Of all the news I've expected to come out of Hollywood, this is definitely one I did not see coming. A big screen adaptation of one of the most iconic and yet bizarre sitcoms of the late Baby Boom era, given the movie treatment by one of the truly demented masters of modern horror and gore.
Count me in. I guess?
I mean, there's a lot going on here. For starters, I can't imagine there's anyone under the age of say, 40, maybe more, who's even remotely familiar with the source material. A sitcom built around a family of classic horror characters living in a typical whitebread suburb who don't understand how weird they are to all the norms.
If that sounds familiar, it's probably due to the fact it's the identical premise of the much more celebrated and remembered "Addams Family." Which is more recognized because it not only got a couple of movies already, but a Broadway musical. Weirdly, the two shows premiered on the exact same week in 1964. (Which is one of those facts that shouldn't be in my brain and make room for something more useful, like the names of people I've met 10 times. But whatever.) I guess there's some deep sociological reason for that. A commentary on how in the mid-60s the culture was changing and these shows were a rejection of postwar conformity or something. Or maybe America just thought monsters were funny.
Regardless, "The Munsters" is getting a movie 57 years after it debuted. Which is more than you can say for "2 Broke Girls." Because when was the last time a network sitcom delivered comedy gold like this? (Stay for the wacky punchline at the end. What a different world it was then.)
Part of me wants to do a "Hollywood is officially out of ideas" take on this. But I have to admit, I'm intrigued to see what Rob Zombie has in mind with this. I have a hard time thinking he's going to play it the way it was on TV, a lovable bunch of zany misfits getting into all sorts of misadventures trying to fit in. I have to think he'll take it in a Rob Zombie direction. Make it into a dark comedy, with plenty of blood. Herman Munster being an actual monster who rips people's heads off. Eddie turning into a wolf during a full moon. Grandpa drinking the blood of hot young women. Spot, the pet dragon under the stairs being a real dragon. And the possibilities with Marilyn, the smokeshow daughter the rest of the family considered ugly, are practically endless:
Since this is Rob Zombie's hands, I'll trust he'll do something worthwhile with it. Maybe even going-back-to-theaters-as-God-intended worthy.
However, the history of converting TV shows into movies is spotty at best. Eliminating SNL character-based films like "Wayne's World" and "Blues Brothers," and movies that were side projects of a continuing series like "The Simpsons Movie," "South Park Biggger, Longer & Uncut" and "The Spongebob Movie" and so on, here's one man's short list of the true successful adaptations:
1. Mission: Impossible
2. Naked Gun ("from The Files of Police Squad")
3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
4. The Untouchables
5. The Fugitive
6. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
7. The Brady Bunch Movie
8. The Addams Family
9. 21 Jump Street
As they say on every YouTube movie list, did I miss some of your favorites? Are there any that don't belong here? Tell me in the comments below!
P.S. Credit where it's due for this guy for winning the internet.