Release year: 1987
Director: Mel Brooks
Screenwriter: Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, Ronny Graham
Starring: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Bill Pullman, Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow
The evil Lord Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) tries to kidnap Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) to force her father King Roland (Dick Van Patten) to turn over all their air supply. The king hires Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his loyal partner Barf (John Candy) to rescue the Princess.
Mel Brooks’s cult classic is a parody on several popular sci-fi movies, mainly the three first Star Wars movies, staying close to its inspiration. Jabba the Hut is Pizza Hut and Darth Vader is Lord Dark Helmet and so on, making the connection with the famous franchise easy to spot for anyone only slightly familiar with it. Brooks himself takes on two parts, the mean president Skroob and the wise Yogurt teaching the hero about “The Schwartz”. While following a rather classic storyline the movie manage to both break the fourth wall thoroughly, throw in a parody on Alien (1979), and move into areas as ludicrous as the highest speed on Spaceball One. Despite several well-working visual gags, Spaceballs is the kind of movie that is best if you know the movies it is an parody on, making it recommendable mostly for fans of the sci-fi movies victim to the ridiculous, as well as fans of the great director of spoof movies Mel Brooks.
The escape pod launch sequence is a unused clip from Star Wars (1977) that Mel Brooks was allowed by Lucasfilm to use.
Picture copyright: Sony Pictures