Spaceballs at 30. Still a Scream.


John Alvin’s great theatrical release poster

I was a late comer to the Star Wars franchise. Those first three films were the only ones I needed to see. Everything else that has come after it has been total garbage not worth watching. The celebrated franchise still maintains a large fan base and deservedly so. Between merchandise and novels, it is sure to last generations. It is timeless.

Timeless can also be used to describe the brilliant parody that is Space Balls. Sure it has moments that are just outrageously insane and silly. It’s a parody. It’s comedy. It is supposed to be that way. It remains timeless because many people still think of Spaceballs when Star Wars is even mentioned. While the film does take shots at other sci-fi franchises, the film’s funny focus is clearly based on a majority of Star Wars lore.

The movie gets at least two watches per year in my home. One time I will watch it right through and the other will be with Mel Brooks audio commentary on. It’s so great to hear Mel tell stories of things that went on behind the scenes. The comedy legend is a gifted talent that has delighted generations of people. Those who are fans of Brooks are happy to be part of that audience.

Spaceballs did not receive as much critical reception as it deserves compared to other spoof films of the last thirty years. Some may think the humour is a bit dated and may have been dated when it was released. Even so it brilliantly captures the real spirit of where this kind of comedy was going at the time. Brooks continued to push the envelope and write things that many would have considered outrageous. People laughed, and laughed hard.

Spaceballs remains a cult classic film thirty years on. With its’ close parody of the popular Star Wars Trilogy, it is sure to remain a cult classic thirty years down the road and beyond.




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