“The Munsters”

I appreciate what director and co-writer Rob Zombie is trying to do with “The Munsters,” his film reboot of the corny 1960s show that followed a family of monsters who moved from Transylvania to the suburbs of America. The series was kitschy and developed a cult following long after its cancellation in 1966, and it has plenty of current-day fans too. Zombie’s movie plays like a bad Saturday morning kid’s show and seems aimed at the younger set, and there is very little for grown-ups to enjoy.

Creating an origin story for the family, the film begins with the vampire Lily (Sheri Moon Zombie) seeking her ideal man. She’s been searching for over 100 years and the dating scene is crawling with monsters that aren’t exactly husband material. After a series of failed blind dates, Lily meets the big, green Frankenstein-esque monster Herman (Jeff Daniel Phillips) and it’s love at first sight. The happy couple are over the moon and ready to wed until Lily’s grumpy father The Count (Daniel Roebuck) interferes. He has other plans for her future, and he’s no fan of Herman. 

The performances are second-rate and the script feels too much like a dumb sitcom, but both are upstaged by the glorious makeup, costumes, and detailed production design. The film is a visual representation of a candy shop that’s been decorated for Halloween, with a color palate of green, orange, purple, and black. It seems like a majority of the budget was spent on smoke and fog, but it all adds to the atmosphere. This is a great looking movie from top to bottom. 

For fans of Zombie’s previous work, it’s important to note that this is not a horror film and is likely quite different than what you may be expecting. There’s no disturbing violence, blood, or gore. Instead, he has made a corny homage to the original television show. Everything is exaggerated, and nothing is frightening.

The film has a very silly tone and children’s cartoon humor that will make the kiddos laugh, but overall it isn’t very good. “The Munsters” is, however, a fair enough Halloween movie for family night — if you can suffer through its over-the-top goofiness.    

By: Louisa Moore

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