Gasmii, P-Baby reporting for duty after a much needed week off to rejuice my batteries and catch up on all the crap on my DVR. After my day by the pool turned into an all day thunderstorm, I was relegated to my favorite spot in the house, the Big Red Couch. Unsure as to what my DVD of choice this week would be, I turned to my fail-safe Book O’ Crappy Movies. As I flipped through the plastic pages, my eyes were drawn to one of my all-time favorite classics, Labyrinth. I decided it would be the chosen one for two reasons. 1. All the neighborhood brats have been going back to school lately, making me feel old and wondering when the hell I became a grown-up. 2. David Bowie. Gray spandex. His little Goblin King should feel slighted for not receiving top billing on the movie poster.
Long before there was Bella Swan and the Idiots, Labyrinth blessed us with its presence in the mid 80′s starring a then unknown bushy-eyebrowed Jennifer Connelly and Ziggy Stardust himself David Bowie. Once again, I have Papa P-Baby to blame for molding my pliable mind into the state of snark that it is now, as he first exposed me to this wonder of cinema. Somehow he knew it would be magical, and it still holds a place near and dear to my ice cold heart. I would like to state for the record that I was on this Labyrinth love train long before it became trendy and that blasphemous hole in the mall Hot Topic started mass producing black t-shirts with David Bowie’s Jareth mug for all the emo tweens out there. So, tweens, suck it. And Twilight blows too.
Now normally I totally rip on the opening credits of any movie made before 1995, but Labyrinth was actually quite ahead of its time for 1986. The opening shows a mystical white owl flying around and pretty much until this moment, I always thought it was real. Turns out that it is completely CGI. Props, Jim Henson.
Speaking of owls, this movie looks just absolutely horrendous.
As I continue watching, I absolutely feel like an asshole for thinking that owl is real. Anyway, moving on.
The movie opens with our main damsel in distress, Sarah (An innocent, viriginal Jennifer Connelly), dressed like a Renaissance Faire wench rehearsing lines from her favorite book, Labyrinth.
As she recites her lines, a clap of thunder and barks from her dog Merlin remind her she’s got places to go and things to do. She runs home in the rain and arrives just in time to get scolded by her evil stepmother. She makes the poor, wet dog stay in the garage, though she’s probably just pissed at Merlin for chewing up her best pair of shoulder pads.
They argue back and forth with mom basically implying Sarah has no friends. Ceasing dressing like a Medieval Times waitress could probably up Sarah’s chances at gaining a friend. Just food for thought.
Baby Toby cries in the background once again jogging my memory as to why Mr. P-Baby and I have not yet embarked on the wonders of parenthood. Sarah gets pissed when she realizes one of her teddy bears is missing out of her room. Sarah may be a naive, 15 year old whose day to day worries include the location of her stuffed animals and what flowing, Disney princess getup she’s going to wear to the park today, but I assure you she grows into an upstanding young lady with ambitious career goals and a five-year plan.
Sarah storms into Baby Toby’s room and recovers her teddy bear. Whew, good thing she found him before she overreacted. Toby is wailing his head off so Sarah starts telling him a tale, including more dialogue from Labyrinth.
She tells Toby about a young girl who has been given special power from the King of the Goblins. The young girl decides she sick of her crying infant half-brother dressed like a pirate sock and wishes for the goblins to come and take him away. Little does Sarah know that real goblins are actually listening to her and do just that.
As she turns the light off in Toby’s bedroom, his cries come to an abrupt halt. She turns back around and realizes his crib is empty. The goblins torment Sarah a little as a barn owl flies into the bedroom transforming into Jareth, The Goblin King.
Jareth breaks it down for Sarah that he has the baby, just as she wished, and if she wants him back then she’s got to win that stupid Labyrinth game in three tries or less. He also does some fancy handwork with a glass bubble ball and I always wanted to learn how to do it.
Well, Sarah defeats the game pretty quickly so Jareth says, “Psych, this is the real labyrinth. 13 hours to solve it or the pirate sock is mine forever. Catch you on the flip side, dollface.”
Sarah starts off on her journey and makes her way down to the wall surrounding the labyrinth, running into a short, grumpy dwarf named Hoggle who’s just trying to take a piss in peace while on a break from his job of killing fairies. There is a joke in there somewhere but I won’t sink to its level. Sarah tries to figure out how to get into the Labyrinth and Hoggle points her in the right direction.
Once inside the labyrinth, Sarah is unable to figure out which direction to go, as it seemingly goes on forever without changing. As she runs through the labyrinth, I can’t help but think she should have picked out something slightly more athletic to wear for this adventure.
She becomes enlightened by this pleasent little fella with whom I’d totally ditch Toby for to have a cup of tea and biscuits with.
Big Worm tells Sarah to stop taking the walls of the labyrinth for granted and enlightens her to an opening in the wall right in front of her. She bids him adieu and continues on her journey.
Following arrows and Toby’s cries, Sarah attempts to make her way towards the castle. Unfortunately for Sarah, she will not make it in time for the dance party that’s about to happen.
