The cast and crew of Spaceballs looks back at the making of the movie in this documentary produced for the special features on Spaceballs: The Special Edition DVD.
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The cast and crew of Spaceballs looks back at the making of the movie in this documentary produced for the special features on Spaceballs: The Special Edition DVD.

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5 May 2005 (USA)  »

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Avaruusboltsit: Dokumentti  »

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Spaceballs the documentary: the review
30 July 2007 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

You've used up Spaceballs the Toileg paper. Ate Spaceballs the cereal. Worn Spaceballs the T-shirt while reading Spaceballs: The Book. Carried Spaceballs the lunch-box. Stayed within the lines in Spaceballs: the coloring-book. Pasted Spaceballs the poster-magazine up on your wall. Listened to Spaceballs the soundtrack. Collected Spaceballs the collectible plates. Slept under Spaceballs the sheet and played with Spaceballs the (Yogurt) doll. Now, at last, here is Spaceballs the documentary.

The people at Wholy Cow got together as many people involved with the production as they could muster (sadly, no Rick Moranis), placed them in front of a blue screen and some vaguely Spaceball inspired pieces of set dressing and went to work. The entire 30 minute production is accompanied by some very laid back and not very Spaceball like guitar music (by the likes of Extreme Music, Master Source, Megatrax, and Opus 1) and all their backgrounds are made up off swirly planets on an extremely crowded map of stars that reminds me more of "Third Rock from the Sun" than Spaceballs.

Rather than using a narrator, there is the customary scroll at the start of the show and a lot of superimposed titles conveying both information and the questions asked. To add a bit of gravity, the documentary is split up into several sub sections, more commonly known as DVD chapters, and each has a title such as 'The Mission', 'The Team', 'Liftoff!', 'Ground control to mayor Mel' and even 'To infinity and beyond...'. Mel Brooks is his usual spirited self, Bill Pullman and Daphne Zuniga still look almost exactly the same, Dick van Patten is still bald, Joan Rivers doesn't have much to say (for once) because, like James Earl Jones on Star Wars, she only did one day of dubbing on the film, George Wyner is forever a second banana (and great at it) and JM J. Bullock, who made a brief appearance as Prince Valium, is out of this world gay.

All of the above get to recount how they got involved in the picture, what filming was like and how Mel treated them on set, and come up with some interesting anecdotes. George Wyner explains that the making of the film probably generated even more laughs than the finished product. There is also a separate little documentary on the DVD set in which the entire company pays tribute to John Candy. The behind the scenes department is represented by visual effects supervisor Peter Donen, director of photography Nick McLean and make up artist Ben Nye Jr. make up and Mel's old pal Rudy De Luca pops up for a late appearance and to reminisce about Piza the Hutt catching fire.

Personally I prefer these kinds of documentaries as DVD extra's, where the people involved get the chance to look back on a (usually) pleasant experience in their past, instead of trying to plug and sell their latest work. Spaceballs is even called a Mel Brooks classic at the end of the documentary, a statement with which many serious critics might disagree, though the Star Wars generation and anyone who came after that certainly seems to have embraced the film. Mel even concludes in saying that his most popular films in rentals are Robin Hood, men in tights and this one.

8 out of 10 Ping Pongs.


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