Mel Brooks admitted in a recent interview that the arrival of Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker with Airplane (1980) pretty much blew him off the map as far as spoofs were concerned. His output dropped off a comedic cliff after the new guys arrived, with the genius behind The Producers and Blazing Saddles farting out stinkers like Spaceballs (1987), Life Stinks and Dracula: Dead And Loving It. But Young Frankenstein is a perfect example of early Brooks firing on all comic cylinders, and what it demonstrates is that for spoof to work, the spoofers must have deep affection for the material out of which they are wringing the wee.
Young Frankenstein is a marvellously crafted, beautifully shot comedic homage to James Whale’s 1931 classic, with the sheer craft of the production and performances contrasting brilliantly with the low-down and dirty obviousness of many of the gags (screenwriter Wilder even exhumes the “walk this way” joke). And with the genre throwing up criminally careless caca like Scary Movie these days, this is a reminder of a brief Golden age.
A perfect example of early Brooks firing on all spoofily comedic cylinders