Since this is the month of Samhain, it seems just appropriate to open Musings October with a modern classic that has hit not only the big screen, but the small screen, and originated from newspaper’s comics section. So, come on back to the early 90s, the days of grunge and MC Hammer, and check out The Addams Family. this film features all our favourite Addams characters, Gomez (Raul Julia), Morticia (Angelica Huston), Wednesday (Christina Ricci), Pugsley (Jimmy Workman), Granny (Judith Malina), Lurch (Carel Struycken), Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) and Thing (Christopher Hart). Thing is completely out of his box now, and as usual, it the true ruler of the Addams roost.
Things were not always as creepy and happy in the Addams house. When we open, we still find Gomez and Morticia to be a very loving couple, and the children are well-behaved, as far as Addams children can be. The darkest secret is that their lawyer, Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya) is running out of cash, clients which his wife, Margaret Alford (Dana Ivey), keeps reminding him of, and time to play off loan shark Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) and her bruiser son, Gordon (Christopher Lloyd). After a stop at the Addams estate to pick up the monies for the monthly expenses, he is given the cash in gold doubloons, and thinks he might know the way to get into the Addams secret vault. When he gets back to the office, he crosses paths with the Cravens and devises a plan to get into the vault that will take care of all his debts to them and leave the Craven more than enough money to spare. They are going to disguise Gordon as the lost brother to Gomez, Fester Addams. This plan just might work, but at the start, Gomez and Wednesday have their doubts about Fester. Mrs. Craven has taken the guise of being Fester’s shrink, and goes by the title of Dr. Greta Pinder-Schloss.
Within days, Fester is finding out all kinds of things about his “family”, and soon, he is really feeling like he belongs with them. Gomez even takes him to the vault, and he finds the treasure, purely by accident. He finds even the most disturbing things to be fascinating, like the Addams graveyard, filled with sculptures and tombstones based on Gustav Vigeland designs, but featuring the way the the person beneath them died. Gomez is beside himself when Fester cannot answer the simplest questions of their past, even though Dr. Pinder-Schloss said he had amnesia. As he stays longer, he quickly bonds with the kids, and even helps them with their costumes for the school play, which becomes almost a live anime parody of MacBeth, with fake cuts creating fake blood fountains under immense pressure.
Soon, Fester has to leave, and there is a grand ball held in his honour. There he meets the two young ladies responsible for his falling out with Gomez, saimese twins, Flora and Fauna Amor (Maureen Sue and Darlene Levin). Even though Fester has a wonderful time dancing the Mamushka and meeting with the extended Addams clan, including Cousin It (John Franklin), Tully takes the opportunity to boot the family out of the house, by claiming Fester to be the true heir, since he is the eldest brother. This gives them the chance to fully search the house for the vault.
The Addams have a rough time of it on the outside. Thing gets a job as a very efficient courier, but Gomez is too distraught to look for work. Morticia is great at making kindergarteners cry by telling the other side of the fairy tales, and Granny has taken to hunting down local street animals for dinner. Gomez becomes a regular viewer of Sally Jesse Raphael so much that they don’t want him to call the show any more. While they are having a hard time adjusting to the outside world, the outside world is definitely not ready for them either. Eventually they find a way to take back with is theirs, and it makes for some wicked, gothic fun that never becomes dated. Kick off this wonderful month by checking out the three Addams Family movies, because that is just the beginning of the spooky fun that will be had here in October.
I give this film a Musing review of