I’ve talked a lot over the years about books and movies. There is a large amount of cross-over, books that have been made into movies and movies that have been made into books. I’ve written much about books made into movies over the five years I’ve been blogging but not much on the second category.
In the main the movies that have been turned into books have been to try and cash in on the hype, to try and make more money. The companies seem to have seen there is a cash cow and wanted in on that. If you look at Star Wars for instance you’ll find many, many books have been written (and lots of other merchandise created) some to detail what’s already been filmed and others to expand the universe. I could mention other series or movies that have done the same: Buffy; Star Trek; Doctor Who; Finding Nemo; Big Hero 6 (in fact, many of the Disney movies) and; the lots, lots more (meaning I can’t be bothered finding any more for you).
There is one exception I have in mind and that’s Spaceballs by Mel Brooks. Brooks is a once in a lifetime person, like the late, great Robin Williams. His works are hilarious and there is always a message in there somewhere…generally he’s making fun of the genre he’s portraying. He and Buck Henry are an awesome team, if you’re wondering who Buck Henry is then you need to watch the credits for Get Smart and Captain Nice and then wonder about the similarity of the two series. Get Smart is one of those brilliant spoofs that we keep watching forever and ever, there are catch phrases which have made it into popular conversation ‘missed me by that much’ or ‘I asked you not to tell me that’. Brooks helps to bring yiddish into common domain by using yiddish words within his movies, not talking down to the viewer with them but in most instances expecting the context to explain the words. The exception to this is in Blazing Saddles when the Native American (played by Brooks) yells out something in Yiddish, I have no idea what it is but I’ve seen teenage Jewish boys convulse with laughter at this scene.
Going back to Spaceballs. It lampoons many space movies such as Star Wars and Planet of the Apes and it does a brilliant job. There’s one scene where Brooks opens a cupboard and displays the merchandise not available for sale, he was told he could do the movie so long as he didn’t do any merchandise with it so he lampooned that agreement by putting it in the movie.
And it appears it may be possible to buy the DVD of Spaceballs with Angus & Robertson. It’s worth it. If you have teenage boys it’s definitely worth it or anyone who likes humour and plays on words. Brooks is like me, he plays with words that fact that he’s ever so much better at it than me is telling.
Edit: Seeing this is part of a Blog Hop I should probably link back to the originating blog so you can see all of our thoughts.