In 1968 Mel Brooks first took American film comedy by storm with his first heralded masterpiece THE PRODUCERS. That film garnered immense praise and even helped get Brooks an Oscar for his script. In the 70’s Mel Brooks implemented his comedic talents in the mode of filmmaking called parody. At that time parody wasn't anything new, but it also never pushed itself into the popular and mainstream (with the exception of early Abbott and Costello films). Nowadays parody films are produced by the truckloads, mainly because they are almost always guaranteed to turn a profit due to their cheap budgets and target audience of teenagers with too much time and money. The ones making these movies have absolutely no inspiration to the material or respect for the craft that’s needed to make a truly funny praody.
Luckily we’ll always have the films of Brooks. In 1974 both his BLAZING SADDLES and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN were released to unanimous critical and financial success. After this he stayed exclusively in the business of making parody. For the next decade he was still making genuinely funny films like SILENT MOVIE and HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART I, but never really got back to the grand comedic heights of his earlier films for over a decade. It was worth the wait.
In 1987, after a six-year absence from writing and directing, Brooks decided to parody the most successful cinematic trilogy of all-time, STAR WARS. The result was one of the funniest films of its generation. SPACEBALLS was never the gigantic hit that Brooks’ earlier efforts were, but over time the film has amassed a huge and deserved loyal following. It's great cast includes SCTV alums John Candy and Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Joan Rivers, Dom DeLuise, and Brooks himself. And the hilarious script makes it one of the most quotable films of all-time (“I see your Schwartz is as big as mine”).
Now you can go back to a time when film parodies were funny by seeing Brooks’ final masterpiece this week at Slaughter and next week at the Village in a gorgeous new digital format in honor of its 25th anniversary.
Revel in the disgusting, yet appetizing appearance of Pizza the Hut. Cringe as the evil Dark Helmet takes almost as much pleasure in killing as he does in playing with his dolls. See the lovable rogue Lone Star and his mawg sidekick Barf dish out endless one-liners at plaid speed while fighting off enemies with their infamous raspberry jam. Most importantly don’t forget to be like all the cool kids and bring your official Spaceballs merchandise to the screening.
Seriously, though, this is one of the absolute treasures from the original master of parody. Don't miss this chance to see SPACEBALLS it all its ridiculous, side-splitting glory on the big screen! (RJ LaForce)