The 2022 horror-comedy The Munsters is currently streaming on Netflix. Written and directed by Rob Zombie, the movie is a reboot of the 1960s family sitcom of the same name. It stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Daniel Roebuck, Richard Brake, Jorge Garcia, Sylvester McCoy, Catherine Schell, and Cassandra Peterson.
The story takes place before the events of The Munsters series, serving as an origin story for the characters who move from Transylvania to an American suburb. The movie begins with Dr. Henry Augustus Wolfgang, a mad scientist, and his assistant Floop robbing a grave to collect body parts for an experimental creation.
The Rob Zombie helmed The Munsters is streaming on Netflix.
However, a mix-up occurs when Floop accidentally grabs the head of a hacky comedian named Shecky Von Rathbone instead of the intended astrophysicist, Shelly. Through electrical experimentation, Wolfgang brings the creature to life and calls him Herman Munster. Meanwhile, Romani Zoya Krupp seeks revenge on her ex-husband, The Count, by manipulating his werewolf son Lester.
She persuades Lester to assist her in acquiring The Count’s Transylvanian castle for a casino and theme park scheme. The Count’s vampire daughter, Lily Gruesella, navigates her love life disappointments and encounters Herman Munster on a television show. Despite Herman’s unexpected goofiness, Lily falls for his unique charm.
Herman rises to fame, managed by Floop, and he wins Lily’s heart with his comedic performances. As their relationship blossoms in The Munsters, The Count becomes increasingly displeased with Herman and devises a plan to get rid of him. Despite The Count’s efforts, Herman and Lily marry, and Herman unknowingly signs over the castle’s deed to Zoya.
After their honeymoon and facing eviction from Zoya, Herman, and Lily decide to start anew in Hollywood. They settle in a peculiar neighborhood, Mockingbird Heights, and discover their eccentricity is appreciated during a Halloween party. However, Herman’s job at a funeral parlor exposes the Munsters to the reality of suburban life.
Before his directorial debut in 2003’s House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie had shown interest in creating The Munsters movie in collaboration with Universal Pictures. He officially announced his plans for a film adaptation of the series in 2021. Initially envisioning a black-and-white aesthetic, Zombie’s idea was rejected by the studio. So, he decided to embrace a vivid and intense visual style instead.
According to several critics, the film has a much darker and violent feel compared to the sitcom, which was more lighthearted and family-friendly.
The Munsters movie received mixed reviews following its release. Some people felt that the movie captured the essence of the series, while others thought it completely mangled everything that made the original series an enduring piece of pop culture. The film currently holds a 53 percent critic rating and a 36 percent audience score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
The biggest difference between The Munsters movie and the television show is the tone. According to several critics, the film has a much darker and violent feel compared to the sitcom, which was more lighthearted and family-friendly. The movie also features some characters not in the television show, such as a vampire hunter and a group of Satanists.
The Origins Of The Munsters
The original Munsters sitcom aired on CBS from 1964 to 1966. Created by Norm Liebman and Ed Haas, it presented viewers with a humorous take on the horror genre. The series revolves around the lives of the Munster family, a group of monsters who live in suburban America and try to lead normal lives despite their eerie appearances and supernatural abilities.
The main characters of The Munsters sitcom include Herman Munster, played by Fred Gwynne, Lily Munster, played by Yvonne De Carlo, Grandpa, played by Al Lewis, Eddie Munster, played by Butch Patrick; and Marilyn Munster, played by Beverley Owen and later Pat Priest. The series toyed with the idea of a “normal” suburban family, turning it on its head by making the family members monsters.
Despite its relatively short original run, The Munsters became a beloved and enduring part of pop culture. The series inspired several spinoffs and adaptations, some of which attempted to continue or re-imagine the original concept. The Munsters Today served as a direct sequel to the original series and was set in the 1980s.
This was followed by made-for-television movies The Munsters’ Revenge in 1981 and Here Come the Munsters in 1995. While these spinoffs aimed to revive the Munster family’s antics, none gained significant popularity or recognition. A modern take on The Munsters called Mockingbird Lane was created by Bryan Fuller in 2021. Although the pilot was well-received, the series was not picked up.