I’ve loved Mel Brooks and his comedic talents all my life, and Spaceballs is still my absolute favorite Mel Brooks film. Although, I did watch The Producers recently. I still laugh when I think of Gene Wilder proclaiming, “I’m in pain and I’m wet and I’m still hysterical!”
Perhaps we’ll discuss The Producers another time, because for this edition of “Today’s Character Lurk”, we’re looking at Colonel Sandurz and his relationship with Dark Helmet. While I consider fellow Canadian Rick Moranis to be a national treasure, George Wyner more than holds his own, with Sandurz as the Harvey Korman straight man to Dark Helmet’s manic Tim Conway.
Dark Helmet and Lone Starr draw much of the attention throughout the film; from comparing the size of each other’s Schwartz, to Lone Starr daring to raspberry Dark Helmet. Meanwhile Sandurz stands by, loyal and resolute in helping to capture Princess Vespa, despite Dark Helmet’s blunders along the way. As loyal as Sandurz is; and while he may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer himself you have to think that deep down, despite his allegiance to the man, he has to consider Dark Helmet to be a complete and utter shithead.
Nothing can exemplify this more than when Dark Helmet insists they ratchet Spaceball One up to Ludicrous Speed to catch our heroes. Sandurz knows this is the absolute dirt worst idea. But no matter how much he tries to convince Dark Helmet otherwise, being called chicken with a last name like Sandurz well, every man has got to know his limitations.
The cracking in his voice when he gives the command shows his loyalty but also his fear that this is going to go horribly wrong. While Sandurz may be loyal to Dark Helmet’s cause, he’s no dummy, strapping himself in preparing for the fuck storm about to barrel around the corner. While Dark Helmet would never admit it (as his brains are going into his feet), he knows that Sandurz knows that he knows he should’ve listened to his second in command.
Evil will always win, because good is dumb, but evil isn’t all that bright either. Sandurz shows his concern for his beleaguered and disheveled leader, but behind those eyes he knows deep down he should be the one leading the Spaceballs on their crusade to rob Druidia of its air supply, instead of being a mere witness to everything going to plaid.
And no sir, he didn’t see you playing with your dolls again!
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