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The Munsters Blu-ray Review

“The Munsters” is an admirable misfire.

Written and directed by Rob Zombie, “The Munsters” is a prequel to the beloved 60’s sitcom. The story involves the creation of Herman Munster (a dead comedian brought to life by a mad scientist), how Lily and Herman fell in love, how The Count (AKA Grandpa Munster) lost his Transylvanian castle due to his werewolf son Lester’s negligence, and how all of the characters wind up in a house on 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

It’s easy to appreciate what Rob Zombie was trying to do here. It’s clear this feature film is a love letter to a show he holds near and dear to his heart. It’s also refreshing to see the filmmaker take a big risk by deviating from his usual hard R horror films that are filled with expletives and violence to a PG rated horror-comedy. Unfortunately, the gamble never pays off. 

The costumes, make-up, sets, and visuals all look and feel very Munsters, but what’s missing is the humor. There’s simply nothing funny about the script which often feels more like a collection of sequences than a story. You’re left waiting for something amusing to pop up or for the movie to improve, but it never does. The cast is certainly not to blame here. Veteran character actor Daniel Roebuck crushes it as The Count/Grandpa Munster, Sheri Moon Zombie has a blast playing Lily, Sylvester McCoy (who is always a delight to see on screen) delivers as per usual, and recent Rob Zombie go-to Richard Brake shines in dual roles. It was also great to see Cassandra Peterson appear (though not as Elvira). One can make a case that Jeff Daniel Phillips (Herman) and Tomas Boykin (Lester) may not be the best fits, but again, they aren’t to blame.  The movie simply doesn’t capture the humor of the sitcom or indeed contain scenes or situations that utilize the characters well. Zombie really could have used a comedy screenwriter to strengthen the comedy.

On a side note, it is disheartening to see that Universal wouldn’t allow Rob Zombie to make the movie in B&W. Yes, there are a couple B&W scenes, but this general hesitancy to make B&W movies and shows really needs to end. In the past several years, we saw how well it worked for “Werewolf By Night,” “Roma,” “Belfast,” and “Better Call Saul.” Trust me, audiences can handle B&W media.


Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The B&W scenes look grand, but the colors appear fuzzy and blown out. 

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a lively 5.1 track.

Extras include a commentary by Rob Zombie and an extensive 61 minute behind-the-scenes featurette titled “The Munsters: Return To Mockingbird Lane” which contains set footage, make-up and costume tests, location scouting, production meetings and production footage. 


October 7, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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