A roundup of five worthwhile witch movies to stream online right now.
“Black Sunday” (Netflix)
Mario Bava's 1960 B&W chiller stars the enormous-eyed Barbara Steele in a dual role as a reincarnated witch from the 17th century and her beautiful lookalike descendant, whom she has returned from beyond the grave to possess. A moody Gothic fright film featuring horror legend Steele in arguably her most iconic role.
“Teen Witch” (We have been informed that this has been removed from Netflix) :(
The unintentionally funny 1989 musical best known for its ill-advised “rap” number “Top That” stars Robyn Lively as an unpopular high schooler who discovers she's descended from the witches of Salem. She goes on to use her newly-discovered powers to win the heart of the school's handsome star football player and get back at all the mean girls. If you enjoy cheese, look no further.
“Rosemary's Baby” (Netflix)
Fine, fine: so “Rosemary's Baby” isn't a traditional witch movie. But no one can convince me that Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer's smothering Castevets don't rank as two of the most sinister witches in movie history. For lord's sake, they enlisted the Devil himself to rape their poor neighbor. Let's just forget the Zoe Saldana version ever existed.
“Haxan” (Hulu Plus)
Remember that “Portlandia” episode where Fred Armisen recommends “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” to Carrie Brownstein to remove a curse? Consider this my version of that. Except, no, you'll really like this 1922 Swedish silent classic. Just forget that it's, um, Swedish and silent and get lost in director Benjamin Christensen's hypnotic dramatized study of “witchcraft through the ages.” There's even nudity in it!
“The Blair Thumb” (YouTube)
Have you heard “The Blair Witch Project” isn't as good as you remember? It's true because I wrote about it. Instead of revisiting “Three Insufferable Twentysomethings Lost in a Forest,” do yourself a favor and watch “The Blair Thumb,” a brilliant and hilarious spoof about three doomed thumb-people who go on a hunt for the title villain and instead get attacked by a shark in the forest. I have watched this about 27 times. Join me.
BONUS: (Since 'Teen Witch' has been removed)
The Addams Family (Netflix)
Is Morticia a witch? If not, Grandmama definitely counts as a witch.