film, not a book

Not a Book: Addams Family movies

I’m finishing the Halloween-y themed posts with two of my favourite films of the early 90s that also happen to be very weird and the perfect films to watch at this time of year – whether you’re an adult or a kid.

So the films in question are the early 1990s live action Addams family movies, which I think are pretty much the perfect kids scary movies where there is something for the adults too. My favourite is Addams Family Values, for reasons which I will come to but they are both pretty blooming brilliant. I had watched some of the black and white TV series (although I think I had seen more of the Munsters than the Addams) but never read any of the actual cartoon strips so the characters existed to me already – but these movies are the way I see them in my head. Angélica Huston and Raul Julia are Morticia and Gomez to me and their relationship is a perfect alchemy of creepy and nuts about each other.

The plot of the first film sees the reappearance of Gomez’s long lost brother Fester – or is he? He’s in train with two con artists who have designs on the Addams’ house and wealth. I nearly said that the plot is quite thin, and that it does a lot of establishing of the characters, but there is actually quite a lot of plot it just doesn’t always seem to hang together very well, but it does keep you guessing about whether “Fester” is or isn’t the long lost brother.

Now to the sequel, and first the plot: Morticia has had a new baby and brings in a nanny to help. Uncle Fester falls in love with the nanny, but is she all she seems? Each strand of this is great – Fester and Debbie, Debbie and the kids, the kids at summer camp. I prefer the sequel partly because it has a better plot and I think it has better one liners, but also because I think the holiday camp section is just brilliant – it does everything you could want if you have ever read a book about an American summer camp (or watched the Hayley Mills Parent Trap). I defy anyone to come away from this without having laughed at something.

These are on tv fairly regularly – and I think they will be in the next few days, but you can rent them from some of the steaming services too. You won’t regret it. And here’s some summer camp to show you what I mean!

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