‘The Witches of Eastwick’: Eerie, Dark, and Raunchy (review)

Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer), Jane (Susan Sarandon), and Alex (Cher) are three lonely friends who can cause stuff to happen when they’re together, like make it rain on a boring school assembly. It seems like their mutual wish for a man is granted when a mysterious wealthy stranger breezes into town. All three fall for Daryl (Jack Nicholson), and all three date him simultaneously. Too late, they realize there’s something seriously evil about him (he’s in fact the Devil) and stop seeing him. But he won’t let them go that easily.

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The movie is a comedy, but there’s a lot of creepy stuff going on, like Daryl making Sukie’s nemesis Felicia (Veronica Cartwright) uncontrollably vomit cherry pits. Her husband’s (Richard Jenkins) ambivalent feelings about her make his reaction chilling. There is also a fairly suspenseful scene when the ladies cast a spell on Daryl, and he returns home furious.

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I’ll spare you a “little prick” joke

I can’t decide if this movie is feminist or misogynistic. There seems to be a strong womyn power vibe, for example the ladies’ ability to do magic because of their powerful female bond. Then there are Daryl’s impassioned speeches to Alex (about how men are insecure and constantly “trying to put their dicks into everything”), to Jane (about how men are threatened by women and are motivated by “fear of losing their hard-on”), and to Sukie (about how amazing it is that women can give birth to babies and make milk to feed them). Yet before Daryl shows up, they spend a goodish amount of time griping about how they want a boyfriend; when he appears, they each hop into bed with him the first time they meet him. Then they fight over him. But they do come back into their power when they decide they don’t need him.

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Alex: “I don’t thnk that men are the answer to everything.” Sukie: “No.” Jane: “Then why do we always end up talking about them?”–actual quote

Something that amuses me about the movie is that it’s rated R, but somehow there’s no nudity. There are sexual situations and a whole lot of crude language, but the movie is surprisingly chaste when it comes to the sexual acts themselves. The camera cuts away before showing anything more graphic than Daryl finding his three paramours waiting for him in his bed. I first saw the film at age ten, a much younger age than I should have, and most of the innuendo went over my head, like Daryl having deep scratches on his face after his first meeting with Jane.

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The film is dear to my heart, and not just because of nostalgia. Star Wars fans, take note that the score is by John Williams.

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This publicity photo is adorable

Published by GhoulieJoe

I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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