Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Addams Family Movies

Three movies have been based on the creations of Charles Addams. The later series (2-3) has probably ended, Raul Julia (1940-1995) having died.

1. Halloween with the New Addams Family (vt The Addams Family) US movie (1977 tvm). NBC. Pr David Levy. Exec pr Charles Fries. Writer George Tibbles. Dir Dennis Steinmetz. Starring John Astin (Gomez Addams), Ted Cassidy (Lurch), Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester), Henry Darrow (Pancho Addams), Carolyn Jones (Morticia Addams), Lisa Loring (Wednesday Addams), Kenneth Marquis (Pugsley Addams Jr), Jane Rose (Grandmama Addams), Felix Silla (Cousin Itt), Jennifer Surprenant (Wednesday Addams Jr), Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley Addams). 90 mins. Colour.

Ten years after tv's The Addams Family (1964-1966) left the air, the cast re-united. The family gather to celebrate the biggest holiday of their year, Hallowe'en. Proceedings are enlivened by two robbers who break into the mansion, for the Addamses think they are there for the party. Soon the criminals' biggest problem is escaping the very unwanted hospitality of their would-be victims. A minor work. [BC]

2. The Addams Family US movie (1991). Columbia TriStar/Paramount/Orion. Pr Scott Rudin. Exec pr Graham Place. Dir Barry Sonnenfeld. Vfx Alan Munro. Screenplay Caroline Thompson, Larry Wilson. Novelization The Addams Family * (1991) by Elizabeth Faucher. Starring Dan Hedaya (Tully Alford), Anjelica Huston (Morticia Addams), Raul Julia (Gomez Addams), Christopher Lloyd (Gordon Craven/Fester Addams), Judith Malina (Granny Addams), Christina Ricci (Wednesday Addams), Carel Struycken (Lurch), Elizabeth Wilson (Abigail Craven), Jimmy Workman (Pugsley Addams). 99 mins. Colour.

Loan shark Abigail Craven disguises her psychopathic son Gordon as Gomez's long-lost brother Fester and foists him onto the Addams family in hope of gaining their fortune. The plot succeeds, and the Addamses are cast out into the world to make their own way – which they do very badly. But Gordon has come to love the Addamses and enjoys being Fester, and ensures the reestablishment of the status quo. Spurred by inventiveness rather than narrative drive, TAF is full of throwaway pieces of fantastication – e.g., opening a copy of Gone with the Wind stirs up a gale (> Books); as Gomez plays with his toy trains, a sudden viewpoint shift shows us a commuter staring through a train window at Gomez's gigantic face. [JG]

3. Addams Family Values US movie (1993). Paramount. Pr Scott Rudin. Exec pr David Nicksay. Dir Barry Sonnenfeld. Vfx Alan Munro. Spfx Albert Delgado. Screenplay Paul Rudnick. Novelization Addams Family Values * (1993) by Todd Strasser (1950-    ). Starring Joan Cusack (Debbie Jellinsky), Anjelica Huston (Morticia Addams), Raul Julia (Gomez Addams), Carol Kane (Granny Addams), David Krumholtz (Joel Glicker), Christopher Lloyd (Fester Addams), Christina Ricci (Wednesday Addams), Carel Struycken (Lurch), Jimmy Workman (Pugsley Addams). Voice actor Cheryl Chase (Pubert Addams). 94 mins. Colour.

Baby Pubert is born to Morticia and Gomez. The nanny they hire, Debbie, is a Serial Killer, the Black Widow, who marries and murders ugly rich men (a surprisingly direct borrowing from the movie Black Widow [1987]); she weds Fester, severing him from the other Addamses, but finds him virtually unkillable. Pubert, emotionally disturbed by all this, becomes possessed (> Possession) by Virtue and is transformed from a mustachioed little monster into a cute, blonde, tousled advertisement-style babe. Thing rescues Fester from Debbie's clutches, but it requires an "exorcized" Pubert to stop her assassinating the entire family. A funnier but less fantasticated movie than its predecessor, this contains many recursive references to classic Horror Movies involving ChildrenRosemary's Baby (1968) and Child's Play (1988) are two. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.