You know when you have a really bizarre dream and you wake up thinking to yourself, “Why was I trying to flush a pineapple down a toilet?” That’s sort of how it feels to watch 1981’s Time Bandits, part of a short-lived creepy-fantasy-film genre that flared up in the 1980s (see: Labyrinth). Co-written, directed and produced by Terry Gilliam (the trippy, fantastical genius who would go on to make Brazil and 12 Monkeys), the movie follows Kevin, an 11-year-old ancient-Greek-history buff who travels through space and time with the aid of several dwarves and their, well, space-and-time-traveling map.
Kevin meets Robin Hood, Napoléon Bonaparte and Agamemnon, the ancient Greek who fought in the Trojan War. There is a bad guy, of course (aptly named Evil), who tries to take the map away. Adventures ensue, and — well, it gets pretty weird.