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Deal: ‘The Mel Brooks Collection’ DVD and Blu-ray
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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The Mel Brooks Collection Blu-ray

The Gold Box spotlight deal of the day over at Amazon today is The Mel Brooks Collection Blu-ray box set for only $22.99 (that’s 67% off the list price of $69.99).

This 9-disc Blu-ray box set comes with 9 Mel Brooks comedies: Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, History Of The World Part 1, Robin Hood Men In Tights, Silent Movie, To Be Or Not To Be, Twelve Chairs.

The DVD version, which comes with all the aforementioned films except Spaceballs, is also on sale today for the discount price of $19.99 (that’s 67% off the list price of $59.98).

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Blu-ray Deal: The Mel Brooks Collection
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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The Mel Brooks Collection Blu-ray

The Gold Box spotlight deal of the day over at Amazon today is The Mel Brooks Collection on Blu-ray for only $25.99 (that’s 68% off the list price of $79.98).

This 9-disc Blu-ray box set comes with 9 Mel Brooks comedies: Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, History Of The World Part 1, Robin Hood Men In Tights, Silent Movie, To Be Or Not To Be, Twelve Chairs.

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31 Days of Horror: Rocky Horror Picture Show / Young Frankenstein
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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31 Days of Horror Banner

Hello Geeks and Ghouls, Famous Monster here. Well, it’s finally October and you know what that means? Breast Cancer Awareness 5Ks? Good guess. Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Delicious, but no. Halloween? YES. Horror movies? DOUBLE YES!

Welcome to 31 Days of Horror, where I’ll cover at least two noteworthy horror films a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 62+ scary movies perfect for a cold, dark October night. Be sure to visit Geeks of Doom every day this month for a double-shot of chills and thrills!

Today’s double-shot features a couple of comical send-ups to the horror genre with Jim Sharman‘s 1975 cult musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Mel Brooks‘ 1974 classic, Young Frankenstein. Two doctors who would love nothing more than to make you a man…

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China Is Now Selling Cans Of Air … Just As ‘Spaceballs’ Predicted
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Spaceballs Canned Air Image

It was nothing but a funny joke back in the 1987 Mel Brooks classic Star Wars parody, Spaceballs—cans of clean, fresh air to be inhaled through the nostrils by residents of Spaceballs, who have very little good air remaining, until they can steal all of the air of the planet Druidia for themselves—but now it has somehow found a way to become a reality, as so many things from movies tend to do.

Beginning yesterday, Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao launched his new product, cans of air called “Good Person Chen Guangbiao” (seriously), with photographic instructions on how to use them. We get the feeling was inspired by something else. You can see the images below.

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Blu-ray Deal: The Mel Brooks Collection
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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The Mel Brooks Collection Blu-ray

The Gold Box spotlight deal of the day over at Amazon today is The Mel Brooks Collection on Blu-ray for only $28.99 (that’s 64% off the list price of $79.98).

This 9-disc Blu-ray box set comes with 9 Mel Brooks comedies: Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, History Of The World Part 1, Robin Hood Men In Tights, Silent Movie, To Be Or Not To Be, Twelve Chairs.

...continue reading »
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Deal: The Mel Brooks Collection Blu-ray
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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The Mel Brooks Collection Blu-ray

The Gold Box spotlight deal of the day over at Amazon today is The Mel Brooks Collection on Blu-ray for only $42.99 (that’s 57% off the list price of $99.99).

This 9-disc Blu-ray box set comes with 9 Mel Brooks comedies: Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, History Of The World Part 1, Robin Hood Men In Tights, Silent Movie, To Be Or Not To Be, Twelve Chairs.

Note, this deal is valid only for today, Wednesday, October 5, 2011, til 11:59pm PST while supplies last.

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Deal: ‘Get Smart – The Complete Series’ DVD Set For $68
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Get SmartSince this is one of my favorite TV shows of all time, I am so excited to report that today’s Amazon Gold Box spotlight deal of the day is Get Smart – The Complete Series Gift Set for $67.99 (down 66% from the original price of $199.95).

This is the massive 5-volume collection with all 138 original episodes of the Mel Brooks/Buck Henry-created 1960s TV spy comedy, which starred Don Adams as the bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart and Barbara Feldon as his beautiful, more capable partner Agent 99. The episodes have been digitally restored and remastered and there’s over nine hours of rare footage and bonus features — including episode intros by Feldon and selected-episode commentary by the show’s cast and crew — in this 25-DVD box set, which is housed in a cute little box that opens up like the payphone from the show’s opening credits.

For a detailed rundown of all of this DVD set’s bonus features, along with some video, see the review of this boxed set last February.

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DVD Review: ‘Get Smart’ The Complete Collection
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Get SmartGet Smart
The Complete Collection
5-Volume, 25-disc DVD Set
Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry
Starring Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, Edward Platt
HBO Video/Time Life
On sale Nov. 2007

This massive 5-volume collection, available now from Time Life, includes all 138 original episodes of the 1960s TV sitcom created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, plus over nine hours of rare footage and bonus features, all in this 25-DVD box set. I’ve been spending the better part of the last few weeks plowing through each episode of the show (… and loving it), which starred Don Adams as secret agent Maxwell Smart (aka Agent 86) and Barbara Feldon as his beautiful, capable partner Agent 99.

