I’ve always referred to the 1989 debacle “Teen Witch” as “Top That” because of the epic cheese rap off between the lead’s BFF Polly and the Vanilla Ice wannabe in the middle of a deserted suburban neighbourhood. The movie, when I first watched on TV, was met with sheer disbelief due to the out-of-nowhere musical numbers, the fact that it never made it known if it was a comedy or a drama or even a straight up musical! It was so bad, and vaguely uncomfortable to watch but that’s most adolescent-hood isn’t it? I can’t even look at pictures of me from that era without shuddering a little.

Teen Witch cast featuring (clockwise from the biggest doll) Louise, Madame Serena, Hunky Boy Brad, the Mr. Weaver VooDoo doll, Richie, Top That guy (I’m sure he has a name in the movie but…) and Polly.

I have been wanting to paint this set for a very long time, and finally got to it after having a session with a tarot card reader. She was someone who had helped me out with a few issues in the past but this time I’d just wanted to see how she was doing because she was undergoing a serious operation. As always, we always ended up chatting before and after the session and “Teen Witch” came up because she had just been on a podcast discussing this very movie. She encouraged me to go ahead and paint it, which naturally took a while to get to but I wanted to make it happen this time as it would be a gift for her for having to go through such an ordeal.

The problem with making dolls from the 80s era are the hairstyles. They are always so voluminous and don’t usually translate well painted on, so I decided, even though my wig-making skills are still sub-par, I should give it a shot. Creating Louise’s hair happened at 2 AM one night after one too many cups of coffee and pain tablets the day I got a cortisone shot on my shoulder so I was a bit cranked to the max, so to speak, fuelled also by the most exciting chapters in Ruth Ware’s One By One on audio. When the dust cleared, there were wisps of hair everywhere, coffee splotches here and there, and me nursing only a few injuries from felting needle related accidents. Still, I wonder if I could ever Top That night.

The Mr. Weaver VooDoo doll. He was a disgusting teacher so this action by Louise the Teen Witch was just.