Does It Hold Up?

hold the dark crystal

It’s a known fact that the summer of ’82 offered up perhaps the best movie season on record (no, really, you can Google it), but the entire year is a never-ending marvel of cinematic joy. A small sampling includes 48 Hours, Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Gandhi, Poltergeist, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Tootsie, and The World According to Garp. Hell, we even got The Beastmaster, Megaforce and Zapped. But as fantastic and memorable as those movies are there are two specific releases from 1982 that helped shape a young me into the movie lover I am today. First up was John Carpenter’s The Thing, a film I had been anxiously following in Fangoria and Starlog (and one I had to guilt-trip my dad into taking me to for having walked me out of Conan the Barbarian during the witch-humping scene), and then six months later came Jim Henson‘s and Frank Oz‘ fantastical puppet adventure, The Dark Crystal. The two movies could hardly be farther apart in tone and style, but they shared a mastery over practical effects used to create a world, build atmosphere, and enhance a story in ways many effects-filled movies never manage. We can all agree that Carpenter’s film is a classic, and my annual viewings on Blu-ray show that it holds up in every regard. But what about The Dark Crystal? It doesn’t appear in conversation nearly as often as other ’80s kids films do. You never hear any […]

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