Sunday, September 3, 2023


One of the worst movies that I remember seeing is 1989's Wicked Stepmother. The film is a poorly made black comedy film written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen and starring Bette Davis and Barbara CarreraWicked Stepmother is best known for being the last film of Bette Davis, who withdrew from the project after filming began, citing major problems with the script, Cohen's direction, and the way she was being photographed. Cohen later claimed she really dropped out due to ill health but avoided publicizing the truth for fear it would affect potential future employment. Davis disputed this claim.

The original plot cast Davis as the title character, a chain-smoking witch named Miranda, who has married Sam while his vegetarian daughter Jenny and son-in-law Steve are on vacation. They return to find their new stepmother has filled their refrigerator with meat and played havoc with their collection of herbs. To explain Davis' absence, the script was rewritten to introduce Miranda's daughter Priscilla, a witch who inhabited Miranda's cat. They both share one existence in human form and while one is human the other must live in the form of a cat the rest of the time. Priscilla takes on a human form while Miranda's spirit inhabits the body of the cat. Priscilla then sets out to defeat Jenny who has figured out that there is something going on. Priscilla uses witchcraft and deception to convince everyone Jenny is wrong. The entire time she refuses to switch bodies with Miranda. Jenny then figures out that they're witches and tries to stop them from ruining her family.

The cast included some familiar faces in addtion to Bette Davis. Old supporting actors like Lionel Stander, Evelyn Keyes, and Seymour Cassel make appearances in this dreadful film. Joan Crawford appears in a photo as the deceased wife of Sam and mother of Jenny. The estranged relationship between Jenny and her late mother is a reference to the exposé memoir Mommie Dearest, written by Crawford's adopted daughter, Christina Crawford. Crawford was also known for her feud with Davis during the filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.

The movie surprisingly cost $2.5 million to make and initially only took in $44,000. Had Bette Davis stayed in the film, it might have been different. Sadly, this is the last movie that Bette Davis was a part of, and it ranks up there as one of the worse movies of all time...


1 comment:

  1. Good heavens, this sounds awful! I won't be putting this one of my watchlist, but I enjoyed reading about it!