PlayPlay
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Hitler in Hollywood
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T.E. Pouncey   |  
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Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator

If you thought Hitler was funny on the TV sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, you should see his movies.

Believe it or don’t — Hitler was played for laughs in several American movies just before World War II. Before the horrors of the holocaust and other Nazi atrocities were discovered, Hitler was often portrayed by Hollywood as a clown. And it all started with Charlie Chaplin.

Chaplin wrote, directed, and starred in the classic anti-war comedy The Great Dictator in 1940. The title dictator was named Adenoid Hynkel, tyrant of Tomania — but everyone could see it was supposed to be Hitler. In the film, Chaplin depicts Nazi politics as laughable and Hitler as arrogant, stupid, and crazy.

So for the next several years, even after World War II erupted, Hitler was always portrayed as a joke. For example, in the short comedy film The Devil With Hitler (1942), the Board of Directors in hell threaten to replace the Devil with Adolph Hitler, unless the Devil can trick Hitler into performing a good deed. Hitler is played by actor Bobby Watson as a moron who brags about his skills as a two-handed house painter.

Apparently this little movie (it was only 44 minutes long) was popular enough for a sequel. In That Nazty Nuisance (1943) again Bobby Watson played Der Fuhrer. This time Hitler, Mussolini, and a Japanese madman named Suki Yaki (perhaps Hollywood was unaware of Hirohito), journey to a tiny island for a secret meeting. Their conference is ruined by a shipwrecked American sailor and a pretty island girl. The humor is the kind of broad burlesque that men today wouldn’t watch because it’s too corny and predictable and women today wouldn’t watch because it’s too much like The Three Stooges.

Better (or at least not as silly) was Hitler Dead Or Alive (1942). Bobby Watson played Hitler (imagine making a career out of playing Hitler for laughs), who was targeted for assassination by American gangsters. The plot centered on a rich American who offered a million-dollar bounty on Hitler. Three American crooks (Ward Bond, Paul Fix, and Warren Hymer) muscle their way into Germany to collect the reward. Viewing the assassination of Hitler as just another hit on another mob boss, the trio joins the Canadian Air Force, hijacks a plane, and heads into the Fatherland for a confrontation. It’s explained that the crooks speak fluent German because they had a bootleg beer racket during prohibition in Wisconsin. They are captured by the Gestapo and escape a prison camp with help from the anti-Nazi underground. They finally capture Hitler, and then shave his mustache and cut his hair. When the Nazi’s catch up with them, they don’t believe this “inferior specimen” is their beloved Fuhrer and he’s shot. The film concludes with the idea that even if Hitler was killed the German military would simply find someone to impersonate him to keep the Nazi ideal alive. The crooks realize that Hitler is just a symbol, and (sadly) Nazism would continue to thrive without him.

Then there was The Strange Death Of Adolf Hitler (1943), which stole bits of plot directly from The Great Dictator. This time Ludwig Donath plays an actor who is given plastic surgery by the Gestapo to look like Hitler. Why? Because they want to install their own Hitler so they can control him. However, the actor is anti-Nazi and tricks the Gestapo — only to be killed by his own wife who thinks he really is Hitler.

Hitlerwood
If Germany won the war?

1963’s They Saved Hitler’s Brain (also known as The Madman Of Mondoras and The Return Of Mr. H) is another Hitler movie of note. Many sources list this odd film as a comedy, considering it funny the way Plan 9 From Outer Space was funny — the so-bad-it’s-good comedy. Trust me, it isn’t. It’s a really, really boring story that was actually an uncompleted 1950s movie with added footage. Hitler’s head (in what appears to be a pickle jar) barks orders to dimwitted henchmen.

Now many of you are probably saying: “Hold up there, Mr. Pouncey! Aren’t you forgetting about the numerous times Mel Brooks has played Hitler for laughs?

No, I’m not.

The first time Brooks successfully used Nazis for laughs was in the original version of The Producers (1968). However, this movie featured a bad (and, it was implied, stoned) actor called LSD doing a bad impersonation of Hitler. Although Hitler and Nazism are essential to the plot, Hitler-as-a-real-person isn’t there. I enjoyed this film (and the movie version of the stage play released in 2005), but it’s really a satire on Broadway, with Nazi’s and Hitler as a subplot.

Brooks also gave us To Be Or Not To Be (1985), a remake of a much funnier movie (directed by Ernst Lubitsch in 1942 and starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard). Hitler actually does have a cameo in this movie (he’s played by Roy Goldman), and although Nazism is addressed more directly than The Producers, Hitler and his boys aren’t the stars — they’re just bit players.

Now, what are we to make of all this? Is the best way to defeat evil by making fun of it until no one takes it seriously? Or, by trivializing evil as stupidity, do you simply help mask its true nature? Don’t ask me — I’m just a guy who’s seen far too many movies.

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