Movie Review 2007 #92: Spaceballs

An absolutely goofy parody of Star Wars (and a couple of other SF movies), starring Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis, and directed by (and starring) Mel Brooks.


Spaceballs came out in the mid 80’s after the first Star Wars trilogy, and Star Wars is the man target for this parody which, if it doesn’t reach the level of Blazing Saddles, is still amusing years later.
The movie opens with its own screen crawl, a la Star Wars, and its own “long spaceship” shot, with a cherry on the end of it to show that, if you hadn’t guessed from the screen crawl, that this movie was planted firmly tongue in cheek. The plot doesn’t really matter, and is an excuse for visual jokes, bad puns, and the occasional gross humor. There is even a metafictional bit, where the spaceballs watch a videotape of the movie they are in to find where the protagonists are hiding.
Some of the humor will not make much sense to someone not conversant with the era. For example, cameos by the Doublemint gum twins and the guy who was famous for making strange sounds are just not going to be recognized by a twenty year old, today. Joan Rivers, fortunately, has done Shrek 2 recently, and so her character has aged better, even if the pun of her name (Dot Matrix) will mean little today.
Still, since i am familiar with all of the humor, the good, bad and indifferent, while I wouldn’t rate it as high as I would have back then, may the Schwartz be with you.