Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Spaceballs (1987)

"May the schwartz be with you"

This movie is loosely based on the movie star wars. The parody of the charters and the satirical material is what makes the movie funny. Dark Helmet is the Space Balls’ equivalent of Darth Vader. The caricature works well because both characters wear the really big black helmet, but the differences are that Darth Vader is feared and respected and Dark Helmet is funny and has a unusually large helmet LoneStar and Barf represent Han solo and Chewbacca, and as their Star Wars namesakes do, these two also have a bounty on their heads from “Pizza the Hut” (Jabba the Hut in Star Wars) . Princess Leia from Star Wars becomes princess Vespa, and Dot is a much more aggressive C3PO. These characters reference character traits from their Star Wars counterparts, but they also have their own stories to tell.

Another reason why this movie is funny and works is that the screen play is very literal to the point of stupidity. When someone wants to “jam the radar,” they typically mean that they will send frequencies out to scramble radar signals. But in Space Balls, they take a jar of raspberry jam and throw it on to the satellite. Another example of this is when Dark Helmet is looking for the princess in the desert, and he wants his men to “comb the desert” looking for her In a metaphorical sense he means the men should search the desert, but the joke is laid out when the troops take giant combs and actually comb the sand. Another thing that Mel Brooks commonly does is bring production into his movie. In the final battle dark helmet accidentally hits the film crew while fighting Lonestar. Also they watch the actual movie in the movie. They watch the movie and skip forward to see what the need to do.

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

The two bits you mention here (the jam and comb), I distinctly remember groaning at the visual jokes.