Saturday, February 11, 2006

May the farce be with you

"Once upon a time warp..."

When a movie starts with that line you know that you are not supposed to take it serious at all, so I sat back and relaxed as I watched every 80's sci-fi movie made a mockery of in the 1987 movie Spaceballs.

You are caught up on the story which mockingly starts in chapter 11 instead of chapter 7 like the older Star Wars films with the classic scrolling text set against deep space. Basically the Spaceballs under the leadership of President Scroob and Lord Dark Helmet are trying to obtain planet Druidia's abundant air supply by kidnapping the planet's princess. The only ones that can save Druidia and the wayward Princess Vespa is Lone Starr and his faithful sidekick Barf the Mog (half man half dog) with a little help from the small, green, and wise Yogurt.

This movie was highly entertaining with a star studded cast that included Mel Brooks, who also wrote and directed it, Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis, and the voice talents of Joan Rivers, as C3PO's female counter part Dot Matrix, and Dom De Luise as Pizza the Hut. There were also two great cameos that made my night from sound effects wonder Michael Winslow from the Police Academy flicks as a radar technician and John Hurt from Aliens who says "Oh no... not again" when another alien pops out of him but in this film he dances like the WB frog across the diner countertop.

I also enjoyed the film for its exageration, literal humor, and the way some of the characters spoke directly to the audience. Dark Helmet resembled a characature of Darth Vader with a very enlarged dome-like helmet. When the radar got jammed it was because Lone Starr launched a jar of jam at the radar dish. Then after the plot was explained in detail through dialogue Dark Helmet breaks our fly on the wall perspective and asks the viewers "Everybody got that?".

Many references to many earlier sci-fi thrillers such as Star Wars, Star Trek the TV series, Indiana Jones, Aliens, and Planet of the Apes were made but I won't assume I understood or caught them all so I invite you to watch the film and see if you find anymore. You at least will have been amused for 96 minutes if you enjoy what my mother calls "stupid humor" but I have to agree with Lord Dark Helmet and say I liked it "because good is dumb".

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

If you liked this Mel Brooks film, then I would recommend his films from the 70s, HIGH ANXIETY, BLAZING SADDLES and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, where he takes on Alfred Hitchcock films, westerns and horror films, respectively.