You wouldn’t expect the Addams Family to be such a big part of pinball history, but the game that came out in 1992 following the first 20th Century Fox movie has proved to be the best-selling pinball machine of all time. It’s such an odd choice, but it kind of makes sense.
It had the same kind of strange, kooky appeal as the movie, with lots of fun features that even expert pinball players weren’t expecting. This included things like a mechanical hand that picks up balls and new dialogue from the actors in the film. It’s sold over twenty thousand units, which might not seem like a lot, but remember: pinball games.
He Went for Lurch First
Actor John Astin set the bar high when it comes to playing the witty, loving patriarch of the Addams family, but it almost wasn't to be. When he walked into his audition, he was there to try out for the part of Lurch. Instead, he found himself in the role of Gomez.
However, he readily states that it all worked out for the best. Astin said that he shared a lot of personality traits with Gomez and that the character seems more like an extension of his personality than any other role he had taken in his career. It was less acting and more exaggeration.
Making Himself Into a Monster
Christopher Lloyd, famous for playing Doc Brown in the “Back to the Future” films, had to make a few changes to look like the character he played in the “Addams Family” movies, Fester. First off, since Fester is bald, he had to shave his head.
He's gone through some natural hair loss by now, but it meant a lot more back then. Additionally, Lloyd had to crouch down to appear shorter than he was. Lloyd stands at six feet, one inch, but Fester is presented as much smaller. This change also allowed Lloyd to give Fester his characteristic unsteady hobble as he walked around.
Winning Lots of Awards
When MC Hammer was asked to make the theme song for the 1991 film “The Addams Family,” nobody knew just how successful it was going to be. The song was “Addams Family Groove,” and it reached number seven on the Billboard Top 100 in the United States, no doubt thanks in part to the popularity of the movie.
However, that was not the only accolade the tune earned. The song also won a Golden Raspberry Award for the worst original song. Maybe people had just gotten out of Mr. Hammer – the song was his last top-ten hit in the States.
Talk to the Hand
One of the most unique members of the Addams Family (and that's saying a lot) is Thing, the disembodied hand that roams around. While you might think it's some CGI magic, it turns out that the 1991 movie used Canadian magician Chris Hart to be the hand.
He'd sit for hours under a table, keeping only his hand exposed until he went numb. It took four months to shoot his scenes since each one had to be shot twice – one with Hart and one without. After that, Hart's body was erased and overlaid with the version lacking him, creating the disembodied hand.