SPACEBALLS 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Review

Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time, so it only makes sense that Spaceballs is equally awesome. A 25th Anniversary of the Mel Brooks sci-fi parody extravaganza has been released on Blu-ray. I remember seeing this movie when I was young, when I did not fully get all of the mature themes and jokes. Having watched it as an adult, I have a new found respect for the film.

Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Joan Rivers, Daphne Zuniga, and John Hurt star in this hilarious spoof.  This cast is really solid, my personal favorites are Candy and Moranis. They have such a wonderful facial expressions and comedic timing. A Mel Brooks movie without Mel Brooks is just wrong. Thankfully he is in Spaceballs, but I think this is one of his worst roles from all of his films. 

Just like most parody films, Spaceballs does not just lampoon Star Wars, but sends up other films from the 70s and '80s like Star Trek and The Planet of the Apes series. The story follows Han-Solo/Indiana Jones wannabe, Lone Starr (Pullman) and his Chewbacca-like sidekick Barf (Candy) that is part dog, part man. The team of misfits is on a mission to  rescue Druish princess (Zuniga) from the grasp of Lord Dark Helmet (Moranis) so that they can pay back their debt to Pizza the Hut. Brooks stars in the film as Yogurt in a silly costume and horrible green screen. Rivers is pretty funny and memorable as the voice of the Princesses' trusty droid Dot Matrix.

Parody movies are not even in the same league as they were during the heyday of Mel Brooks. Movies like Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety are why I consider Brooks to be the king of parody movies.  It is not possible to put films like Scary Movie, Disaster Movie, Epic Movie, and/or Meet the Spartans in the same category.

Spaceballs has a nice mix of low brow humor that we have come to love from Brooks, but also has some high brow humor thrown in for good measure. As a kid I remember seeing the bubbling cheese and pepperoni of Pizza the Hut and not only laughing hysterically, but making me hungry. The ridiculously large helmet of Lord Dark Helmet and any mention of the Schwarz has me laughing hysterically to this day.

If you are a fan of Mel Brooks, then Spaceballs Blu-ray is for you. The special features are not outstanding, but they are definitely better than some other anniversary editions I have seen released lately. The only drawback to these features is that the majority are only in Standard Definition and not HD.
Here is a description of the special features included on the disc:
  • Audio Commentary - Mel Brooks may point out some of the jokes that are fairly obvious, but he also talks about what went into making the film, how he writes films, casting and more.  
  • Spaceballs: The Documentary (SD, 30 min) - This is a fairly standard documentary, but it is always cool to see the cast and crew talking about what it was like to work on the film. 
  • In Conversation: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan (SD, 20 min) - This rapid discussion by Brooks and Meehan give fans a look into their inspirations for the writing and filming of the movie. This is one of the best features on the disc. 
  • John Candy: Comic Spirit (SD, 10 min) - John Candy's comic legacy is still important, and is wonderful in this film. This is a cool hat tip to Candy's body of work and on this film. 
  • Ludicrous Speed (HD, 1 min) - Instead of Light Speed, Spacballs is known for Ludicrous Speed. This feature allows you to watch the movie extremely fast, and is pretty funny. 
  • Photo Galleries 
  • Trailers (SD, 4 min) - Trailers are always cool to watch after seeing a movie like this. I love going through the special features immediately after watching a movie. 
  • Film Flubs (SD) - This is a cool feature, but I wish it came with the option to "Play All" to make viewing easier.
  • Joke Tracks (HD) - This is a fun little feature, which is not common on many discs that I own at least. 
  • DVD (SD) 
I am pretty impressed with the overall quality of the presentation. The picture is a lot crisper than I recall seeing it on HBO or VHS. There are some instances of poor lighting, but that is to be expected from an older film. 
Spaceballs is on shelves now, and is a must-own for science fiction and comedy fans alike. If you have never seen Blazing Saddles or High Anxiety, I highly recommend you check those gems out as well. 


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