Jareth starts busting a move in the castle with his goblin cronies and Mr. P- Baby may be regretting his decision to marry me at this exact moment as every lyric to Dance Magic Dance escapes my lips. Toby seems to be enjoying himself and I’m just enjoying the view.
While I need to remind myself that this is in fact a children’s movie, Mr. P-Baby has informed me that back in the 80′s no one cared about concealing celebrity bulges. His point of reference: Larry Bird.
Sarah draws some arrows on the ground with lipstick to mark her path but little mini goblins keep turning the tiles around on her as she continues, slowing down her progress. She figures out that her tiles have been changed and grows frustrated with her increasingly difficult mission. She complains of things not being fair and runs into labyrinth gatekeepers who taunt her incessant whining.
The Gatekeepers explain to Sarah that she must pick one of the doors with one leading directly to the center of the castle and the other leading to certain death. The catch is that one of the gatekeepers always lies and the other one always tells the truth. Sarah thinks she cracks the riddle, picks a door, and steps forward where she is instantly dropped into the creepiest dungeon ever built.
The Helping Hands give Sarah a choice of up or down and Sarah, by some masterminded reasoning decides to pick down. This is of course idiotic. Sarah, going down includes evil places such as basements, dungeons, smelly balls, wells, and hell.
Jareth watches Sarah’s progress from one of his bubble crystal ball thingies and is pissed that she’s even made it this far. In Sarah’s dungeon she runs into Hoggle who tells Sarah he’s come to help her out a little and that he knows a short cut to get her out of the labyrinth completely. Sarah refuses and then bribes him with a shitty plastic bracelet to get Hoggle to help her solve the labyrinth. I can get on board with Hoggle’s motivation though I typically accept payment in the form of cookies or promise of uninterrupted hours of bad TV.
Hoggle leads Sarah down a corridor of creepy talking faces who kind of remind me of the grumpy apple throwing trees in Wizard of Oz.
Jareth has disguised himself as a beggar goblin and catches Hoggle helping Sarah. He’s upset that one of the creatures from his kingdom dare help Sarah and threatens to poke him in the eye.
Sarah taunts Jareth, telling him his labyrinth is a piece of cake (mmmm….cake!) and he makes her alloted 13 hours move forward as well as having Sarah and Hoggle get chased by The Cleaners, which are goblins on some metal chopping food processor machine moving down the dark corridor pretty quickly. Sarah and Hoggle narrowly escape and climb up a ladder leading them back into the ground level of the labyrinth. Hoggle tells Sarah that he’s basically a coward and that Jareth scares him. Jareth scares me too but he would definitely not get kicked out of P-Baby’s bed.
They run into an old man wearing bird as a hat and he confuses the shit out of Sarah by being senile and offering no explanation of how to progress. Then he falls asleep. I guess somehow Papa P-Baby managed to sneak onto this film set as well.
They continue through the garden maze and hear a huge growl coming from nearby. Hoggle bails and Sarah goes to explore.She discovers a large creature hanging and being tortured by some goblins with killer fetuses on sticks. That sounds like it could be a promising pitch for a movie, BTW. Killer Fetuses On Sticks: BBQ From Hell! She rescues the large creature by throwing rocks at the goblins, getting them to run away and releases the big, gentle monster from his hanging trap. Then he eats her.
Not really, but that would be awesome. Ludo and Sarah become friends. They notice two doors on a wall behind them, though the last time Sarah chose a door she ended up getting felt up by a million sausage fingers and landing in a dungeon.
On second thought…
She chooses the door on the right and her and Ludo proceed into a creepy forest. Ludo is scared, making him the most pathetic beast ogre that ever lived. Well, turns out Ludo’s killer instincts were correct and he disappears right behind Sarah when the ground falls out below him.
Sarah calls for Hoggle to help but he is otherwise occupied with Jareth who is still pissed about Hoggle helping Sarah. Jareth warns Hoggle that he better not continue helping. He gives Hoggle a poisoned peach to give to Sarah. Once again I’m having extreme difficulty focusing on anything besides what’s going on at about waist level on Jareth.
Sarah gets accosted by some red, feathery goblins known as the Fire Gang. This gang has detachable limbs and heads and seem to spend a bulk of their day getting wasted around a camp fire. Rock on, Fire Gang. Don’t let Stick in the Mud Sarah ruin your buzz. They try to remove Sarah’s head so she takes off all their heads and throws them, then runs and escapes. Hoggle throws a rope down to help Sarah get out of the woods. She’s so thrilled to see him that she kisses him on the cheek which once again brings the wrath of Jareth who drops the ground out from them and shoots them straight to the entrance of the Bog of Eternal Stench.
Hoggle explains the deal with the Bog that if any of your body parts touches the Bog, you’ll smell like a grundle for the rest of your life. At the Bog, they run back into Ludo and spy a bridge to get them over the Bog. Unfortunately, the bridge is guarded by Sir Didymus, a fox with an eyepatch and extreme delusions of grandeur.
