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  • Writer's pictureKen Silvers

The Munsters


Munsters" burst onto television screens in 1964 on the CBS television network and have been watched by millions over the years and are a part of mainstream pop culture. The Munsters have come back in various forms over the years, mostly met with disappointment as the magic of the original show could not be captured. The Munsters have returned in 2022 thanks to, of all people, singer and filmmaker Rob Zombie, best known for his "R" rated horror films. Rob takes on America's favorite monster family (no offense to The Addams Family) in the new "PG" rated family film. I never thought I would say "family film" and Rob Zombie in the same sentence. Nevertheless, we have the 2022 version of "The Munsters" starring Sheri Moon Zombie as Lily, Jeff Daniel Phillips as Herman, and Daniel Roebuck as The Count. The storyline begins with us witnessing the creation of Herman in a laboratory, and with the help of electricity, brings his Frankenstein to life and names Herman Munster. Meanwhile, we meet The Counts ex-wife Zoya (Catherine Schell) who recruits The Counts werewolf son Lester (Tomas Boykin) to convince The Count to see his Transylcanian castle so she can turn it into a theme park and casino. When The Count hears of the plan, he scoffs at the idea and is more concerned about finding a husband for daughter Lily. After a horribly failed date, Lily and the Count are watching an episode of "Good Morning Transylvania", and Lily witnesses the unveiling of Herman, and is immediately attracted to his unusual personality. Herman soon becomes a celebrity thanks to being the lead singer in the band The Punk Rods. One evening Lily attends a performance of The Punk Rods and goes backstage in order to meet Herman. Upon seeing Lily, Herman falls for the beautiful vampire, and the two are soon cavorting on dates and falling in love. When Lily takes Herman home to meet her father, The Count is not at all impressed, due to his less-than-intelligent demeanor. Despite her father's disapproval of Herman, Lily accepts Herman's marriage proposal, and the duo plan their wedding. At the wedding, Herman meets Lester for the first time and he convinces Herman to sign the deed to the castle over to Zoya promising a windfall of profit. When Herman and Lily are on their honeymoon in Paris, frightening all who see them, Herman captures a creature who has been haunting the sewers of Paris for years, and the newlyweds take the creature home and call him Spot. When they arrive home, The Count and Lily are both upset that Herman has fallen for Lester's scheme, leaving them homeless. However, when watching an episode of the television show "Zombo", Herman is convinced they can move to Hollywood and he can become a famous star. The family make the move to America and take up residence we all know as 1313 Mockingbird Lane. The later part of the film involves a Halloween party, at which their neighbors think the family is in costume, and give them prize money. The next morning, after thinking the neighbors really looked like their Halloween appearances, discover to their shock they do not, and are among "normal" people. At the conclusion of the film, Herman begins work at a funeral parlor, and Lester visits with a pleasant surprise for the family. The ending does set up for a possible sequel, so we shall see. I have heard quite a few negative comments about this film, so I went into my viewing with cautious expectations. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the film. Is this film wonderful? No. Is it a fun romp with some classic characters? Yes. All the actors do their best to capture the essence of the characters and how the original actors portrayed them. I will give kudos to the actors, as I think they did an admirable job. Plus, Rob can actually direct a family film! The film often salutes the original series, and features appearances by two famous movie monsters. I don't know about anyone else, but I had a fun time with "The Munsters" and plan on making the film a Halloween viewing tradition. Now on Blu-ray, DVD and streaming on various outlets including Netflix and Amazon Prime. (Rated PG)



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