SPACEBALLS

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Spaceballs Cover Now after satirizing the western genre with his movie, 'Blazing Saddles', then continuing this trend with the horror-comedy, 'Young Frankenstein', what do you think Mel Brooks does next? Yes. That's correct. He directs this film starring himself, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, and Joan Rivers. It was made in 1987, and lasts for 96 minutes. Nuff said.


Spaceballs


THE STORY:
Alright. So let me get this straight. A long-long time ago, in a galaxy far-far away, there once lived a very bad man called Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis). Now because this silly sod desperately needed to replenish his kingdoms natural resources, he sets a plan in motion to kidnap the runaway bride -- Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) -- so that he could use her as a bargaining tool to steal the air from her home planet, Druidia.

However, before this imperialist 'Spaceball' was able to accomplish this daring deed, two Winnebago w*nkers -- Lone Starr and Barf (Bill Pullman and John Candy) -- intercept his ploy -- saving Vespa, plus her robotic aide, Dot Matrix (Jansson / Rivers) -- just so they can cash in on her fathers reward, and then pay off the debt they owe to the crime boss, Pizza the Hut (Dom DeLuise).

OK. You got that? Good. I won't be saying that again in a hurry. No matter what the head honcho of Spaceball-1 -- President Skroob (Mel Brooks) -- says. Furthermore, I couldn't give a toss that Lone Starr, Barf, Vespa, or Dot Matrix, runout gas on the way home either. I'm pretty damn sure they can find some help on that barren planet they land on.

Yeah! You know; someone like that wise yet small dwarf, Yogurt (Mel again), for instance. Surely he could point them in the right direction whilst he's selling them a piece of movie merchandising; or showing Lone Star how to use the secret power of the 'Schwartz'.

That's it. I've said enough. I'm not going to say another word except that what next transpires all begins when Vespa gets kidnapped by some silly sod in a dark helmet. As w*nkers show some pluck - plans really do suck - Spaceballs run a muck - and at the end of the day a princess finds out that her prince is a bit of a schmuck.




THE REVIEW:
Now if you're ever thinking about satirizing a movie on YouTube -- or some other type of video based platform -- I urge you to pick up 'Spaceballs' first, OK? As not only is this film very funny to watch. But it also shows you the very simple rules of spoofing a slice of cinema.


Mel in Spaceballs


Here, check out this five point guide to see what I mean by this:
  • (Step One) Know Your Playground: Now as any good comedian will know, you have to have a thorough knowledge of the area you are poking fun out of -- back to front -- or else the subject matter in question will have less validity in retrospect. I.E. It will feel too false.  
  • (Step Two) The Story Must Be Simple To Follow: By in large a tale needs to be fairly light in content so that the comedy can be overlaid upon it. That way it's easier for you to integrate the comedy and the story together, thus making the overall project more uniform in nature. I.E. Less jumbled.
  • (Step Three) Your Actors Need To Be Naturally Funny: Do I have to explain this point? Nah. Didn't think so. I.E. Scary Movie 2.
  • (Step Four) Keep Things Clean: Comedy always needs to have a clear and bold surface for the pretext to interact with, or otherwise the gags may be lost within a quagmire of artsy fartsy mish-mash of visual effects and camera positioning. I.E. What the f*ck is going on?
  • (Step Five) You Can't Please Them All: Don't presume that all your jokes will be a 'laugh riot' to everyone who sees or hears them. Sometimes certain people won't 'get' the brunt of a gaff -- which is fine -- just as long as the jokes aren't too 'in' -- if you get my gist.  

Rick as Dark Helmet in Spaceballs
OK, so with that lesson out of the way with, let's have some filmic facts now, shall we? (1) 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer' released this $22.7 million dollar production on the 24th of June, 1987, and recouped $38.1 million dollars back at the box-office. (2) I kid you not; it took the writer / director / co-star, Mel Brooks, approximately six months to compose the screenplay for this film. (3) Without a shadow of a doubt this comedy is jam-packed full of references. These include: a Kentucky Fried Chicken reference, several Star Wars references, a Ford Motorcars reference, numerous behind the scenes staff-member references, a Kafka reference, plus many-many more I don't want to mention. (4) If you look at the name 'Skroob' very closely -- as in 'President Skroob' -- you'll be able to figure out that it's an anagram of the surname of the actor who plays him in this film -- 'Brooks'. (5) During pre-production, Mel Brooks sent the script to George Lucas, just to make sure he wasn't offended by its content. But he wasn't. Not in the slightest. In fact, he liked it so much, his company, 'Industrial Light and Magic', provided the puppets and the special effects for this project. (6) Even after all of the trouble they had to go through to construct John Candy's 'Barf' costume; it still took three people to operate it. John the tail, and two assistant's the ears. (7) According to 'Spaceballs: The Book' -- written by the novelist, R.L. Stine -- the names of the Dinks are: Finky Dink, Blinky Dink, Rinky Dink, Stinky Dink, Pinky Dink, and Winky Dink. (8) Whilst Lorene Yarnell Jansson wore the 'Dot Matrix' body armour, of course it was Joan River's who provided her voice. Also, on a side note, Dom DeLuise provided the voice for 'Pizza the Hutt' too. (9) Although you saw Yogurt promote them in this movie, there was never any official 'Spaceballs' merchandising ever made. This was largely due to a 'fair-use' agreement devised between Mel Brooks and George Lucas.


John and the Cast of Spaceballs


Barf at Spaceballs
Now if you haven't guessed by now, dear reader; let me just state for the records that I really do love 'Spaceballs' the movie. To me, its one of those feel good film's I always watch whenever I need a quick 'pick me up' of the silly variety. The jokes are funny -- Got that? The actors are great -- especially Mel Brooks, John Candy, and Rick Moranis. The story told a pretty linier tale -- even if it was on the rather simple side. And the overall spit and polish of this production enhanced the whole project -- bar none.  

Heck, I have to be honest with you; I can't fault this movie one little bit. And in my opinion, it is up there with the rest of Mel Brook's satires. Just check this out to see what I mean...




A class comedy. And defiantly one to watch. Say no more.

THE RATING:A