Spaceballs: Spoof Edition

Starring: Bill Pullman, John Candy, Daphne Zuniga, Rick Moranis and Mel Brooks
RRP: 15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 09 May 2005

King Roland of Druidia is desperately trying to get his daughter, Princess Vespa, wedded to the last prince in the universe, Prince Valium, but it is not to be. She leaves him literally at the alter and is rescued by Lone Starr and his side kick Barf. Together they must stop The Spaceballs, under the command of President Skroob and Dark Helmet, from stealing Druidia's air. With the aid of Yogurt, master of the Swartz, they battle the forces of darkness that is Spaceballs...

Ok first up, for those of you not in the know, Spaceballs is a 90 per cent parody of Star Wars. So anyone who has seen Star Wars (that would be pretty much everybody) will already know much of the story. I have to honest here and say that for the most part I didn't find Spaceballs funny. But, having said that, it's the type of film, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, that will either leave you as a rabid anorak fan of the film or just a little cold.

The best bits of the film are the Alien and Planet of the Apes parodies but these are little more than skits tacked onto the end of the film. Individually the actors do their best with what can only be described as a crude script which is not up there with the best of Mel Brooks's output.

The main disc comes with two commentary tracks; the first with Mel Brooks, which is a personal and informative look at the film. The second is something else altogether as it is provided by the Dink, who literally just say 'Dink' all the way through, funny at first but you'd have to be on a particularly drunk Friday night to watch the film all the way through this way.

The second disc is where most of the extras are hidden. As well as the usual trailers and photo galleries, this also contains a Spaceballs trivia quiz, which is good for five minuets. Space Quotes, which is little more than extracts from the film, a little redundant if you've already seen the film, and Spaceballs-up which contains all the mistakes in the film which were kept in, after being missed by continuity. These are mildly amusing and well worth a single watch.

The main bulk of the extras are in the form of short featurettes and documentaries, of which there are four. The first, Spaceballs the Documentary, which if nothing else explains why George Lucas didn't sue the pants off this film, is fairly informative but leans a little too much towards the self congratulatory. John Candy: Comic Spirit is a look at the career of John Candy, which splices together older documentary footage with new footage to make it relevant to Spaceballs. In Conversation with Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan is a far more interesting vignette, which details the process of bringing the film from first concept to the screen. Lastly there is the ubiquitous storyboard to film feature which is less interesting than it should be as the storyboards themselves are very crude and give little insight to either the process of storyboarding or the final film.

The main disc comes with the usual choice or languages but little in the way of audio output options. The print is clear, as one would expect from a movie from a major studio.

So should you buy it? It's a difficult one to answer, your either going to think this is one of the funniest films you've ever saw or sit bemused at your friends reactions. Buy it, try it, you might just like it.

(Depending on whether you are a fan of the original movie or not)

Charles Packer

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