The Munsters is a 2022 comedy film produced, written and directed by Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell, Halloween 1/2, 31, and The Lords of Salem). It’s a prequel based on the 1960s sitcom. It was released direct to home video & Netflix. Mad scientist Dr. Henry Augustus Wolfgang (played by: Richard Brake from 31) and his hunchbacked assistant Floop (played by: Jorge Garcia from Lost) rob graves for body parts to build an experimental creation. Floop accidentally steals the head of hacky comedian instead of Shecky’s astrophysicist brother Shelly, whom Wolfgang wanted because he was considered the smartest man in the world. Wolfgang uses electricity to give life to his Frankenstein creation, which Floop names “Herman Munster.” (played by: Jeff Daniel Phillips from 3 from Hell, Halloween II, The Lords of Salem, and 31) Seeking revenge on her ex-husband The Count (played by: Daniel Roebuck from River’s Edge, Dudes, The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals, and Final Destination), Zoya Krupp (played by: Catherine Schell from Doctor Who) entrances The Count’s werewolf son Lester (played by: Tomas Boykin from 3 from Hell), who is deeply in debt to Zoya, to come to her tent. Under threat of losing his head, Lester agrees to Zoya’s plan to have The Count sell her his Transylvanian castle so she can turn it into a casino and theme park. Lester calls his father with the proposal, but The Count immediately dismisses his deadbeat son’s latest scheme.
Over breakfast served by his faithful servant Igor (played by: Sylvester McCoy from Doctor Who), The Count talks with his 150-year-old vampire daughter Lily (played by: Sheri Moon Zombie from House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell, Halloween 1/2, 31, and The Lords of Salem), about her unsatisfying love life and disappointing recent date with Count Orlock (played by: Richard Brake from Hannibal Rising). Lily and The Count then watch the TV show “Good Morning Transylvania” with host Ezra Mosher. Ezra’s guest, Dr. Wolfgang, unveils Herman Munster live on the air. Wolfgang is disgusted to discover Herman is a bumbling brute with a goofy sense of humor when he begins performing a stand-up comedy routine. However, Lily falls in love with Herman’s unusual personality. Lily goes to see him perform with his band “The Punk Rods” at Zoya’s nightclub, Zombie-a-Go-Go. Herman immediately falls for Lily when they meet backstage. The Count takes an instant disliking to Herman due to his dimwittedness. The Count tries his best to break them up but fails. Herman proposes marriage and Lily accepts, which greatly frustrates her disapproving father. Lester manipulates Herman into signing over the castle’s deed to Zoya by promising a lucrative business venture. Herman, Lily, and The Count join their new neighbors for a Halloween block party. Unaware of the holiday’s customs, The Munsters assume they are partying with other freaks and weirdos. The residents assume The Munsters are wearing costumes, and award them a $1,500 contest prize. Herman leaves the house for his first day of work carrying corpses at the Gateman, Goodbury, and Graves funeral parlor. Getting his first look at Mockingbird Heights outside of Halloween, Herman retreats in shock when he sees that they live among normal people in an idyllic suburb. Lily and The Count are equally horrified. Lester arrives at the house unexpectedly, he presents Herman with a check for his portion of gambling money that Lester won in Vegas using Zoya’s payment for The Count’s castle. They end up lucky & they are set when set when it comes to money now!!!!
I’m going to start out with the positives for The Munsters. It had excellent production design, cinematography, costume, music, and special fx make up. I loved the look of this feature and it had a nice creepy atmosphere to it. Daniel Roebuck steaks the show as The Count here. He’s the best thing about this production. Richard Brake had great dual performances as two completely different characters in The Munsters. Both of these actors were way better than the actual project. Jeff Daniel Phillips was solid as Herman, he went with his own twist on the iconic role. I prefer the original but he was decent and I did enjoy the new look of the character in this prequel. Sheri Moon Zombie is beautiful and she’s easy on the eyes but she’s one of the worst actresses in cinema today. Director Rob Zombie keeps sabotages his movies by making his wife the lead every time. She can’t hang with her co-stars and it’s painfully obvious. She doesn’t have great chemistry with anyone in The Munsters. I will say that there’s some nice cameos/supporting roes in this which includes Jorge Garcia, Sylvester McCoy, Dee Wallace, Elvira, Butch Patrick, and Pat Priest. Rob Zombie takes a shot at writing and directing his first comedy here plus his first PG-13 feature and it just doesn’t work. Zombie clearly doesn’t understand comedy, The Munsters barely had any quality humor in it’s entire running time. It was mainly awkward when it came to the jokes and gags. He has always struggled when it came to screenwriting and this one is no different especially with him not being able to cuss every few lines of dialogue. I felt like they captured the look of The Munsters for this feature but the tone was completely off. I hate to say this but this might be the worst film that I’ve seen all year. It’s available on Netflix right now, I highly recommend checking this out first before adding it to your collection.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and special features from Universal Pictures! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks amazing on blu ray. One thing that you can’t take away from Rob Zombie when it comes to his directing is his visual style. He always delivers in that department. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Spanish: DTS 5.1 on the disc. It has English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. Despite my feelings on the actual movie, the sound on this home video release is excellent. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, every scene is elevated, and the music has a nice boost to it. Now, here’s the reason to buy this rather than stream this on Netlfix if you are a fan of it. It has an “Audio Commentary” with Rob Zombie. This writer, director, and producer always gives some of the best audio tracks and commentaries when it comes to filmmakers. It’s full of information, stories, and it’s a great glimpse into the making of this prequel. “The Munsters: Return to Mockingbird Lane” is almost an hour and two minutes. This making of feature is a great companion piece to the excellent audio commentary. From both, you will learn and see everything that you need to know about this production. I always enjoy director Rob Zombie’s behind the scenes material. It comes with a slipcover but there’s no digital code because it’s currently streaming on Netflix. I am giving away free copy of this on blu ray so please comment on any social media that includes this review. This home video release is available everywhere right now!!!!