M.O.P. Episode 44: Gaslighting Mike (The Addams Family Reunion)

The latest episode of The Media Obscura Podcast is out now on your favorite podcast player! This weeks episode follows Nick and Raekwon as they check out/discuss The Addams Family Reunion, a straight-to-video pilot for a new Addams Family movie that was produced by Saban Entertainment.

The movie follows the Addams as they scramble to find a cure for ‘Waltzheimers disease,” before it completely eradicates the eccentricity of Gomez’s grandparents. Along the way, they end up at a family reunion for a different Adams family and mistake them as long-lost relatives. At this reunion, Gomez goes up against a crazed psychiatrist, while Fester releases a hair-eating demon dog and Pugsly crushes on someone that he thinks is his cousin…

Oh, and there’s a subplot about that crazed psychiatrist trying to kill his sickly Dad in order to get his inheritance of something.

Speaking honestly, the movie isn’t great. It has a few decent laughs, a very strange commercial-like pace, and a shoestring budget that really shows in it’s computer generated effects. And while I’m personally a sucker for weirdly paced movies with the budget of a liquidating dollar store, these are not reasons to ever check out a movie.

But you know what this movie does have that’s unique, attention grabbing and all-around kinda cool.?

Tim Curry.

Now don’t get me wrong, Ol’ Timmy boy is barely trying in this thing. In fact, he doesn’t even try to disguise his distinctive accent. But despite this, the Sweet Transvestite puts on a performance that is equally cerebral, aloof, lovely, and twisted as Gomez Addams. Well, as much as he can given the character he’s playing.

As a longtime Addams Family fan, I was very disappointed in this movie. It felt like a very sanitized take on the characters, the result of simplifying their morbid and macabre tendencies until we ended up with characters that were more cartoony than they were developed. That’s not to say the Addams can’t be silly and over the top, I’d argue that the two early 90s movies prove that they can excel at it, but this movie lacked a bit of the edge that made those interpretations of the characters so memorable. It also doesn’t help that the movie itself feels woefully miscast. I won’t dive into the details here, but it’s baaaaaaad. Fester Addams, one of my favorite characters in other 90s movies, is outright annoying in this movie.

I’m honestly at a loss for words with this movie. It had a lot of pacing issues and didn’t really do much to introduce us to this version of the Addams, aside from establishing that they don’t like things that are “normal.” And like, okay. That’s kinda par for the course with The Addams Family, but they didn’t do much of a good job there either. Take the second episode of the original Addams Family for instance. It’s a story that accomplishes the same exact thing this feature-length movie set out to do, and does a much better job of it despite only being 20 minutes long. It also does this with much less elaborate staging, and at a fraction of the cost.

At the end of the day, do I recommend this movie? Not really. I could see the argument being made that this would make for a perfect ‘turn it on for the noise’ kind of movie, or something you could get a few laughs out of with some booze and good company. As for viewing this as an actual piece of entertainment… Well, just stick to just about any other take on the characters.

But still, Tim Curry was pretty cool in it.

If you wanna hear more about what I thought about this movie, as well as the thoughts of my faithful co-host Raekwon on the matter, be sure to check out the latest episode of our show, The Media Obscura Podcast!

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