Halloween with the New Addams Family

  • Directed by Dennis Steinmetz
  • October 30, 1977
  • NBC

A group of thieves plan to steal the Addams Family fortune on Halloween.

Halloween with the New Addams Family is a fun and quirky TV movie from the late 70s that stars most of the original cast of the classic series including John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy, Lisa Loring, Ken Weatherwax and Felix Silla in one form or another as the characters they played.

There is nothing too deep and there are no great themes. Rather what we get is a simple sitcom plot expanded out into television movie length. That’s not a knock against it. Giving these characters something too big to deal with would’ve been a bad idea. The public was familiar enough with these characters for them to be brought back in a TV movie and if they had gotten something beyond what they had ever dealt with it would have harmed the overall effectiveness of the narrative. As much as they solved situations in the series, their own strangeness worked as protection against any ills they faced.

John Astin was always a delight in the part of Gomez Addams. He was playfully unhinged in the role. His crazy eyes and devious smile gave the character charm and made him endearing. He as well as all the actors returning easily slipped back into their roles.

As always Morticia knows what she’s got and knows that Gomez appreciates it. Pugsley and Wednesday are now grown up and living lives with apparently miniature replacements showing up. That’s a little weird but in the context of the Addams family you don’t really question. It’s like you shrug your shoulders and go OK. 

James Darrow joins the fun as Gomez’s brother Pancho. As part of the story it’s revealed that he at one time attempted to woo Morticia and he is as passionate about her as Gomez is. And apparently he has the same trigger for French as Gomez does. It is a stale sitcom plot element made fresh by this concept

As per the series most of the humor is derived from these odd individuals not understanding that they are odd. The bizarre and macabre is natural to them and it also becomes their greatest strength when dealing with the would-be thieves.

The jokes are slightly more adult in this than you would’ve found in the series 10 years prior but nothing that would be shocking then or now. There is a buff, barely clothed strongman walking around and Morticia makes a reference to bulging which is clearly not referencing his muscles.

My major problem Halloween with the New Addams Family is that it has a laugh track much like the original series did. I have never been a fan of laugh tracks and mercifully it’s one of those things that has pretty much gone away. I don’t like to be told what is funny. I will figure it out myself.

Even though I enjoyed the original The Addams Family it was one thing I wish would have never been included. In a TV movie regardless of the production values the laugh track is extremely out of place. This was cheap by the standards of the day and canned laughter makes it feel so much cheaper.

And the story is filmed in a rather static manner. I am not expecting mind-blowing cinematography but something more that “Let’s cram everybody in front of the camera.” Even by the standards of the time this was weak sauce.

Even so if you’re a fan of the original The Addams Family then you will enjoy Halloween with the New Addams Family. You will feel as if you’re watching a continuation of that. If you are only familiar with the movies then you will probably get the same amount of enjoyment from this as you did them. Regardless this is a fun watch and a nice throwback to television of old. If you have access to Prime Video then check this out though you can find versions of varying quality available on YouTube. 

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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