He also is unable to smell the Bog, which is why he’s perfect for the job. Sir Didymus refuses to let them pass and while he fights with Sarah and Ludo, Hoggle runs away across the bridge. Sir Didymus is impressed with the fight Ludo puts up and finally allows them to pass after Sarah asks politely.
The bridge is less than stable and falls almost as soon as Sarah steps onto it. Sarah dangles helplessly over the Bog, until Ludo uses his ability to call rocks and have them fall under Sarah’s feet allowing her to cross to safety. It would be awesome to have an ability that allowed me to summon inanimate objects whenever I wanted but I’d probably use the power frivolously to summon Diet Pepsi cans from the fridge.
They meet up with Hoggle on the other side and Sir Didymus decides to tag along with his noble steed Ambrosius. Hoggle considers throwing the poisoned peach into the Bog but Jareth’s watchful eye cautions him against such action. As the group travels, they all grow hungry so Hoggle finally presents the peach to Sarah. She bites into it and immediately feels strange. Sarah starts tripping out on peach juice big time and parks it by a log. Jareth’s bubbles swing by for a visit and soon Sarah is no longer with Ludo and Sir Didymus in the woods.
On Sarah’s trip she is all tarted up at a masquerade ball and sees Jareth across the dance floor waiting for her. So at this point, if I’m Sarah, I’m probably just going to say “Fuck Toby, I never liked him anyway,” and live as Jareth’s mistress within the Labyrinth for centuries to come. Clearly Jareth has a boner for Sarah, as we’ve all been treated to for the past 70 minutes. I don’t know why Sarah has to be such a wet blanket and be all noble to save her bratty little brother. You’ve got a perfectly handsome rock star with makeup that puts Jem to shame who may have bedded Mick Jagger declaring his love for you. Just go with it.
Well Sarah’s not having any of it and busts out of the bubble world and lands in the middle of a dump. She wakes up and meets a trash lady who tells Sarah to watch where she’s going. Sarah is unable to remember the whole point of her mission and the trash lady presents her with her teddy bear from the beginning of the movie. She opens a door in the dump that leads into a room that looks just like her bedroom. Sarah’s relieved to be back home. Hello, Sarah? You just entered your room by way of a pile of trash. I wouldn’t get too comfortable on that bed of yours.
After seeing her Labyrinth book on her desk, Sarah remembers her mission and tells the trash lady to fuck off. The walls of her room star crumbling around her and she gets pulled out of the rubble of Ludo and Sir Didymus. Coincidentally, the gates to the Goblin City are directly in front of them. They sneak in past the gates only to be greeted by a giant robot machine that looks extremely pissed they dared to enter Goblin City.
The large robot thing is wielding an axe and seriously hindering operations to find Toby until Hoggle jumps onto its head and throws out the goblin that was operating the machine on the inside. Hoggle renders the giant robot useless, proving his loyalty to Sarah in the end and she forgives him for the whole LSD-laced peach incident. They press on into the depths of Goblin City and Jareth gets alerted to the close proximity of the group.
Just as Sarah and friends think they are going to be successful and reach the castle, every one of Jareth’s goblins stage an attack on the group driving them back into the city. After some goblin stomping and rock calling on Ludo’s part, they manage to wipe out the army. They arrive at the castle door and push their way inside.
Sarah decides she needs to face Jareth alone, leaving her buddies in the entrance way. Jareth is wearing his finest crushed velvet shirt and black riding pants just for this occasion. Her and Jareth play grab ass on about a million different stair cases, just building the sexual tension for when they eventually get it on. Wait a minute. Sarah’s here to resuce Toby. So that little bastard is crawling around on the steps too.
Sarah jumps off a platform to land where Toby’s sitting and the room of endless stairs disappears around here. Jareth comes out looking like he’s wearing Brit-Brit’s busted weave and a cape he stole from Elvis. Jareth scolds Sarah for being a bratty little bitch who is ungrateful for all he has done for her. All Jareth wants is for Sarah to stay with him. I don’t know why she won’t jump on board. Her life totally sucked in the other realm, where she had no friends and dressed in costumes at the local park.
Sarah finally realizes Jareth has no power over and says as much, which destroys the whole world of the Labyrinth around her. Jareth transforms back into the barn owl and the clock strikes midnight as Sarah is placed back into the living room of her house with Toby upstairs sound asleep. This totally sucks. Jareth, Sir Didymus, and the little British worm were the best things about this whole adventure, not Sarah and her sleeves that can double as a bed spread. In her bedroom, Hoggle, Ludo and Sir Didymus pay a visit to say good bye and they appear where she has a party with all the goblins she met along the way.
Gasmii, before I go, I just needed to give you guys one last treat. Just when I was beginning to feel down on myself for being such a loser due to hours spent recapping crappy movies and loving the hell out of said crappy movies, I discovered the following images. Immediately my confidence was boosted for as loserish as I may feel, the people that created these are out there somewhere. God bless you all.
And on that note…goodnight Gasmii!