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Entries in Spaceballs (1)

Friday
Aug102012

Spaceballs now out on Blu-Ray

Movieline notes the release of Spaceballs on Blu-Ray:

A large part of  the movie's giddy appeal is its game cast, led by SCTV Jedi the late John Candy and Rick Moranis.  Candy plays the Wookiee-like Barf and Moranis is particularly hilarious as the clutzy, over-compensating Darth Vader spoof, Dark Helmet — a puny man topped by enormous circumcised headgear.

As ringmaster of this circus, Brooks (who also appears in the movie as both President Skroob and  Yogurt)  is at a point in his career where he's starting to toss things against the wall out of sheer desperation. And because he's working with talented comedians and co-writers, most of what he throws sticks. The move is a collection of blisteringly strange and funny sketches, such as the one where Helmet fantasizes about seducing Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) while playing with a set of action figures that includes an even tinier facsimile of himself and the Druish princess.

Brooks' wise-ass, Brecht-by-way-of-Vaudeville sensibility is at the core of the movie's cantankerous, Yiddish sensibility, and though some of the yucks feel a tad musty, the movie is never tedious. Riffs on cash-in sequels, "Moichandizing" and "turning off the movie" demonstrate that, at that point in his career, Brooks' cultural comedy mojo was still working.

Indeed, Spaceballs doesn't just hold up as a laugh riot. It's still highly quotable right down to the characters' names. (Yogurt! Pizza The Hutt!).  "May the Schwartz be with you" still provokes laughter after all these years,  as does Barf's "Funny, she doesn't look Druish"
comment about Princess Vespa.  And when the Spaceballs and Dark Helmet land on the Planet of the Apes, one of its denizens grouses; "Oh shit, there goes the planet."

The Star Wars saga on Blu-Ray didn't persuade me to go buy one of those machines--my current DVD player collects dust just fine. But maybe this new Spaceballs will.

Movieline: Spaceballs On Blu-Ray: 25 Years Later, The Schwartz Is Still Strong In Mel Brooks' Star Wars Spoof