Dracula, Star Wars, Robin Hood, Alfred Hitchcock, Frankenstein… is there any movie that Mel Brooks hasn’t made fun of?
Since his directing career started in 1968, Brooks has consistently come out with hilarious films poking fun at some of the classic films of his lifetime. With his first spoof film, Blazing Saddles (1974), Brooks perfected a genre that had only been dabbled in by other directors. In the film, he pointed fun at racism, sexuality and gender stereotypes in a way that made taboo subjects seem more human. With his next film, Young Frankenstein (1974), Brooks solidified his image of the Spoof King of Comedy and continued fighting for his crown for years to come.
While Brooks continues to have a heavy cult following of people who adore his sense of humor, his popularity with mainstream audiences has been steadily decreasing since he came out with Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). However, this is not due to a lower quality of work on Brooks’ part, but could be influenced by the fact that Brooks has continued to have his unique sense of humor in a world that is ever-changing. Brooks has not changed his style- he continuously makes films that carry the signature traits of his dynamic comedic style which is seen in copycat filmmakers such as the creators of Scary Movie, Epic Movie and the rest of the franchise.
The timing and easy flow of Brooks’ scripts show the mastery that Brooks had of his subject. He was able to dig beneath the surface and create humor about stories that were heavy with sadness and drama. That talent has made him an icon to many people today and surely will lead to a greater appreciation of spoof films in the future.
Filmography (As Director)
(1995) Dracula: Dead and Loving It
(1993) Robin Hood: Men in Tights Script [Transcript]
(1991) Life Stinks Script [Transcript]
(1987) Spaceballs Script [Transcript]
(1981) History of the World: Part I
(1977) High Anxiety Script [Transcript]
(1976) Silent Movie
(1974) Young Frankenstein Script
(1974) Blazing Saddles Script [Subscription Required]
(1970) The Twelve Chairs
(1968) The Producers Script