This film is another satirical/spoof comedy by Mel Brooks with one of my favorite actors: Cary Elwes (Princess Bride, Liar Liar). I’m usually not big on just comedy movies, but with Mel Brooks’ films it’s different. For one, I grew up with them. They are like old friends. But also there is the fact that they are downright awesome. I’m left breathless with laughter even while I enjoy a story that still has a lot of heart.
Robin: Men in Tights is the same story that we all know. Robin is captured and put in prison during the crusades; when he escapes he returns home to discover things are much changed. Prince John has usurped the throne and has been unfairly taxing the citizens. With the help of his servant, Blinkin, Little John, Will Scarlett and Atchoo (the son of a fellow prisoner he met) Robin Hood starts a war with Prince John and the Sheriff of Rottingham.
One of my favorite parts of this is the song that’s sung by Robin’s merry men, “We’re men in tights”. The musical quality to this movie only adds to the smart humor that subtly and not so subtly mocks adventure and romance dramas. It’s hard to describe the cinematic genius of Brooks, but there is just something about his films that make him stand out against the rest. Whether it’s the fourth wall breaks, the spot-on humor, the spit-fire dialogue or the exemplary story line, Brooks has a style that withstands the test of time and I can’t help but to love every film I’ve seen.
You can’t get much better than the satirical genius of Mel Brooks. Despite the obvious comedy and goofiness the film holds a level of cinema that’s seen only in a classic film. For those who aren’t familiar with Brooks he’s a forefront leader in comedic satires; the reason is that he doesn’t abandon the things that make film great just for the sake of a good joke. The actors, dialogue, story and film sets are of a high caliber that allows the audience to thoroughly enjoy his films.
Spaceballs is an obvious spoof of Star Wars and other popular space adventures of the 80s and before. In the film the enemy world of Spaceballs is running out of fresh air and so they plan to steal it from their neighboring planet of Vespa. Dark Helmet plans to steal their Princess to ransom her for the air. The King of Vespa desperate to get his daughter back asks Captain Lone Star for help.
Obviously the plot is quite silly, but it’s done with class. It’s a movie that’s still thoroughly enjoyable to watch without chronic eye-rolling. The actors are good enough that despite even some of the scenes that could level on ridiculous they bring it back strong with great acting. Those scenes go from ridiculous to some of the most repeatable dialogue scenes in geek conversations.
Nostalgia is what I feel when I see movies like this. I watched cult classics like this all the time when I was younger with my family and even today I still appreciate the oddness of this film. This movie isn’t necessarily a spoof in the strictness of the word, but it certainly isn’t a serious horror/thriller film.
Army of Darkness is the third installment of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films that were more or less successful, but nevertheless found a strong following as years went by. This film follows Ash, a man who in the Evil Dead awoke evil spirits from the Book of the Dead, lost his girlfriend to the darkness and had to cut off his own hand to save himself from succumbing to the evil. At the end of the Evil Dead 2 he is thrown into a mysterious portal; at the start of this film he finds himself in Medieval Times where the locals are threatened by the same evil as he was.
Now, this movie needs to be taken as its own genre. It’s a sort of Mel Brooke-like film with cheesy, smarmy dialogue and a melodramatic story-line, but it’s those very things that make the film so great. The acting by the awesome Bruce Campbell brings the film a true epic hero feel and even though some of the dialogue or scenes cause reflexive eye-rolls and bemused chuckles it still feels like a real film that has withstood the years and created a strong fan following.
If you decide to watch this film either out of curiosity or a prelude to the new Starz show “Ash vs. the Evil Dead” (which is set after the Army of Darkness) then I suggest going in with an open-mind and a sense of humor; you’ll enjoy it a lot more that way. Might I also mention that Ash uses a chain-saw for his missing hand and a cut off shot gun strapped to his back? You can’t get much cooler than that.