Release Date: Sept. 22, 2022
Directed by. Rob Zombie
Who would have thunk it that the newest film from horror director heroin, Rob Zombie, would have been a PG-rated freaky family flick — but here we are! By no means was this film bad; there were lots of stylistic things that were done REALLY well that I actually really loved…but there were also lots of things done extremely poorly that brought the whole vibe down.
First and foremost, this project was super ballsy for a director such as Zombie to pick up. He is known for set editing and filming styles but also for his jaw-dropping attention to blood and guts that can be seen in almost every one of his films. When this movie was first teased, I know I was not the only one wondering how this was going to turn out: Was it going to end up being age-appropriate such as The Munsters always were, or was it gonna be full of sex and blood and guts?
Obviously, this film turned out to be something the whole family could enjoy, but Zombie was still about to leave his own mark so you knew this was one of his.
The editing and overall style of the movie were absolutely breathtaking! From the shaky camera work to cartoon graphics over real-life film, to silly sound effects, this movie screamed Rob Zombie! Cinematography-wise, honestly the only way to compare it would be to that of his first film, House of 1,000 Corpses…but for the whole family.
The costumes were also so perfect and spot on. The whole backstory behind this film is that The Munsters have always been a Zombie favorite, so he wanted to be able to create something in his style that paid tribute to how this T.V. series changed his life; the attention to detail with the costumes was right out of the mind of someone who had watched, lived and breathed this show.
Although his movie had flaws to it, I just found it refreshing that Zombie created something that he knew a lot about and made sure the technical features were flawless.
The filming itself was also so freaking clean! It looked like the characters were standing right in front of you. Certain bright colors just popped right off the screen too! From Herman Munster’s bright green face and black nails to Lily Munster’s white streaks throughout her jet-black hair.
I could talk about the visual appeal of this film ALL day, but alas, we must move on. Now, if you are familiar with Zombie’s work you know that every one of his movies stars his beautiful wife, Sheri Moon Zombie. People are extremely split about her acting — some find it amazing while others find it horrific. I have always just been a middleman in this area; not amazing but nothing to complain about.
With that being said, Sheri Moon was the face of Lily Munster in this film and I think she did an amazing job. Although Lily was the creepy wife to the goofy front man, similar to that of Morticia to Gomez Addams from The Addams Family (which was also extremely popular around this time frame), she had a different energy. Morticia was this dark, sexy mysterious women were Lily was more like your average, bubbly, fun-loving housewife — Sheri Moon was able to capture that to a TEE!
Jeff Danial Phillips, who played Herman Munster, also understood the assignment and was able to bring his character to life. Obviously, it is not even fair to compare Phillips to original Herman actor, Fred Gwynne, but he did a great job at being the silly dope that Herman was known to be.
Both lead actors did their research on the characters they were playing. The voices, body language, personalities and even small little mannerisms all came through from the performances put on by Phillips and Sheri Moon Zombie.
I have been hyping this movie up pretty hard based on a lot of the inside factors, but in reality, as an actual movie…it was super dry and lame.
The overall story for this movie is basically what happened before The Munsters T.V. which aired back in 1964; how did they get to where the show started? It started with the creation of Herman and the personal life of Lily and her father, The Count, and it just didn’t feel like it was going anywhere for a LONG time.
Finally, after a solid half an hour of backstory (which granted was kinda needed, just not done well), Lily and Herman end up falling in love; you think this would be a large plot point but it really isn’t. They are just dating dating dating, then there is a small problem (which you think is gonna be the big climax problem) but then everything is cool, they get married and steer into the skid of the problem and move on.
There was no main agenda for the movie. Yes it told the pre-story of The Munsters, but there was not really a this happens, then this happens, then the problem happens, then they work to get it resolved; it was a bunch of stuff that kinda just came together in the end for no apparent reason.
I found myself constantly wanting to check my phone and tune out the first hour of the movie because as I mentioned, although the background was needed, the only way I can describe it is dry! There was a lot happening…while there was nothing happening if you can follow me!
After Lily and Herman get married things to start to pick up just a little bit leading the movie to end on a high-ish note which I guess is a plus. This last little bit of the movie was them actually moving to the suburbs and buying the iconic Munster house and it was the best part of the movie.
Yes, the plot was rough…very rough, but as with the costume and set designs, Zombie paid super close attention to detail about The Munsters and their lives from the show which was something I did really enjoy seeing. The two huge examples I can think of is the backstory of how they acquired their dragon, Spot, who is well-known from the show and lives under the staircase, and the idea of adding Lester, Lily’s younger werewolf brother, to the film.
Overall, this movie had its flaws. When you look at it from the perspective of a movie (the sole purpose to entertain) it has a very low ranking. The plot was all over the place and there were so many things happening that it almost felt like NOTHING was happening at the same time. But then when you look at it from the perspective of cinema or a motion picture (how the movie looks visually and how it was put together) it was perfect!
The small attention to detail, both from the original show and the time period, the smooth editing, the directing from Zombie and the performance from the actors were all 100% brilliant and deserved to be separated from the crappy storyline. This one was definitely tough to slap a rating on, but I gave it a 2/5.
When I actually think about the movie and having to rewatch it, that rating just seems too high, but when thinking back to the aesthetic and look I almost want to rate it higher! This is definitely one to check out if you are a Munsters or a Rob Zombie fan because it will blur your vision on both of those things.
This film is out as a Netflix Original (on Netflix obviously) but for some reason is also already available to buy on DVD on Amazon for about $12.