Why you shouldn’t be so harsh on Rob Zombie’s The Munsters reboot

The Munsters 2022
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The first trailer for The Munsters has appeared in the crosshairs of the internet over the last few days – but is that entirely fair? A few thoughts.

It was announced this week that The Munster’s big screen reboot would premiere on Netflix this September. The latest iteration of the much-loved cult classic TV show is masterminded by horror filmmaker Rob Zombie, who dropped the much anticipated trailer last week.

As with any beloved franchise, when it gets remade there are going to be critics, and The Munsters trailer received the predictable response.


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Critics branded it cheesy, too camp, said that it looked cheap, that the acting was bad, the production values were low. They were waxing evangelical about the original series from the 1960s, holding it up as the pinnacle of comedy horror. It’s as if the original wasn’t low rent, over-acted to the extreme and silly family fun.

If you don’t remember, or didn’t watch endless reruns throughout your childhood like I did, The Munsters was a typical all-American family sitcom with a twist – they were half Transylvanian.

The well-meaning doting father, Herman was actually Frankenstein’s monster, his doting beautiful wife a vampire, the live in grandpa was Dracula and their son Eddie is half werewolf half vampire.

The only human family member is Marilyn, a gorgeous blonde who is of course referred to as plain. The costumes were all pastiches of monsters from classics amongst the Universal Studios films of 1930s and 1940s.

The show saw the family get into classic japes such as scaring away Marilyn’s dates, Herman getting mistaken for a mummy when he goes to take a nap in a museum and a mix ups with love potions. That kind of thing.

Here, then, is the trailer for the new film…

Instead of focusing on the family that we all know and love, Rob Zombie’s offering will be more of an origin story, giving us an insight into how Herman and Lily met, or as the trailer brands it “the greatest love story ever told”. The big difference and a main sticking point for fans is that it’s no longer in black and white: but also, it’s 2022 for Satan’s sake, of course it’s not! Instead it’s super bright and colourful, which personally I like and think it gives the movie an added classic monsters edge.

As Zombie himself acknowledged in an interview with EW “I knew that if I went in and demanded, ‘This movie’s going to be in black and white or forget it’ we would not be talking about The Munsters right now, because it would have never happened. I guaran-fucking-tee it. But what I did do is I made the colors sort of hyper-real”.

He added that “I noticed when the actors were in their makeup and they were just walking around, getting lunch or whatever, they looked like cartoon characters come to life. They were just so insanely colorful. I was like, I have to light the movie in the same fashion. It really seemed at all times like a live action cartoon, which was really exciting”.

I loved The Munsters TV show growing up and the main reason for that was because it was so ridiculous. It was a show that didn’t take itself seriously, and how could it when its main character was literally Frankenstein’s monster, who bumbled around crashing through things and drove a souped up coffin whilst never questioning where the werewolf half of his son came from?

For me at least, the film looks just as promising and fans shouldn’t give up hope yet.  It’s just a trailer anyway. And with Jeff Daniel Phillips taking up the mantle of Herman and Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie as Lily there’s promise. That, and the movie also stars Elvira, Sylvester McCoy and Daniel Roebuck. I was particularly excited to see that original cast members Butch Patrick and Pat Priest (Eddie and Marilyn) are also making an appearance.

The Munsters looks campy, schticky and overdramatic, exactly as I remember it and I can’t wait. By the sounds of it, I won’t have to for long anyway…

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