I wish the Goblins would come and take you away! Right now!
Our local Picture House cinema The Belmont, is currently showing several classic 80s films. Back to the Future and American Werewolf in London have been and gone, and the next in line was Labyrinth. I know a lot of people talk about The Princess Bride as being a childhood adventure favourite, but I didn’t see it until I was in my 20s so didn’t really get the appeal; for me Labyrinth is the iconic childhood adventure (as well as The Goonies naturally).
Despite being 26 years old Labyrinth is still great fun. Bowie is hilariously camp, Jennifer Connelly is pretty good as Sarah, and of course all the creatures are nicely brought to life by Jim Henson studios. In fact it is the puppets that save the film from looking too dated. Because there is precious little blue screen (the little that there is doesn’t look good), and all the puppets are right there with Jennifer, it still looks pretty great. The story is very straightforward, but since the focus is getting lost in the labyrinth and meeting fantastic creatures the film really scores. I had never realised before that George Lucas was the executive producer, so that explains why it is all so fantastic and outrageous fun; the highlight of which is the Bog of Eternal Stench!
A truly daft film that has no right to be as entertaining as it still is. Lots of detail, surprisingly clever moments of film-making, and great little touches (e.g. 2 bottles of milk outside the door to the Goblin Palace!). And let’s be honest, The Princess Bride doesn’t have David Bowie in tights does it!
This post was first written in May 2012.