Tom Hanks is a storied actor. Who can forget the time he criss-crossed the country in Forrest Gump? Or his man-child fantasy life as a toy maker in Big? How about the time concerned friends stopped him from jumping off the top of the World Trade Center because he thought he had “the spells” that would make him fly?

Wait, what?

Long before Big and Forrest Gump, there was Mazes and Monsters, a made-for-TV movie from 1982 that starred a 26-year-old Hanks. It was his first film. Before Bachelor Party. Before Splash.

Mazes and Monsters reflects the strange moment in pop culture when polite society viewed role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons as a corruptive influence on younger minds. Many thought that immersing yourself in the fantasy fiction of an RPG could lead to flirtations with Satanism, occult worship — and, in turn, criminal behavior. Read more…

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Remember when Tom Hanks starred in a cautionary tale about ‘Dungeons & Dragons’?