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Oct 282015

Welcome to another Halloween themed top 10 list. This year it’s about my most favorite wicked witches in pop culture. Just to set the record straight, there is a difference between witchcraft and sorcery, although it is hard to tell sometimes. Be sure to check out my Top 10 Wicked Sorceresses list for a comparison. Now here are the witches.

#10) Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes) from H.R. Pufnstuf: Witches don’t come any sillier than her. In fact, you can tell just by the sound of her name that Witchiepoo is more funny than creepy. She is intent on capturing young Jimmy and stealing his talking flute Freddie, but never succeeds. It doesn’t help that Witchiepoo has bumbling henchmen and a talking castle that doesn’t believe in her. Of course that’s what makes this witch so interesting and memorable.

#9) The Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus: Known as Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy), and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), this trio of witches intends to steal the life force from children for the soul purpose of staying forever young. They tend to bumble through situations while adjusting to the more modern world, since they’re from 300 years in the past, but that’s what makes them hilarious. However, these witches are also dangerous and creepy, so you definitely don’t want to get on their bad sides.

#8) Mirror Queen (Monica Bellucci) from The Brothers Grimm: This nameless beauty was vain and selfish, then eventually killed by the plague. Now as a vengeful spirit, the Mirror Queen has the power to possess an entire forest and capture young girls in creepy and mysterious ways to steal their youth. Seriously, what is it with old witches wanting to stay young?

#7) Maja from Adventure Time: This sky witch is known for taking various objects that contain sentimental affection for great power. In addition to that, Maja can fly, shoot bolts of electricity from her hands, and has an edgy distorted voice. At least she believes in fair trade, compared to most wicked witches.

#6) Taminella Grinderfall from Muppets franchise: This character was always cast as the wicked witch in some of the old Muppet fairytale specials like Tales of the Tinkerdee and The Frog Prince. Her methods of deceit are often silly and easy to see through, but they always seem to succeed, especially with King Goshposh. Since Taminella was never featured again after her defeat in The Frog Prince, she has definitely become underrated.

#5) Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) from Harry Potter franchise: Among many of Voldemort’s followers, Bellatrix is the most loyal as well as the most psychotic. She takes pleasure in killing anyone who crosses her and has sparked a personal vendetta with Neville Longbottom, since she was the one who tortured his parents. What really makes Bellatrix stand out is her crazy and sadistic persona, which is something any evil master ought to look for in a henchwoman.

#4) Theodora (Mila Kunis) from Oz the Great and Powerful: The Wicked Witch of the West has always been an iconic character. However, it’s the one in this movie version that stands out because it reveals how this wicked witch came to be. It’s so interesting to know that Theodora used to be good, then was driven to become a heartless monster. I’ve never been able to see the Wicked Witch of the West the same way again after that.

#3) Evil Willow (Alyson Hannigan) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow Rosenberg is a witch that has always been a loyal member of Buffy’s Scooby team. In season six, her girlfriend Tara was murdered and that pushed Willow to a breaking point. That drove her to take revenge and nearly destroy the world. It can be tough to see such a good character go bad, but Evil Willow’s edgy presence and determination makes her a witch you wouldn’t want to face in a dark alley.

#2) Queen Jadis (Tilda Swinton) from Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Best referred to as the White Witch, this self-proclaimed queen rules the land of Narnia with an iron fist and turns anyone who crosses her into stone. She won’t hesitate to hurt or kill others and is quick to judge when her servants’ loyalty is compromised.

Jadis has made appearances in the sequels and even the animated version was good. One thing is for certain. The White Witch is as evil as they come.

#1) Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk) from The Craft: This troubled teen is the head of her coven and desires great power, so she can use it to get what she wants. Eventually, Nancy lets that go to her head and ends up losing her sanity. As wickedly crazy as she is, I think Nancy is also likable, especially when she smiles. That is why I rank her at the top of this list.

Feb 182011

Now here’s a fairytale movie that goes right to the source, known as The Brothers Grimm. Back in the 19th century, two brothers Will (Matt Damon) and Jake (Heath Ledger) Grimm are witch hunters for hire, even though it’s all a sham.

Soon the French government captures Will and Jake after knowing of their reputation and sentences them to death by torture. Then reconsiders and sends them to Marbaden to find missing girls in the forest. Cavaldi (Peter Stormare), who runs the torture chamber, goes with them. He is funny, but is very trigger-happy and panics when faced with danger. Cavaldi denies it, only to be scared by a kitten. And seriously, what’s with all the spitting?

Each girl who gets captured by the forest is based on a Grimm fairytale. The first ones featured were based on Little Red Riding Hood and Gretel from Hansel and Gretel. Jake takes notes in his book throughout the adventure.

Will and Jake find a guide, Angelika (Lena Headey), and head into the forest. That’s where the real adventure begins. They all soon find a tower with only one window up high, much like the one from Rapunsel. The forest becomes spookier when the trees move around by themselves. They have feet, but no faces. There are also snake vines and a pestilence of bugs and birds.

The supernatural activity in the forest is real and Angelika recalls a story her father told her. Years ago, the tower was inhabited by a Queen (Monica Bellucci) who was vain and selfish. I don’t know why her name was never mentioned. Anyway, the plague arrived and the Queen locked herself away in the tower. The Queen got sick one day and slowly died as her looks deteriorated. She could be the one responsible for all this, but what proof is there to support that theory.

Angelica has a unique method of escaping the forest. “Don’t trust the trees.” She uses a toad to guide the way by kissing it. Now what does that remind you of?

A horse captures the next girl, Elsie (Veronika Loulova), as it nets her in a spider web and swallows her whole. Now that’s creepy. Normally you wouldn’t expect a horse to be so monstrous. I also have no idea what fairytale that was from.

Then comes a wild bird splashing mud all over another girl, Sasha (Laura Greenwood). The mud consumes her face and then the rest of her in the form of the Gingerbread Man. That was even creepier than the monster horse. More importantly, what do you suppose the Gingerbread Man from Shrek would say to that version?

After Jake gets into the tower the mystery unfolds. It is the Queen’s evil spirit haunting the woods. She’s kidnapping the girls to steal their youth and beauty. In order for the spell to work, the Queen needs 12 victims. Sasha was going to be number 12, but Will and Jake managed to rescue her. However, the Queen is not one to give up so easily.

This was a good movie filled with enchantment and a good descriptive story line on where the Grimm Brothers got their inspiration. However, it could have done without the parts about the French army interfering with the adventure.