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The Schwartz is strong in this one
on December 15, 2013
I wouldn’t rank Spaceballs up there with the likes of Blazing Saddles, but it’s a vintage Mel Brooks spoof with a great cast and plenty of comedic elements. I don’t think anyone else could get away with making so many really bad jokes, but Brooks always makes them work. Obviously, the film is a take-off of Star Wars, with its hero Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his sidekick Barf (John Candy) trying to rescue Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) from the evil clutches of Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis). The planet Druidia has all of the fresh air they could ever need locked inside a planetary shield, while Planet Spaceballs is quickly running out of breathable air. President Skroob (Mel Brooks) plans on kidnapping Princess Vespa and using her to blackmail the king of Druidia into revealing the combination to the planet’s air stash. That’s the plan, anyway. The satire doesn’t stop with just Star Wars, though – there are countless in-jokes and spoofs taken from a wide range of other movies (e.g., Alien, The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, etc.).
You know, you really can’t describe a Mel Brooks film and do it any justice. You pretty much have to experience all of the one-liners, corny jokes, and physical humor for yourself. When it comes to Brooks’ personal brand of humor, you’ll either love it or hate it. For fans, there are some really ingenious bits playing off the craft of modern filmmaking and the marketing of film-related paraphernalia. There’s even a high-brow joke or two that some viewers probably won’t “get.” Mostly, though, Spaceballs is chock full of good old-fashioned, corny jokes. It’s the type of comedy that should hold up quite well for many years to come.
I think Rick Moranis pretty much steals the show as Dark Helmet, but Brooks’ depiction of the all-wise Yogurt is pretty hard to forget, as well. I also enjoyed listening to Brooks’ director’s commentary, as he talks a good bit about the writing, production, and casting of the film. I even learned a few things I didn’t know – such as the fact that Dom DeLuise supplied the voice for Pizza the Hutt. It’s an amazing cast of characters – and a very funny movie.