I will be the first to say, I was wrong. My initial reaction to the trailer for Rob Zombie’s The Munsters was dead wrong. I was absolutely convinced this film was going to be a hot mess. However, I’m glad I was far off base. Read on to find out why I think The Munsters is actually the perfect movie for a spooky date night at home!
In The Munsters, “Lily is just your typical 150-year-old, lovelorn vampire looking for the man of her nightmares…that is until she lays eyes on Herman, a seven-foot-tall, green experiment with a heart of gold. It’s love at first shock as these two ghouls fall fangs over feet in this crazy Transylvanian romance. Unfortunately, it’s not all smooth sailing in the cemetery as Lily’s father The Count has other plans for his beloved daughter’s future, and they don’t involve her bumbling beau Herman. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll howl at the moon as The Munsters make their way to Mockingbird Lane!”
Initially, when I found out that this movie was going to be about Herman and Lily prior to having their family as we see on the show, I wondered what the point was. Turns out there is actually a point, to be cute and have fun! I think what is important to remember when watching The Munsters is that this isn’t meant to be a serious movie. This is Zombie’s love letter to the show done in a way that hasn’t been before. There have been modern iterations of the show that just recreated it in movie form. This gives the viewers something new and a new way to connect with Lily and Herman. In fact, as I said earlier, I think this is a family-friendly spooky rom-com! Seeing Herman and Lily fall in love is adorable and I loved seeing every minute of it.
Speaking of Lily and Herman, the casting in The Munsters is really quite fun. Say what you will about Rob Zombie casting Sheri Moon Zombie in all of his films but I enjoyed her portrayal of Lily Munster. She definitely gives off the right vibe and looks stunning in all of her costumes. Jeff Daniel Phillips is hilarious as Herman. I am not usually a comedy fan but I laughed so much during this movie. I’d say my only gripe, and I know I’m not alone in this, is that I wanted more scenes with Richard Brake. He always chews up the scenery when he is front and center. I just about died when I read that he was Orlock. I thought it was really fantastic that Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) and Pat Priest (Marilyn Munster) both had cameos in the film. Also, the appearances of horror royalty Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira and Dee Wallace were a lot of fun to see.
Visually, I really dug the film. I would have of course loved to have seen it in black and white like the show. However, the neon vibe was the next best thing in my opinion. It played into a look that felt like the first part of House of 1000 Corpses, which is one of my all-time favorites. The soundtrack and score are also a ton of fun. I won’t lie, “Disco Vampire” will be stuck in my head for a long time.
I think the real lesson to be learned with The Munsters is to never judge a movie by its trailer. That trailer did the film a great disservice and I am glad I gave it a real chance. Rob Zombie did an excellent job delivering to us his take on the popular series. It’s a sweet, funny, and strangely romantic film that I know I will watch often. Not only that, but I don’t think we’ll ever see Rob Zombie get the opportunity or have the desire to make a family-friendly feature again. Take this chance to enjoy it!
The Munsters is now streaming on Netflix and is also available on Blu-ray/DVD. Did you grow up watching The Munsters? What did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments below.
My Rating: 4/5