TV Terror Guide: Halloween with the New Addams Family (1977)
Air Date: Oct. 30, 1977 (NBC)
Production Companies: Charles Fries Productions
Running Time: 74 min.
Available on: YouTube
Written by: George Tibbles
Based on: characters created by Charles Addams
Directed by: Dennis Steinmetz
Cast: John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy
Rating: 4 vintage televisions (out of 10)
Why in the world would you watch Halloween with the New Addams Family (1977) when you have a perfectly good episode of the original series (Halloween with the Addams Family) that’s at least three times as good? A better question might be why in the world would you makeHalloween with the New Addams Family? That’s rhetorical. If we haven’t learned by now that nothing is off limits, let me remind you that Rob Zombie’s The Munsters just premiered on Netflix.
In 1977, maybe people embraced the idea of a reunion show for The Addams Family. Without social media, how would anyone have known? But if this one proves anything, it’s not just that the onscreen talent makes a show memorable. They’re all here… John Astin as Gomez, Carolyn Jones as Morticia, Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester, and Ted Cassidy as Lurch. Ken Weatherwax and Lisa Loring are also back, but this time as Pugsley Sr. and Wednesday Sr.
It's shot in color, which isn’t necessarily a problem, although it’s just not the same as black-and-white. It’s shot on videotape, though, which is a problem. The quality is nothing like the original, which makes it hard to accept the appearance of the characters 11 years later. It’s not that their aging is revealed. It’s more like Gomez doesn’t have enough mascara and Uncle Fester has too much. Missing from Lurch is the shadow his brow cast on his face in the series.
Other than the composer, Vic Mizzy, I’m not aware of other behind-the-camera talent from the original series. Director Dennis Steinmetz was a director/producer on Land of the Lost (1973.) Oddly, writer George Tibbles had nothing to do with the original The Addams Family but wrote two episodes of The Munsters and the theatrical film, Munster, Go Home! (1966.) The clever word play from the series is missing, as is a coherent plot.
Yes, for a more entertaining Halloween experience, check out the aforementioned episode from the first season of the series. Originally airing on October 30, 1964, it’s a bona fide classic. On Halloween night, two robbers (Don Rickles and Skip Homeier) hide from the police inside the Addams house. The experience leaves them so frazzled that they literally run into the arms of the police when the evening ends. It’s something Halloween with the New Addams Family isn’t: funny.
Visit the TV Terror Guide: 70's TV Movies playlist at ClassicHorrors.Club TV on YouTube to watch Halloween with the New Addams Family as well as all the great movies from this series.
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