1960s Creepy Comedy RebootsThe Dark Herald
The post WWII pop culture is mostly notable for its staid conformity with the occasional anti-Communist diatribe thrown in on the side. But aside from Ozzie and Harriet plus sporadic Commie bashing, there was also some distinctly macabre humor going around. I strongly suspect that this eerie comedy was the result of the PTSD riddled psyche of the Greatest Generation blowing off a little steam.
There is precedent for it. European art during the Black Death frequently featured dancing skeletons.
The children of men and women executed during the Terror in France famously held “headless balls.”
In post-Civil War America Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce were well known for dabbling in the macabre, but they were hardly the only ones
The 1960s TV comedies based on post-WWII macabre humor sadly led to the unfortunate birth of the Goth movement that Generation X must answer for.
Regardless, these comedies started with magazine illustrations.
In Britain, there was the Belles of St. Trinian’s, about a horrifying girl’s public (meaning private) school.
In America, there was The Adams Family.
Which made the jump to TV and eventually movies.
Then there were the Adams Family’s try-hard cousins; The Munsters.
They never enjoyed the Adams’ level of long-term pop culture impact because there was sort of an air of commercial inauthenticity about them compared to the former.
The Munsters was a family sitcom based on the old Universal monsters from the 1930s. It was completely forgotten about when it was canceled after going up against Batman. But then it went into reruns on local UHF channels when I was a kid, and for little kid entertainment, it wasn’t bad.
My first impression when I saw this was that a YouTuber had cut a porn parody into a fan trailer. And I strongly suspect that a porn parody would actually be better than this straight to streaming show.
The director is Rob Zombie. RZ is passionate about his work but you wouldn’t mistake that work Spielberg or Hitchcock’s. And frankly he can make something that looks better than this.
This was financed through Universal 1440, which makes things like Kindergarten Cop 2 starring Dolph Lundren (yes, it’s real). It’s where Universal sends it’s franchises that it doesn’t care about. That explains some of the cheapness but it honestly looks like Rob Zombie went out his way to make it appear cheap. This almost feels like a YouTube fan film and if that was his intent, I’m kind of impressed. Sort of.
Here is an upcoming Netflix show that Tim Burton is producing called Wednesday. It’s about a grown up Wednesday Adams
Zombie deserves some props for a touch of originality. Tim Burton gets none because this show is a nakedly obvious ripoff of the YouTube comedy series Grownup Wednesday.
I suspect the YouTube series will be a lot closer to the Adams Family.