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Retro Movie Review: Labyrinth

sarahjareth+copy(retro movie review is a bi-weekly feature by guest writer Delilah Dawson. D. takes a look back at some of our generations best nerdiest movies and makes us appreciate them all over again.)

Labyrinth, made in 1986, is the story of a young girl who gets sick of a crying baby and wishes the exotically attractive Goblin King would come take the baby away so she could spend more time wearing stupid costumes in the park in the rain and not having any friends.

I tried it, and it didn’t work.

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Anyway, he takes the baby, and she wants it back, because boy, will her stepmother ever be angry! So he tells her she can have the whiny brat back if she solves his labyrinth within 13 hours. The weirdo clock is ticking, Sarah!

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Along the way, she meets several helpful friends, most of which are really awesome puppets that make you very, very angry at CGI, because they actually look *real*. I ache to see a random goblin cage match vs. Dobby.

She also meets this guy, who is possibly the cutest puppet ever built. He’s a worm.

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She has many fun adventures, including being felt up by thousands of freaky blue hands, being stuffed in a sparkly oubliette, solving riddles, dancing with terrifying fire puppets, being nearly dumped into the Bog of Eternal Stench, and battling her giant eyebrows with a sword.

Okay, she doesn’t actually battle her eyebrows, but she should.

Thankfully, as this is Labyrinth and not Pan’s Labyrinth, we never see anything like this.

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That thing gives me the screaming heebie jeebies.

But then she is slipped a poisoned peach, which gives her an awesome hallucinogenic dream, in which she wears the world’s froufiest ball gown and walks around the world’s awesomest costume party to dance with the world’s awesomest Goblin King.

Oddly, in the movie, this is considered a bad thing.

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One is lead to wonder if she liked the druggy dream so much that she went on to star in such questionable movies as Career Opportunities, The Rocketeer, Dark Water, and She’s Just Not That Into You. Or if maybe that’s what got her so desperate for heroin in Requiem of a Dream, which i’ve never seen, but i’ve heard an awful lot about.

Do you see the difference in her from 1986b to 2000?

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In the end, they have a big fight, which is really a chase through an MC Escher drawing, and everybody is friends forever and has a super big group hug, because that’s how the 1980’s worked, generally.

I loved the 1980’s.

And I have to say that Labyrinth is one of my lifelong favorite movies. It honestly appeals to me as much as an adult as it did as a child. It’s beautiful, imaginative, dark, creepy, curious. The music actually holds up pretty well. David Bowie as The Goblin King just has this magnificent magnetism. And the puppeteering is genius and makes me wonder if CGI has already jumped the computer-generated shark.

Sadly, I can imagine a 2009 remake. Sarah would be played by Zac Efron. The Goblin Queen would be Gwen Stefani. They’d be the only two humans in the whole thing, performing in front of a green screen with giant, CGI explosions everywhere and breaking out into songs every 5 minutes.

That actually might not be too bad. But I would miss the puppets.

And David Bowie’s pants.

For more pundit musings and other various goofy-ness you can check out Delilah’s website unrulyhelpmeet.com. You can also follow her on twitter @DelilahSDawson

Category: Featured, Film

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