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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review


Posted by: JunJun
Date Submitted: Saturday, March 13, 1999 at 22:16:54
Date Posted: Monday, March 15, 1999 at 03:24:16

Labyrinth is a truly ridiculous film and can make for a good time if you have friends who also like bad movies. It's about a girl named Sarah who likes fantasy books. The movie starts with her being made to babysit her baby half brother, whom she hates. This baby is truly annoying. She recites a curse of sorts from a fantasy story she likes which invites the "goblin king" to kidnap the child. At that moment lightning strikes, and the "goblin king" emerges from the window, played by David Bowie with Tina Turner hair and unnecessarily tight pants. He takes the baby captive, and Sarah is transported to a fantasy world where she must solve a labyrinth in 13 hours or else goblin king will keep the baby, as is the plot of the book, I'm assuming. Sarah is let into the labyrinth by a small, extremely ugly troll-type-being named Hoggle who tells her not to take things for granted. My friends and I have pondered exactly what this is supposed to mean in context of the situation, and we still haven't figured it out. She then enters alone and seems to be stuck until she remembers not to take things for granted. Then a puppet worm tells her the wrong way to go. She wanders around aimlessly for a while, while goblin king does a musical number in his castle with his puppet goblins and the baby. She comes across several different puppet type things in her aimless wandering, including: Hoggle (several times); two creatures guarding two doors with a classic riddle that I have never quite gotten; a large yeti-type creature named Ludo, who she saves from small creatures with sticks with yet smaller creatures on them, using them to nibble Ludo's butt; red whatevers that can remove their heads and throw them around in a musical number (which, judging from Sarah's reaction, is utterly terrifying); and a small dog-ish creature named Sir Didymus who rides another dog around like a horse. But alas, Hoggle is secretly in league with the goblin king, who after seeing that she is doing too well in the labyrinth, gives Hoggle a tainted peach to give her. He ends up giving it to her even though he has predictably grown to like her. She falls into a sleep wherein she has a dream of going to a costume ball and dancing with the goblin king. Once she wakes up she is somehow also in another illusion, wherein an old lady type creature with a load three times her size on her back takes her back to her bedroom and shows her all the things she likes. Sarah realizes it is an illusion, and she breaks through the wall like it is glass and finds herself in a dump with Ludo and Sir Didymus. She of course eventually comes to the end of the labyrinth where, before she can get to the castle, must pass through a town of goblins who are vicious. What follows is a highly-puppeted, extremely slapstick, and mostly boring fight scene. Once that is done, Sarah herself goes to the castle to confront the goblin king alone. What entails is a musical scene where the goblin king makes Sarah chase himself and the baby around a confusing room that resembles a drawing by Escher. The song combined with the pensive look on goblin king's face suggest that he has "fallen for" Sarah, presumably based on what he has seen of her solving a maze. She repeats lines from her fantasy book, and then regains possession of the baby. I guess the moral of the story would be that she learns to like her brother. The scenes are played out in the worst possible way a puppet can act, if you can imagine bad puppet acting. Except Ludo. He's a George of the Jungle/Tarzan type who speaks in monosyllables, so there's not much room for improvement there. It fascinates me how Sarah doesn't question the reality of this whole situation, she just kind of goes along. This is just something I noticed, but the goblin king's tight pants get tighter as the movie goes on. Not pleasant. The sets look suspiciously cardboard most of the time, and a fog is constantly over the area. One highlight of the movie is at a point where the journeyers find themselves near the Bog of Eternal Stench, a smelly swamp that's constantly bubbling and making potty noises. The fun part is if you put the closed caption on, the swamp's noises turn into (BURP) and (FART). I find most of the time that closed captions are void of onomatopoeia (look it up if you must) and stick with such interesting and descriptive sounds as (EXPLOSION). Just as an aside, goblin king uses a clock with 13 numbers (for the 13 hours) instead of 12, which means with the extra five minutes every hour she would have at least an extra hour. This movie was a good laugh riot with my sister, especially David Bowie, who was the high point of the entire thing. I would give Labyrinth four turkeys.

Scene to watch for: David Bowie singing and throwing a "real" baby in the air.

Best line: "NOTHING? Nothing, tra la la????"

Things that make you go "Huh?": The ever-ambiguous "taking things for granted."

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