to most people, Miss Price had the power to make them work.

Treguna Mekoides Trecorum Satis Dee


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Lavender Lady

Agnes Moorehead has starred in many classic films like Citizen Kane, The Opposite Sex, and Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, but it was her role as Endora in Bewitched that made her a household name. Eventhough Endora was against the mixed marriage of mortal (Darrin) and her witch daughter (Samantha), the role could have been hated for all the torture she put her son-in-law through, but her charm and class came through thanks to Agnes. She may have set mothers-in-law back 200 years, but Endora will always be timeless. You can't do a Witch-A-Day feature without including the great Agnes Moorehead.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not a pointed hat in sight

Not all witches wear pointy hats and ride around on brooms. Granted, when the word witch is mentioned the image that comes to mind may be just that, but Pam Grier proves that witches don't always fit the stereotype when she played the Dust Witch in Something Wicked This Way Comes. So for my Witch-A-Day post, here's Pam Grier!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Morgan Fairwitch

Bringing a little color to my Witch-A-Day posts, Morgan Fairchild looks great as a sexy witch!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baseline Witch

For my Witch-A-Day post today, I had to feature the witch that all other witches are compared to. Margaret Hamilton played the iconic Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Witch on Tap

Witch-A-Day continues with the tap dancing actress Ann Miller!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Witch Wife

Spolighting a Witch-A-Day for the remainder of the month, I had to include one of the first sexy witches portrayed on film. Veronica Lake starred in I Married a Witch. In the film, her character Jennifer is seeking revenge on the decendents of the man responsible for her and her father's burning at the stake. Love, however, conquers all, as did the beauty of Ms. Lake.

Monday, October 18, 2010

More than a Mistress of the Dark

With my recent Blues Clues post with Joan Collins as a witch and with Halloween just around the corner in two weeks, I've decided to spotlight a Witch A Day!

First up is Cassandra Peterson as Elvira in a witchy get-up!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Have a Coke!

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd do a witchy Blues Clues, but After Taste was just too quick.

Appearing as the wicked witch in the Faerie Tale Theatre version of Hansel and Gretel, I present to you...







Joan Collins!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Whatchu' talkin' 'bout, Bosley?

Funny Face Friday presents: Tanya Roberts


Searching through my files and collections, I couldn't find a photo of Tanya where she didn't look beautiful. She shows her beauty in every photo, but this photo of her and David Doyle is priceless. The look she gives him makes you wonder what he said.


The only other photo that even came close is this photo of her with her eyes almost closed and laughing. Not quite my definition of a "Funny Face", but it's going to have to do, because I wanted to spotlight her to celebrate her birthday!

She belongs to two exclusive sororities:
One of the growing number of women who can be called a Bond girl.
One of the very few women who can be called a Charlie's Angel.

Happy Birthday, Angel!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Which Witch?

It's Blues Clues time again!

Name this witch:





UPDATE: The reveal

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Atkins Diet

What's On? Wednesday presents: My Christopher Atkins Collection

A marathon of films starring Christopher Atkins has to begin with The Blue Lagoon. The film was not only the first film Chris had a starring role in, but was also his screen debut. The Blue Lagoon was not without controversy, but most of it surrounded Brooke who had already survived the controversy surrounding her role in Pretty Baby. For The Blue Lagoon, Brooke used mature women for body doubles instead of doing the nude scenes herself. When she did appear, her hair was glued to her breasts.








The story concerned the coming of age of two kids on a deserted island together. After a shipwreck, two youngsters and the galley cook were marooned on the island and learned to survive using the resources they could find on the island or trunks that had washed up on shore. After the cook dies, the kids are left on their own and begin to explore their lives, bodies and each other. They learn about many customs based on books and photographs or from their own memories of their time in the outside world. There is a courtship, a marriage, a separation and a birth of a child during their time on the island.

After years on the island, their child eats berries they think are poisonous and decide to commit suicide by eating the same berries and setting themselves adrift with their son in a small boat. A ship finds the boat and it looks like they won’t die, but in the inferior sequel we find out that the parents did die, but the baby survived. In Return to the Blue Lagoon, the son gets stranded on a deserted island with a young girl and some of the same themes are explored again. The sequel starred Brian Krause as the son and Milla Jovovich as the young girl. What are the odds that the same thing would happen to the son as the parents from the first film? That’s one of the problems with a sequel built around a concept instead of an actual plot.










Capitalizing on his success as a teen idol from The Blue Lagoon, Christopher Atkins took his perm, tan and loincloth with him when he starred opposite Kristy McNichol in The Pirate Movie. The movie was panned by critics, but it is one of the films that I love to watch over and over again. The Pirate Movie is a revision of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. By mixing contemporary humor and songs with the traditional music and storyline from the comic

opera, the film spotlights Kristy and Chris in a love story about the choice between following your heart or following your duty. My one problem with the movie is the slapstick (pizza) pie fight, but I have the soundtrack on my iPod and will listen to it over and over again. Check the YouTube Tuesday post featuring the song by Christopher Atkins from this film.












Shirtless is the keyword for the roles Chris was playing and it didn’t stop there. Next up was A Night in Heaven, where he lost the perm and played a college student by day, stripper by night. Lesley Ann Warren played the conservative teacher that finds out that her student is a male exotic dancer and falls in lust. The problem…she’s older and married. By the end of the film, she returns to her husband who by that time had already figured out what was going on. While threatening Chris’ character, he finds out that the kid thought his wife was lonely. Realizing that his wife does love him, he returns home to find her waiting for him.









The other high point in this film was my introduction to the wonderful Deborah Rush. She played Lesley Ann’s sister and while she had roles in other films, it wasn’t until she starred in the TV show Strangers With Candy that I really fell in love with her.

The next project that Chris starred in that I was really aware of was Dallas. In a very similar role, he played Sue Ellen’s younger lover during the eighth season. As Peter, his role was introduced as a counselor for John Ross, the son of Sue Ellen and J.R. Spending quite a few episodes around the pool in a speedo, Peter catches the eye of both Sue Ellen and Lucy. Lucy becomes jealous of the attention Peter pays Sue Ellen and lets her feelings known in front of J.R. Eventhough J.R. is known for his infidelities, it doesn’t mean his wife can go around sleeping with other men, especially with one so young. Blackmailing Peter with planted drugs, Peter was run out of Dallas at the end of the season.











If you like films like Police Academy, Moving Violations, Stewardess School, and all the other films of this type, then you may like the next film in my marathon. Mortuary Academy mixes corpses with the genre of misfit characters looking to succeed. Chris, unfortunately, gets lost in the group, but the appearance of Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov in another film together makes this one special.



The only other film in my marathon is It’s My Party. This ensemble film stars Eric Roberts and Gregory Harrison. With many cameos and appearances, it was nice to see Christopher Atkins in an older role. His character is featured in flashbacks as one of the friends who passed away from AIDS. If you want to keep your happy, stay away from this tearjerker. You will cry…I promise.

These aren’t the only films Christopher Atkins has starred in. His career lately has been direct to video or cable TV movies, but if I had my choice on which film I’d want to see between a bad sci-fi TV film starring Christopher Atkins or a big blockbuster starring Tom Cruise, I’m going to go with Chris.

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