“I see your Schwartz is as big as mine!” One of Mel Brooks‘ better efforts if only for the sheer amount of one-after-the-other gags, Spaceballs spoofs Star Wars and whatever the hell else Brooks felt like making fun of on any particular shooting day. The plot (or whatever) has Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga, an underrated ’80s beauty who just kind of disappeared) being kidnapped by the villainous Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis, the film’s ace in the hole) as he plans to steal her planet’s entire atmosphere; this prompts space bum Lone Starr (Bill Pullman, a good nine years before he became one of the most inspiring Hollywood Presidents in another sci-fi film) and his “Mawg” (half-man, half-dog) sidekick, Barf (John Candy) to fly to the rescue. This is the kind of movie where radars are jammed by throwing actual jam at them, Brooks himself offers wisdom and training as “Yogurt” and Dom DeLuise makes a cameo as a slobbering, cackling, dripping pile of cheese and pepperoni called — you guessed it — Pizza the Hutt. No, Mel Brooks is not a subtle man, but he can be a funny one, and Spaceballs, almost in spite of itself, is funny more often than not. Our favorite gag is one of the more “clever” ones — Dark Helmet snaps down his faceplate and exclaims “Lone Starr!” in his super-villainous tone as the camera dramatically dollies in for a close-up — only to hit him in the face, causing him to topple over.
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