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Film review: Teen Witch

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"Teen Witch" is a witchcraft version of "Teen Wolf" that has young Robyn Lively finding she has supernatural powers when she reaches age 16, so naturally she uses them to get even with fellow students and teachers who have offended her.

An uneasy combination of "Carrie" and "Burn, Witch, Burn!" with a comic twist, "Teen Witch" has Lively discovering her lot in life through a visit to fellow witch Zelda Rubinstein (the psychic from the "Poltergeist" movies), who explains that reincarnation is what makes the two of them special.

But "Teen Witch" is nothing special, and in fact it's surprisingly shoddy, with a very bland script and indifferent direction, only adequate performances from most of the cast and very choppy editing that cuts either too quickly or too slowly from scene to scene.

There are some familiar faces for TV buffs, including Marcia Wallace (Bob Newhart's receptionist on the old "Bob Newhart Show"), as a supportive teacher; standup comedian Shelley Berman as a nasty teacher; and, in a specific in-joke, Dick Sargent as Lively's father. Sargent, of course, played the husband of Elizabeth Montgomery on "Bewitched." (The filmmakers missed a bet by not naming Lively's character Tabitha.)

The two most notable things about "Teen Witch": The film's one big laugh, when Lively's mother throws a voodoo doll of Berman into the washer and Berman finds himself feeling compelled to walk through a car wash; the fact that Sargent's eye liner is heaver than Rubinstein's.

The rest of the film is predictable and dumb, as Lively uses her powers to get the most popular boy in school to like her, to wreak havoc upon the cheerleaders who have abused her in the past, to get revenge on teacher Berman, to make ready cash — and eventually it's brought to her attention by her former best friend that her new-found popularity has also made her a jerk.

This is "Pretty in Pink" on a broomstick.

Unfortunately what the film lacks is any real sense of humor, timing or character development, making for a muddled mess filled with rock music videos and a slight story spliced around them.

"Teen Witch" is rated PG-13 for violence, profanity and sex.