Starring: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow, Joan Rivers
Directed By: Mel Brooks
Written By: Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, Ronny Graham
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 36 min
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched Spaceballs over the years. I saw it in the theaters back in 1987 and loved it, and many years later, it’s still entertaining. On this occasional however, since I intended to articulate and write down my thoughts for this blog, I wanted to properly nail down why I find this film so damn funny. And as I watched Spaceballs for the umpteenth time, I noticed just how varied the humor was.
It’s a spoof mainly of Star Wars that’s pretty obvious, but Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and even Alien get a look in too. That last reference being one of the funniest moments in the film! It’s loaded with plenty of sexual innuendo, lots of sight gags, breaks in the fourth wall, blatant self-promotion, childish humor, adult humor, toilet humor, jokes with long buildups, and quick funny reactions from its hilariously talented cast.
I guess that’s the genius of Mel Brooks right? That he can combine and throw so many different styles of humor at the screen. Figuring that comedy is such a subjective genre, he’s bound to appeal to everybody’s varied tastes at one point or another during the movie’s running time.
So Spaceballs for me, has jokes that land flat on their proverbial faces, but at other times hit the mark so perfectly I’ll be quoting and laughing about them whenever this movie comes up in conversation. What works for me is nearly all the scenes with Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet. He simply gets the best lines in the movie as far as I’m concerned. I found the Barf (John Candy) and Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) team-up somewhat effective, and all the Mel Brooks President Scroob/Yogurt scenes completely unfunny. I enjoyed a lot of the quick reactionary humor delivered by many of the characters in this film, but thought the jokes with the longest buildups failed miserably.
Thankfully however, I found a lot more to enjoy than dislike, and I’ll likely be watching the movie once every couple of years when I’m in the mood for a good laugh.
If you’re a fan of Mel Brooks, but somehow missed Spaceballs, I think you’ll be happy you finally got to see this one. The humor is pretty mixed so it’s hard to nail down how to prepare you for this movie experience, but if you like a good spoof, I think you’ll enjoy Spaceballs.
For a spoof comedy, the visual effects are surprising good, and almost on par with the first Star Wars movie! That being said, this film will still be effective on any size device you choose to watch it on.
The moment when they use the ‘instant cassette’ of the movie Spaceballs to find lone Starr and happen upon the point in the movie when they are using the instant cassette.