1989 may have been the year of comedic/iconic films such as Uncle Buck, Back to the Future and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. But what about the cult classic, Teen Witch? This year marks the 30th anniversary of this odd yet strangely addicting teen movie.
It focuses on Louise Miller (played by Robyn Lively), a nerdy and very unpopular girl in high school. Her only wish is to be a part of the “in-crowd”, maybe even the most popular girl in school. Totally relatable, right? And she gets that wish…actually she conjured up a spell to make it come true. On her 16th birthday, she realizes she’s a witch and can make anything happen with the help of an amulet. A little rub, a few witchy words and POOF! She wakes up as the girl everyone wants to know.
Some people may think of this movie as campy and over the top with its musical numbers and magic spells. But it really was an original – it’s Disney’s High School Musical and Sabrina the Teenage Witch combined! Who doesn’t love that?
To celebrate this 30-year cult classic, here are 7 fun facts you may not have known.
7. Teen Witch copied from Teen Wolf. Kind of.
With Teen Wolf, starring Michael J. Fox, becoming a HUGE Hollywood hit, the writers pitched Teen Witch to be a female version of Fox’s popular movie. They would go so far as to take the title font, tagline, and general plot premise and make it into this film. That didn’t fly and Teen Witch morphed into its own story.
Thank God. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed seeing the female star howling at the moon.
6. Teen Witch bombed at the box office.
Even magic can’t make a movie successful! It’s been said it grossed a whopping $3,875 during opening weekend and almost $28,000 over the full run. Dismal to say the least. But that’s what a cult classic is, right? Popular off the big screen?
ABC reruns and VHS sales helped launch it into a movie no one would forget. How about that for magic?
5. Robyn Lively (Louis Miller) took the dancing way too seriously!
Teen Witch was not only a movie but a musical. Several numbers broke out throughout the film and “The Most Popular Girl” was…well the most popular and catchy tune. But Lively had a little trouble getting into character.
“I took all the dancing too seriously at the time,” star Robyn Lively, who played Louise Miller, told BuzzFeed. “I was a little more self-conscious back then. And when I had to do the ‘most popular girl’ spin inside the bedroom, I had twisted my ankle. I’m going to blame most of my bad dancing on the ankle.”
4. Mandy Ingber (Polly) despised the movie
Ingber played Louise Miller’s dorky best friend who was left behind when the witch became popular. To this day she still cringes over that role. In an interview with Diet Detective, Ingber said:
“…most noteworthy ‘bad summer job’ was the summer I did Teen Witch … It haunts me, as the ‘rap’ I did for this ’80s movie lives on through the Internet. I think that’s the best of the worst.”
3. Madam Serena’s house was famous for other reasons
Madame Serena was Louise’s guide into witchcraft. Her home, where she and Louise meet, was first used in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
2. Blake Lively and husband, Ryan Reynolds had a Teen Witch moment
That’s right. Blake and Robyn are sisters! In fact, when Blake Lively (Gossip Girl star) married Ryan Reynolds, Robyn gave them a gift they wouldn’t forget!
“My younger sister and younger brother are huge Teen Witch fans,” the Robyn Lively said to Pop My Culture Podcast. “So for [Blake’s] wedding, my younger brother and I got together and figured out how to do that last scene, the ‘Finest Hour’ dance … I got a blue dress, a blue tutu, and the music comes on. I had the necklace remade. I took it off and threw it to her. We did the whole dance!”
1. Lively got the high school hunk on screen, but not in real life
The love interest, Brad (Dan Gauthier), played the hunk who fell in love with Louise Miller. And Lively had a huge crush on him. I mean hello, 80s heartthrob! But in real life, he married her movie nemesis Randa (Lisa Fuller).
“They dated while making the movie and got married shortly after the movie wrapped,” Lively told BuzzFeed. “I was heartbroken, but I still went to their wedding. Brad and Randa really lived happily ever after.”
There you have it! Happy 30th to Teen Witch!