It is difficult to imagine a series of films for families like The Addams family take off today. It is violent, sexual, extremely critical of all social norms. Think about it, it's hard to believe that it was popular even in the 90s. Barry SonnenfeldClassic update Charles Addams the comic, which later became a successful sitcom of the 60s, was a passionate love note for its misfit protagonists, who were just as likely to throw themselves into an electric chair as they should have expressed the their love (ie, very likely).
But though The Addams family is The values of the Addams family they are now considered to be comedy classics, there is another entry in the franchise that is usually overlooked. This may be due to the fact that many people do not know that it exists. Addams Family Reunion, the third film in the franchise, was an oddity for the video that recast most of the main characters, and was not made by the successful director Barry Sonnenfeld, but by Dave Payne, the boy who brought you Alien terminator is Alien Avengers 2.
The pedigree could be a little less impressive, but Addams family fans should not avoid this curiosity of almost forgotten pop culture. Addams Family Reunion it could be the worst movie in the trilogy, but it's still scary, horrible and relatively funny.
The first thing you'll notice Values of the Addams family, if you can track it down (it's never been released on DVD), it's that the cast is dramatically different. The year was 1998 and Raul Julia, who played the debonair and theatrical Gomez Addams in Sonnenfeld's films, had tragically passed away four years earlier. To replace it, the filmmakers needed someone equally eccentric and delightful, and to their credit they took on Tim Curry, who made a whole career playing strange weird.
Julia's version of Gomez was a beautiful lothario, who seems to have just come out of bed with his wife or is about to go back to bed with his wife. Gomez from Curry is still fascinating and dangerous, don't worry; has not just come from a production of The Scarlet Pimpernel. The interpretation of Curry is less intense and more in line with the character of dad sitcom John Astin interpreted in the sitcom.
"Children!" Gomez complains to their postman after his children tried to kill the poor with darts. "No matter how often you scream at them or how severely you punish them, they always ask for more."
So it's weird, then Daryl Hannah, taking over from Anjelica Huston, plays Morticia in a more sensual way than ever. While Gomez fretted with desire whenever Morticia spoke French, now it is Morticia who practically recalls an advertisement for Herbal Essences whenever someone mentions torture. Hannah is totally committed to the part and gives one of her most entertaining performances, and is clearly making the character her own.
The plot starts twice, strangely. First Gomez decides to look for the pedigree and to find more Addams, so his strange family may feel less isolated (a rather big foolish continuity, since they already had a great Addams family reunion in the first film). Secondly, they are visited by great-grandparents Mortimer and Dalila (Kevin McCarthy is Estelle Harris), which drives everyone crazy by behaving normally: planting flowers, watching sports … you know, scary things.
Gomez discovers that Mortimer and Delilah suffer from a rare condition known as "Waltzheimer" (a bad joke by every estimate), which makes them more normal with age. So Gomez takes his family to an Addamses meeting in hopes of learning more about this hereditary condition; but due to a confusion he runs into the wrong Addams family. These people are stuck snobs who have no love for eccentric strangers like Gomez, Morticia and the rest of their brood. But ironically, they themselves may be more sinister.
It takes a while to get there, but most Addams Family Reunion takes place in a cozy resort, where the Addams stick out like a sore thumb. Gomez demonstrates its superiority in every sport of the establishment, launching deadly objects on darts and besting Ed Begley Jr., playing a doctor who intends to wrest his father's fortune several times. Begley is a strong comic sheet, being a completely trusting and apologetic hole that is trying – and fails – to protect its dignity.
Meanwhile, Pugsley Addams (Jerry Messing, Freaks and misfits) fell in love with the daughter of another participant at the meeting. Lurch (Carel Struyken, returning from Sonnenfeld's films) was a sleepwalker, and continues to run into, scaring and / or kissing other participants. Wednesday (Nicole Fugere, which took over the role in the New Addams family sitcom) is mostly annoyed by being treated like a child. Fester (Patrick Thomas, Curse of the puppeteer) invented a Jekyll & Hyde dog in his laboratory, while his grandmother (Alice Ghostley, Fat) decides to stay at home, where he threatens a couple of "normal" Addams who end up in their spooky property instead of the right meeting.
Eventually the Addams cause so much chaos that the "normal" Addams have Gomez and Morticia thrown into prison, while Lurch is buried alive, their hand embodied What is brought into a pound of dog by Clint Howard, Fester is institutionalized and Wednesday and Pugsley are adopted by a typical sitcom family. Unfortunately, Addams Family Reunion don't spend enough time on these productions. Gomez and Morticia in prison could be a movie all to themselves, as well as Fester in a psychiatric ward and Wednesday and Pugsley all going Ozzie & Harriet.
Instead, these large productions are largely wasted and exceeded in minutes. Addams Family Reunion it ends with a car chase and a series of relief before finally sending Ed Begley, Jr. to electroshock therapy and sending great-grandparents to a nursing home, where they can be happy in their boring new lifestyle.
Addams Family Reunion does not have a fantastic plot, but it is worth remembering that on the surface neither were Sonnenfeld's films, which revolved around old tropes of familiar sitcoms such as amnesia, the digging of the gold and the summer camp . All that matters is that filmmakers take full advantage of the comedies, where Sonnenfeld's films excel in … and Payne's film does pretty well.
Yes, the script is full of plaintive lines on "Publishing House" and enters "before you get warm". Reportedly, Payne was under a manufacturer's mandate Meeting better suited to families than its predecessors, but although its film does not look quite like Sonnenfeld's (apart from imitating some of Sonnenfeld's flourishing styles, such as rapid movement), it looks like a piece with the original sitcom.
The original one Addams family TV series still continue relatively well today, especially as a celebration of the counterculture, but they are also based on stupid jokes and rigged plots. If you can forgive or, if you can find it in your taste buds, you'll also appreciate the old-fashioned sensitivity of the film and the sense of drunk humor, you'll find that Values of the Addams family fails only with respect to the moving images that preceded it. Self Meeting he had left before he could have a minor cult following. But with a cast mostly different, a much lower budget and with the order to attenuate the "creep" factor, at the end of the 90's it was destined to disappoint, after Sonnenfeld's films were already become classics of instant worship.
Regardless of the humor or the cast, the heart of the Addams family is alive and well Addams Family Reunionand possibly sitting in a jar on Gomez's desk. It is still a film that celebrates these strange characters and respects the power of love in overcoming social conventions. If neglected and defamed Addams Family Reunion if he were a person, that person would feel at home with the Addams family.