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For a beloved entertainer whose endearing Muppets brought smiles to children around the world, Jim Henson really knew how to scare the piss out of kids. Sure, the puppeteer’s 1982 fantasy-adventure The Dark Crystal is full of wizened Mystics and cute little Podlings. But mention the film to anyone who first experienced it as a child and he won’t start glowing with fond remembrance. Instead, his face twisting into a hideous expression of fear and loathing, he’ll hiss the word “Skeksis.” For these vile, vulture-like creatureswho imposed genocide on the peaceful inhabitants of Henson’s Tolkien-esque kingdom in an effort to save their own decrepit race from a thousand-year-old prophecyare etched in our memories more deeply than any pointy-eared Gelfling. Put that rubber sheet back on your bed after the film screens at noon at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $5.50. (301) 495-6700. (Matthew Borlik)