As insane of a concept as this might seem, there was a point in recent motion picture history in which the brainstorm for films was actually original stories for the most part. Unlike the world we live in now, where nine out of ten films released are adaptations, remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, sequels, prequels or sequel prequels (actually…I wouldn’t be surprised if it was possibly even a higher average than ninety percent).
Similarly, I also remember a movie-going world in which there wasn’t a comic book related movie released on a weekly basis. No! It’s true! There was a time in the life of a young comic book geek, when the concept of watching a low budget TV movie titled ‘The Incredible Hulk Returns’ actually made for greatly anticipated appointment television.
Early on in this trend was ‘The Addams Family’ (starring Angelica Houston, Christopher Llyod, a young Christina Ricci, and the late great Raul Julia). A film which proves that unoriginality isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it successfully combines the genres of remake and comic adaptation (coming on the heels of Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ …another franchise that existed as a comic and a TV series first). Based off of Charles Addams macabre one panel comic series that appeared in ‘The New Yorker’ for an astoundingly lengthy run of years: 1938 – 1988 (the year of Mr. Addams death). And also remembered as a TV series, which only lasted two seasons, but lived on through re-runs.
The film is noteworthy for jump-starting the directorial career of Barry Sonnenfeld, who had served as cinematographer on such modern day classics as ‘Blood Simple’, ‘Raising Arizona’ and ‘Misery’. He went onto direct ‘Get Shorty’, ‘Men in Black’, and he produced (and directed an episode of) the incredible and sadly short lived ‘Tick’ live action series.
In connection to the aforementioned Tim Burton, this nineties version of the characters was co-written by Caroline Thompson, who worked with Burton on ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and ‘The Corpse Bride’.
‘The Addams Family’ matinee double bill, the perfect way to spend an afternoon during this Halloween time of year, will be presented at 3pm on the weekend of October 17th and 18th.