Ok, 99% of the time, sequels suck. And of those that suck, a good 75% of them suck mightily.

ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES is an exception. Oh don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it was better than the original, but it has a couple of performances that make it worth watching.

First is Joan Cusack as Debbie Jellinsky. Debbie is hired as a nanny, romances and marries Uncle Fester, leaves Gomez and co penniless and banishes Pugsly and Wednesday to summer camp. Joan kicks ass mightily in a wonderfully demented sort of way.

Second is Christina Ricci as Wednesday. Her deadpan performance is great. Perhaps her crowning moment comes as she is forced to play Pocahontas, leader of the indians (played by the foreign and handicapped children) in a play based on the first Thanksgiving. All of the families have been invited to watch this play.

This scene takes place during the play. The indians have just been invited to sit and eat with Sarah Miller (spoiled daughter of the camp organizers.

All seems well…until Wednesday adlibs:

Wednesday: Wait!
Amanda (aka Sarah Miller): What?
Wednesday: We cannot break bread with you.
Amanda: Huh? Becky, what’s going on?
Becky (organizer, with Gary, of the camp): [whispered] Wednesday!
Wednesday: You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the road sides, you will play golf, and enjoy hot hors d’oeuvres. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They have said, “Do not trust the Pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller.”
Amanda: Gary, she’s changing the words.
Wednesday: And for all these reasons I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

And Wednesdays band of merry misfits then proceed to do just that. Well, no actually scalping occurs, but they burning the camp and hang the organizers over a spit. Christina is fantastic and I think part of it is that she, like Wednesday, is not quite normal. I am sure I am not the only one that is more than a little afraid of Miz Ricci.