Kinky people are all Addamses. Just stay with me here.
A couple weeks ago I posted an essay about how Gomez and Morticia Addams had the healthiest BDSM relationship on film. I also mentioned how I needed to rewatch it. And so I did. I was not disappointed.
If you haven’t seen the film or need a refresher (it was released in 1991 and yes, we’re all old), the plot is thus:
Gomez Addams (Raul Julia) laments the loss of his dear brother, Fester, who has been missing for twenty-five years. Every year on the anniversary of the day he went missing they try to contact him in the Great Beyond (in case he’s dead).
Meanwhile, the family lawyer, Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya) is up to his neck in debt to the nefarious Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) and her thug of a son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd). When they learn of the Addams fortune and of the striking likeness of Gordon to Fester Addams, they hatch a plan to con them out of their money.
They will say Fester was found in the Bermuda Triangle and Abigail will pretend to be Dr Pinder-Schloss, the person responsible for his rehabilitation from his tragedy.
Will the Addamses work out the ruse in time? Why did Gomez hire that moron Tully in the first place?
Who cares? Look at the awesome house! Look at the neato stuff!
These people are totally kinky and I’m preeeetty sure the kids are immortal. How did I not see this when I was a child?
Tully [referring to Fester] He was good with children.
Gomez: They never proved anything.
Didn’t notice that, either.
It’s been at least two or three years since I’d seen it—probably more—and I laughed out loud several times. The actors were clearly enjoying themselves.
The Addamses come at the world sideways. They are who they are and they find the ‘normals’ to be the weird ones. A teacher tells Morticia (Anjelica Huston) one of the students in Wednesday’s class has chosen Jane Pauley as her hero and a very concerned Morticia asks, ‘Have you spoken with her mother?’
I mentioned I had a crush on Morticia, yes?
She has many qualities that make an excellent D-type. Calm, in control, unwavering in her loyalty to her clan.
In possession of every torture device known to mankind, and well-versed in how to use them, no doubt.
There’s Wednesday (Christina Ricci), who’s not buying anyone’s shit. She’s about ten in this one and finds the story of the newly re-located ‘Fester’ and his rescuer ‘Dr Pinder-Schloss’ dubious. Wednesday doesn’t go along with the crowd just because she’s out-numbered. She looks at the information before her and makes up her own mind.
And she is going to be one hell of a top one day, the way she tortures her (very willing) brother is testament to that.
Gomez is the romantic. Passionate and dark, he, too, knows a thing or eight about pain. Which he loves both giving and receiving and adores Morticia with a fire most people could only hope for.
Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) is the youngest of the crew and he exhibits signs of masochism and sadism—having removed multiple Stop signs, resulting in who knows how many road accidents. He gleefully participates in his own torture at the hands of his sister. He’s also seen poisoning his sister, though she doesn’t seem nearly as on-board with this procedure as he is with her machinations.
Grandmama (Judith Malina), the eldest of the gang. She has a line that sums up a fundamental aspect of being kinky:
Dr Pinder-Schloss says, ‘The human spirit, it is a hard thing to kill.’
Grandmama: (spoken as someone who knows) ‘Even with a chainsaw.’
Sometimes, if you’re going to be kinky you just have to be it. You have to own that. You can’t kill my kink with a chainsaw, dammit.
The Addamses fly their freak flags high, which is why it’s an appropriate film for national kink month. And of course why I’m posting this the day before Halloween. Every day is Halloween for the patrons of healthy kink.
Speaking of Halloween—that holiday is celebrated at the very end of the film, which is ten months from the actions of the start. By this time the clan has gained a new member, as Margaret (Dana Ivey), the wife of the now late lawyer—has married Cousin Itt and they’ve procreated. (The thing came out in 1991, I’m not apologising for spoilers.)
She’d found her way home.
For one, she can understand him perfectly when they meet at the ball and only Addamses can do that. For two, at Halloween, she doesn’t get that the reason people keep asking him where he got his costume isn’t because it’s an amazing cowboy costume, but because it’s a gibbering hairball wearing a halfway decent cowboy hat and bandanna.
She’s oblivious that there could be anything out-of-the-ordinary about him.
Margaret was an Addams long before she had even met one. She was an Addams after she’d met Gomez and Morticia and thought they were freaks. Deep down, she was an Addams from birth and had been miserable with Tully because he couldn’t have been less of an Addams.
Margaret was one of my favourite characters as a child because it gave me hope I could marry into a kooky family one day—a family more like me. A freaky kind of family where I would belong and who would have my back and just want me to be myself.
I just needed to get in touch with all of my inner Addams.
I read the novelization of the screenplay as a gothling (because of course I did) and during the scene in the vault where Gomez begins strangling ‘Uncle Fester’ to make him say their password I swear I remember it saying something like, ‘Yes! Demented freak, you do remember!’ And if you watch the film, it looks and sounds like the line ‘Poor man, what did they do to you in the Bermuda Triangle,’ is dubbed in.
[After writing this it occurred to me the Interwebs are the Repository of All Things and, yes, the original script is available in pdf form. Indeed, Gomez is ‘joyous’ that Fester has said their secret name for one another, though he doesn’t know it was by accident. He throws his arms wide and exclaims, ‘Demented freak!’ Interesting what people remember. That’s stuck with me twenty-four years.]
We’re demented freaks and we love it. We relish our demented freakdom. ‘Yeah, I am. What’s it to ya?’
Last but not least, their family motto is ‘Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc’ (We gladly feast on those who would subdue us), which you can get on a shirt here.
Dorky me has to be terrible and ruin it for you by saying that’s not what that actually says. It actually says ‘Thus do we growl that (our) big toes have, at the moment, been thrown up from below!’. The phrase in Latin would actually be ‘Laeti vescimur nos subacturis’, which I grant is not nearly as badass sounding as what’s in the film. (This information comes from here.)
Growing up I thought I loved the Addamses because they saw the world the opposite from everyone else and that was amusing because I was one ironic, sarcastic little person. Everyone else liked sunshine and they liked the rain (me too!). Everyone else wanted to wear colours of every hue, but they wore black all day, every day (me too!). Everyone else wanted to be blissfully free of pain and joyously happy at all times, but they liked agony and misery (wait… I’m sensing a pattern)…
I liked that they were different and they owned it. That other people didn’t question the status quo seemed odd to them.
Kinky people are all Addamses. Be true to you. Find your Cousin Itt and settle down.
And rewatch the film. It’s still hilarious.
For fun and stuff: Which Addams Family Member are You I got Pugsley, though I would have guessed Wednesday. Even though I’m a big submissive.
Well, it depends on the person. Ninety-nine percent of the time I’d probably be the dominant one… That’s for another post, though.