Embracing my inner geek

Brian Golden

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m what a certain co-worker of mine (Melissa Stagnaro) calls a total and utter geek. Not in a technical sense so to speak, but certainly in the spirit of the sci-fi, fantasy, video game, Dungeons & Dragons, comic book, superhero kind of geek. And in all honesty, I’m rather proud of my inner geek. It’s served me well throughout my 30-plus years.

Therefore, in an effort to, shall I say, rub it in, I’ve compiled a list of my top ten, all-time favorite “you-know-you’re-a-geek-if-you-love-these-movies.”

#10 – Krull (1983)
A fantastical tale of swords and sorcery which has captivated me since the age of six. Filled with an abundance of science fiction/fantasy imagery and tried-but-true metaphors such as the damsel in distress, the magical weapon necessary for ultimate victory and the almighty quest for freedom from the hands of a space-traveling alien entity (known only as the Beast). What’s truly funny is the fact that I still possess a VHS copy of Krull, recorded by my stepfather probably 25 years ago, which I’ve, sadly, watched repeatedly over the years. A true geek statement if there ever was one.

#9 – Time Bandits (1981)
Written by Monty Python alumni Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin, this flick had it all in my book. A young hero, accompanied by a gang of thieving little people, portals through time and space, a Supreme Being and a frightening evil villain, known as….Evil (he resides, applicably, in the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness). This movie actually scared me to death as a child and is kind of like twisted version of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure meets Little People, Big World. Truly a geek classic.

#8 – The Neverending Story (1984)
I absolutely loved the premise of this movie. Young book-loving boy, tormented by the other kids, hides out in a dusty old bookstore and “borrows” a fantastic-looking novel. He then proceeds to hide out in the attic of his school for a day and a night, where he eventually discovers he’s actually a part of the story itself. My only problem with this film? They should have cast me as the young boy. This was me in all my geekdom as a young child.

#7 – Willow (1988)
Nelwyn, Death Dogs, Daikini, Brownies (the creatures, not the food), Madmartigan, Bavmorda and my personal favorite, the High Aldwin. Need I say any more.

#6 – Labyrinth (1986)
I’m a huge fan of pretty much everything Jim Henson had a hand in until his untimely death. This movie still resonates with me and has been a favorite to watch again and again. When a young girl’s infant half-brother is kidnapped by the Goblin King (portrayed wonderfully by David Bowie), she’s forced to navigate his Labyrinth in order to rescue the child. Amazing puppetry, a wonderful plot and some memorable characters all made this a classic effort in the geek canon. On a side note, the “Fire Gang” (strange creatures with removable limbs) gave me nightmares for years as a child.

#5 – The Dark Crystal (1982)
Another Henson classic and, similar to Willow, how can you dislike any movie that features Gelflings, Garthim, Skeksis, Mystics, Podlings and Crystal Bats. A true geek masterpiece and another movie that I still watch to this day. This one also scared the dickens out of me, although in a totally different way than Time Bandits. I absolutely love the score for this movie, as music was a prevalent part of the actual story.

#4 – Tron (1982)
When Kevin Flynn is transported to a digital world filled with programs, light-cycles, users, flying tanks and the evil Master Control Program, he’s forced to fight for his life in this Walt Disney production. Much darker than typical Disney fare, this movie took computer generated imagery to an entirely new level. Protagonist Jeff Bridges will reprise his role as Flynn in an upcoming sequel titled Tron: Legacy. Definitely a priority on my list of things to do.

#3 – Beastmaster (1982)
A gripping tale of the warrior-telepathic Dar, who can communicate with animals. This cult classic was a favorite of mine growing up, yet I can’t remember the last time I saw it. Of course the acting was horrible, the special effects mediocre and the ending more than a little contrived. All of this together, however, makes it one of the best geek movies ever made.

#2 – Army of Darkness (1993)
“Klatu, barada, nikto.” If you have no idea what I mean by that you should not be reading this blog.

#1 – Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
The classic re-telling of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Quite possibly the funniest movie I’ve ever seen and a favorite of my closest group of friends and I. With characters such as the Knights Who Say Ni (I require a shrubbery), Tim the Enchanter, the Rabbit of Caerbannog (defeated utilizing the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch) and the Three-headed Knight, let’s just say you can’t go wrong. A true geek masterpiece.

I’m sure many of my fellow geeks have noticed the lack of Star Wars or Star Trek from this particular top ten list, therefore I’ve decided to include them in the “honorable mention” category. In truth, both franchises are the epitome of geekdom, and I dare not tread on that hallowed ground.