Watching Rob Zombie’s interpretation of the origins of the famous 1960s family The Munsters relies entirely on the audience overlooking that this film leaves out everything that made the original series great. While at first it is interesting to see how this family came together, their origin story quickly becomes like a bad SNL skit that will not end. One of the most cringe worthy scenes involves Herman Munster and Lily falling in love at first sight. They look at each other and immediately start blubbering and making love declarations and they hadn’t even spoken a word to each other yet. While the audience is supposed to be invested in Herman and Lily getting together, you might find yourself agreeing with The Count that they should probably not be dating let alone getting married.
One aspect that made the original so funny was watching the Munsters interacting with humans, but acting like the humans were unusual and they are the normal ones. In this film we don’t get to see a moment like this until almost the end, when the Munsters move to Hollywood on Halloween. While the Munsters are at first excited to move to a town that seems to inhabited by monsters, they learn the next day the truth about their new neighbors. Before the film can explore the relationship the Munsters will have with their normal all-American neighbors the film abruptly ends.
The actors that starred in the original series as Herman, Lily, and The Count are big shoes to fill, and most of the actors in this film tried their best, but their acting was over the top and boorish especially when Jeff Daniel Phillips tried imitating Herman’s famous laugh. Unlike the original Herman who is lovable goof, this Herman is arrogant oaf who is unlikable. Daniel Roebuck, who plays the role of The Count, is the only actor who managed to keep his portrayal grounded and was the only character I ended up enjoying. Beside the over-acting, another distraction in the film is the costumes and sets, which looked cheesy. Depending on the light in the scene sometimes The Count would look like he had pale white skin, but in the next scene his skin would look blue, which was very jarring.
The Munsters is currently streaming on Netflix. The original series is currently streaming on Peacock, so if you want some real laughs visit the original and skip this adaptation.