“Dance magic, dance. Put that baby’s spell on me.” – The Goblin King
With The Dark Crystal currently enjoying a limited return engagement in theaters via Fathom Events, it was only a matter of time before that film’s spiritual successor, Labyrinth, got the same deluxe treatment. Thus on April 29th, May 1st, and May 2nd, Fathom brings back Jim Henson’s delirious and jaw-dropping fantasy tale following proto-goth Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) attempted to rescue her baby brother from the sinister-yet-rad Goblin King (a scene-stealing David Bowie, in one of the best performances of a life packed with amazement).
Just writing the synopsis makes me want to throw on the DVD of it.
Anyway, like its Class of ’86 associate Big Trouble in Little China, Labyrinthalso underperformed during its original box office run — only to go on to become a huge successs. So why wasn’t it a big hit in the first place? My best guess is that Henson was still being pigeonholed as the Muppet guy, a problem that also plagued his and Frank Oz’s work on The Dark Crystal. But also, Labyrinth is as weird as it is brilliant, and the world wasn’t ready for crazy Bowie would be in it. (As usual, his weirdly erotic bluster here was ahead of its time).
In 2018 however, the world has caught up to its, er, labyrinthine pleasures, meaning that Fathom Events’ deluxe digital presentation of the flick will be a special occasion indeed. So much so, that Fathom is encouraging attendees to cosplay as the film’s characters. SO MANY GOBLIN KINGS. Another reason to check out Labyrinth on the big screen are the following bonus features:
All presentations of the film will include introductions by Brian Henson and Jennifer Connelly, captured exclusively for Fathom Events. In addition, audiences will enjoy a special theatrical screening excerpt from the award-winning fantasy series “The Storyteller.” Brian Henson will discuss the episode “Soldier and Death,” also directed by Jim Henson, and the special effects techniques that were a hallmark of “Labyrinth,” “The Storyteller,” and Jim Henson’s legacy.
Part of the magic of Labyrinth is how it balances malice with whimsy, this is due to the collaborative efforts of Henson (who directed) and Monty Python’s Terry Jones (who wrote the screenplay). The film is still a gorgeous effort to watch, pure imagination from two very different visionaries who shared a common goal of creating a contemporary fable that would endure across the decades. The fact that is has is vindication for them both, and it’s also just a really trippy, unique experience.
Tickets are available via Fathom Events’ website. And did we mention how amazing “Magic Dance” is? Because one cannot undersell that.