Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stuff I didn't do as a kid but have decided to do as a cynical, perpetual migraine-having adult: #1 Watch "The Dark Crystal"

There are a ton of adjectives that I could probably use to describe the experience of watching The Dark Crystal for the first time--harrowing, perplexing, disconcerting, just to name a few. But weird, is the word that I'm really cleaving to as it perfectly encapsulates my little journey into the more psychotic regions of Jim Henson's mind. Allow the following GIF to illustrate. 
David Lynch would find this movie odd. 

I was thinking of writing out a brief little recapitulation of the plot for anyone who hasn't seen the movie or maybe hasn't watched it since they were a kid whose parents' preferred mode of child abuse was allowing them to view macabre films with creepy, vacant-eyed puppets on the reg. Unfortunately, I still don't know what the hell this movie is about. 

But here's what I can tell you:

1. It opens with a naked puppet playing the flute.
Quite possibly the most ambitious beginning in film history. 

2. This bird thingy has boobs.
There's something very sexual assualty about this scene, no?

3. Aw, hell nah!
Not cute.

4. I think these two did it.
And by it I mean the intercourse.

5. At the end of the movie Jen, the naked flautist, straddles the titular dark crystal and inserts his "crystal shard" into it.
This, of course, is a metaphor for inserting crystal shards into dark crystals. Kinky.

Final Analysis: I find it hard to believe that The Dark Crystal was intended for children since it is by far the most terrifying movie that I have ever seen--somehow, more terrifying than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The movie/experience of watching the movie wasn't horrible--since I do have a deep appreciation for weird, confusing crap, there was something mildly enjoyable about it--but when it comes to Jim Henson's oeuvre, I'll always favor The Muppet Babies. Not even David Bowie's Labyrinth-crotch could shake my devotion to tiny Gonzo. 

Experience Rating: 3 out of 5 bottles of Flintstones Chewable Vitamins.


Laura said...

This is actually one of my favorite movies. I often quote lines from it in everyday situations. I know my soul mates when they quote back.
Have you watched any of Jim Henson's Storyteller series? They're super creepy too :)

Amber said...

I can totally see how this could be someone's favorite movie. And no, I haven't watched Jim Henson's storyteller series but watching The Dark Crystal has definitely gotten me way more interested in the man. What was going on in that dude's head?

Jess said...

"And by it I mean the intercourse."

That made me laugh out loud, waking up my kids. Too funny.

I've never seen this one, and I'm feeling very grateful for my mom keeping this one from me!

MJenks said...

I dunno...both of those movies you listed are leagues ahead of something like Sharkboy and Lava Girl, a movie which no amount of eyebleach can purge from my memory banks.

Also, I didn't see the Dark Crystal until a few months ago, when my wife made the entire family relive her childhood by sitting around and enjoying this tripe.

Megs said...

Clearly the latent trauma of watching this film caused my brain to totally erase the experience of watching this film from my conscious mind.

But now I remember where some of the more common elements of my nightmares came from. So thanks for that. I think.

P.S. I really need you to verify the existence of the show with the talking crystal and the blonde girl and the dad in outerspace (Out of this World?) because people are starting to look at me funny when I talk about it. You know, just, speaking of crystals.

MC said...

Do you watch Ugly Americans?

Amber said...

Megs: I've been trying to figure out how to address Out of This World. But it most certainly existed and it was awesome.

MC: I do watch it on occasion. Did they reference the dark crystal or something?

MC said...

The other day Twayne referred to sex as "the intercourse".

Amiee said...

I did watch this once as a child but must have blocked a lot out. I do remember it being creepy and weird.

Angie said...

I totally bought Dark Crystal on DVD, but have yet to watch it. My loyalty is to Labyrinth, but I feel more inclined to stray after reading your post.

BeckEye said...

Honestly, I had to scroll through the pictures here. That movie FREAKED ME OUT when I was a kid. Those puppets are just so creepy looking. Some friends of mine went to see a showing of it about a year or so ago (when I was still in NYC) and I refused to go.

Columbia University MSTP said...

I LOVED this movie as a kid! More like...obsessed. I watched it sooo many times, at one point I could almost recite the entire film word-for-word-scene-for-scene. I also had the comic version of it, and a special edition version that showed sketches, and had an interview with Jim Henson. (My comic version was in German) As far as movies that MIGHT be considered inappropriate for children, I'd say this is definitely one of the top - although "The Last Unicorn" - also one of my favorites - ranks fairly highly as well...oh, how I miss the 80's.