Call them "cult classics." "Guilty pleasures." "Comfort movies." We all have a mental rolodex of flicks that may not be terribly popular but, for one reason or another, they resonate in a very special way. Maybe you saw it at the right moment. Maybe you just see gold where everyone else sees feces. Whatever the case, these are the special favorites that you keep stashed away for sick days. Here are some of ours.
With the last name of Schwartz, it's no doubt that my Sick Day Stash preference happens to be "Spaceballs." After having "May the Schwartz be with you!" screamed at me by seven year olds on my school bus for weeks on end, I knew it was time to send my mother to the video store and get my first taste of Mel Brooks. And yes, I was young enough to still be single digits in the 90s. Don't hate.
Needless to say, a youthful love for science fiction spawned a deep appreciation for "Spaceballs" that has only strengthened as the years passed on. Sure you can say you adore "Blazing Saddles" or "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" best, but I'm telling you: it doesn't get better than Dark Helmet and Yogurt. I'm still waiting for "Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money," and wishing Spaceballs: The Breakfast Cereal (or Flamethrower) really existed.
The plot of "Spaceballs" is really insignificant; what's important is the breadth and scope of the film's mockery and spoofage. In a movie era saturated with "Scary Movie" spin-offs, "Spaceballs" is pure gold.
Whether it's going to plaid ("Star Wars") or some talking apes stating, "Oh s--t. There goes the planet" when they find a remnant of a Spaceballs ship that happens to look like the Statue of Liberty ("Planet of the Apes"), or even a dancing, chest-bursting alien singing "Hello, My Baby" ("Alien"), "Spaceballs" has got it all. Somehow Mel Brooks knew Sylvester Stallone would never give up when he referenced "Rocky Five… Thousand" in the film.
And then there's the fact that every time I watch "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," I can always hear Barf mutter, "Nice dissolve." Despite its brilliant mockery of George Lucas, the film somehow managed to get the "Star Wars" creator's approval. Mel Brooks really is that good.
Then there's the fact "Spaceballs" introduced the world to Bill Pullman. Bill freakin' Pullman. You know, the guy who made it cool to refer to the Fourth of July as Independence Day. Sure, John Candy, Rick Moranis and Joan Rivers were thrown into the mix as well, but if it weren't for Bill Pullman, could Earth really have beaten the invading aliens? ...Okay, I'll stop confusing sick day stashes now.
Really, what makes "Spaceballs" such an important movie for everyone to see is that it's made lines like "She's gone from suck to blow!" completely acceptable in today's society. And there's really nothing more you can ask for from a film than that.