Wince/Drool: Tim Curry in “The Worst Witch”

Ariana Osborne just broke my brain with this clip from The Worst Witch, a 1986 made-for-TV movie starring baby Fairuza Balk as a witch-in-training and our preternatural beauty A-lister Tim Curry as a tambourine-wagging warlock in a bat bow tie. Abracadabra:

See, now, this is one of those times where I honestly don’t know whether I’m really turned on, or embarrassed to the pit of my soul. Maybe a bit of both? (You know what I mean, yes? So bad, it’s good? So wrongyet so right? )

If you’d care to watch the entire movie, well… we won’t hold it against you. It’s under the cut.

26 Responses to “Wince/Drool: Tim Curry in “The Worst Witch””

  1. Jon Munger Says:

    I LOVED this movie when I was a kid. What, so you wanna fight about it?

  2. meeks Says:

    if loving it is wrong, i don’t want to be right.

  3. Skerror Says:

    Hehe, I think I see what you mean. Like Ziggy Stardust stepping in dogshit…tragic, but maybe he figures out how to do it in a cool way. MAYBE…

    I have vague memories of watching this movie when I was little, but until I read this blog entry I wasn’t sure they were real. Thought I might have just crossed up some wires between Return to Oz and Facts of Life. I must’ve blocked this traumatic shit out.

  4. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    Ok so Im guilty of having watch this at least twice on youtube… this year.. And yes, the part with Tim Curry’s song makes me hide my face is severely amused shame. My question is, however did HE make it through that scene without losing it?

  5. aarontrout Says:

    that ‘wrong’ video is a gem. by 3:20 i’d lost it.

  6. christiane Says:

    oh I remember being obssessed with this film when it first came out! hehe. Is it just me or does he look like he realises how silly the whole thing is and loves every minute of it? lol

  7. Lorelle Says:

    Yeah, I really loved this movie growing up. In fact, I’m really glad you found it for me.

  8. Andy Says:

    seconding that:) and thanks for giving me some David Byrne (my day is now saved^^)

  9. Alice Says:


    This is one of the movies that shaped my childhood (right along with Serendipity the Pink Dinosaur and Little Nemo). I still get the “growing up isn’t easy” song stuck into my head every now and then. There was also a TV series for a bit…

    Thanks for putting these videos in this nice, convenient place, especially this close to Halloween!

    (And now that I re-watch it, is Mildred played by the girl who was Dorothy in Return to Oz…? Neat!)

  10. caroline Says:

    the worst witch is still a favorite.
    growing up isn’t easy.

  11. apokalypi Says:

    i always thought harry potter was a total ripoff of this movie

  12. kim Says:

    I loved this movie when I was in 4th or 5th grade!!!! I even read the book and made a book report with original artwork about it. :)

  13. Spyderfyngers Says:

    Beats Harry Potter hands down.

  14. Mer Says:

    Y’know, I’d never even heard of The Worst Witch before! A shame, really… it would have fit right in with Legend and Return to Oz at slumber parties. :)

  15. Evan Says:

    Yes! A childhood favorite of mine as well! :D

    That is indeed the same Fairuza Balk of the lovely Return to Oz, Gas, Food Lodging, Valmont, etc. Come to think of it she’s been in quite a few movies I like.
    I didn’t enjoy The Craft, however. No Tim Curry…The Worst Witch is better!

  16. erin Says:

    I ADORED this movie growing up. Thank you thank you thank you for reminding me that it existed.

  17. Miss. Onyx Says:

    I remember this movie! I watched it on television when I was in grade school (I’m showing my age a little here, I think) I remember thinking that it was the coolest thing EVER!…..I can’t imagine why though….

  18. paola Says:

    I actually went over to IMDB to check who wrote that tacky/fabulous song in the first clip, as I thought it might have been Peter Gabriel (it was the mid-Eighties: it figures).

    And Diana Rigg!!! As a witch! Saying “brrrRRRRoomstick”! Shouldn’t the scrumptious Ms Rigg, one of the most beautiful women ever, get a post one day?

    And how come the authors of this movie didn’t sue J K Rowling to high Heaven?!

  19. Ariana Osborne Says:

    Mer: Before YouTube, I thought I was completely alone in the world in having seen this movie…! I would bring it up every time someone mentioned THE CRAFT to stares and requests to have some of whatever I was having…

    Now, but, okay — all the nerdiest Curryoisseurs in the house have seen OSCAR, too — right?

  20. Because Says:

    I was just thinking about this movie the other day! It used to be such a favourite when I was a tiny thing! I’d watch it every time it came on TV. Did I know at the time that that was Tim Curry? No, no I did not (though I was also a big fan of Clue: The Movie at the time). However, twenty years later, I see that there is NO ONE ELSE they could have cast who could have pulled that off. (Also, the effects? They don’t hold up.)

    Oh man, I needed to work on my costume today, but I think I need to watch that movie again more…

  21. Jamie Says:

    I agree with Paola — Coilhouse should write an article on Diana Rigg! I remember my family watching the Avengers box sets together when I was 10 or so, and I thought Emma Peel was the coolest woman I’d ever seen. Badass, independent, gorgeous, smart, stylish… definitely an inspiration to me!

  22. Io Says:

    Yes! My ultimate childhood movie — I’ve loved it so long. I tried showing it to my husband a few years back and he was horrified that I could adore such “utter cheese.”

  23. Miss E Says:

    I had no idea that there was a movie for The Worst Witch! When I was a kid (90’s) there was a tv show by the same name and from what I can see these are the same characters. Weird….

  24. Amanda Says:

    Miss E – The worst witch is based on a series of books by some Brit, I think. She sued JL Rowling a few years back on the whole “magic school’ concept. So, not strange that there was a movie and tv show. Wish I’d had cable back then to catch the show!

    WW is a guilty pleasure for me. It began the long time love I have for Tim Curry. I adore the cheesiness, the neon green hair, the pop-corn songs!

  25. January Says:

    I agree with Jamie and Paola- a Diana Rigg something would be great!

  26. MissSpite Says:

    This was one of my favorite movies of all time. YAY! Embarrassment of the fabulous mixed artlessly with the fucking fantastic.