Release Date: June 24, 1987 | DVD Release Date: April 28, 2015
In Spaceballs (1987), President Skroob (Mel Brooks) of Planet Spaceballs sends Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to kidnap Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) of Plant Druidia in order to blackmail her father (Dick Van Patten). A wrench is thrown in the works when Dark Helmet arrives to find that Vespa has fled on the eve of her wedding with her android friend, Dot Matrix (voiced by Joan Rivers).
If you have never heard of Mel Brooks, stop reading this review immediately and give his IMDb a look. He is a brilliant comedian. The classic films Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and Robin Hood, Men in Tights are among his best works. Chief in Brooks’ filmography has to be the 1987 science fiction classic, Spaceballs. Overtly spoofing Star Wars, Brooks also takes shots at Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and Alien. Bill Pullman playing Captain Lone Starr (with his mog — half man, half dog — sidekick Barf, played by John Candy) is hired by King Roland to bring Vespa home. Lone Starr, a mercenary, agrees as he owes a huge debt to Pizza the Hutt (played brilliantly by the late Dom Deluise).
I first saw this film as a teen and the initial raunchiness of the script delighted me. I was at an age, having been very sheltered in a religion where movies, television, music etc. were prohibited and suddenly I’m watching this movie imbued with clever innuendo. At that point, I’d never seen any of the movies that Spaceballs parodies before that first viewing and even now that I have, the impact of the film is that it’s simply more clever than I could have imagined. From Vespa’s functional hair buns to a wise man, Yogurt who introduces Lone Starr to “the Schwartz,” each step is brilliant humor unafraid of its naysayers.
Along with the wonderful script comes the perfect cast. Joan Rivers is both herself and well suited to the role of Dox Matrix, the sassy “bot of honor” that helps Vespa run from her wedding to Prince Valium. Rick Moranis gives Dark Helmet that nerdy charm for which he’s best known while putting the perfect spin on his obvious model. The casting is pure genius, the comedy is pure genius and while it might not make your mother laugh, if you are into sci-fi pop culture or just like the funny, Spaceballs goes toward the top of the must-see comedy list.
Spaceballs is available as a DVD, Blu-ray and on Amazon Instant Video
|Actors||Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman|
|Length||1 hour and 37 minutes|
|DVD Release||April 28, 2015|