Spaceballs

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May the farce be with you

1987

Genres:
Comedy, Parody, Sci-Fi

Starring:
John Candy, Dick Van Patten, Mel Brooks, Bill Pullman, Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga, Joan Rivers

Summary:
King Roland (Van Patten) of planet Druidia desperately wants his daughter Princess Vespa (Zuniga) to marry Prince Valium. Vespa, however, is not too keen on the idea. In addition to this little problem, there is also the fact that she was also recently kidnapped by the evil Spaceballs.

Led by Dark Helmut (Moranis), they hold the princess for a very hefty ransom: Due to severe pollution problems on Spaceball, they want the pure and clean air from Druidia. In order to save his daughter and planet from certain doom, King Roland hires a space rogue named Lone Star (Pullman) and his sidekick Barf (Candy) to rescue her. With the help of the wise Yogurt (Brooks) and many other colorful characters, Lone Star and Vespa embark on a serious attempt to parody every famous sci-fi movie ever made. And save the planet of course.

Response:
Maybe it's the fact that it's a science fiction spoof movie-- or maybe it's the fact that I first saw it when I was twelve-- but Spaceballs has always been one of my favorite comedy movies. In fact, despite contrary reviews and general public opinion, I think this is far funnier than many of Mel Brooks' more respected films.

The actors play their stereotyped roles wonderfully and generally spout one-liners that are just as funny because of their wry delivery as their content. I found Barf a bit annoying, but that wasn't John Candy's fault; it was the actual character and costume that were the problem. Then again, Chewbacca was also oddly annoying so maybe Brooks was commenting on that. Doubt it. Dot Matrix was also grating, but that was just because she was powered by Joan Rivers' shrill voice.

Zuniga and Pullman carried the movie well with necessary bitchy and dry performances respectively. In fact, I don't know if either one of them smiled more than once in the entire movie, and that made it all the funnier.

Moranis was perfectly cast as the small dark Helmut trying desperately to shed his pseudo-midget gumpy image and not succeeding at all (see above photo). In fact, the Spaceballs as a whole were great as pure evil with hardly any intelligence.

The spoofs of all the movies were non-stop. Although Star Wars unsurprisingly got the brunt of the gags, Spaceballs left few classic sci-fi stones unturned. From Star Trek to Planet of the Apes to Alien, the jokes were constant. As in all spoof movies, however, a few of the jokes fell flat; but unlike most spoof movies, the remaining majority of comedy in Spaceballs is genuinely funny. The movie is just plain goofy, and has held of remarkably well over the years. Just wait and see if Not Another Teen Movie or Scary Movie do the same. I can't see why most sci-fi fans wouldn't love Spaceballs... A true sci-fi cult classic.

Or maybe that's just the twelve-year old in me talking.

Point Blank:
Spoof sci-fi at its best. Always a movie worth rediscovering!