MUNSTER, GO HOME

PrintE-mail Written by Robin Pierce

As The Munsters came to the end of their TV run in 1966, just before the sets were demolished and the cast went their separate ways, the decision was taken to produce a film for theatrical release, and it’s finally available on DVD!

Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) inherits the title of Lord Munster along with Munster Hall, a stately home in England. So it’s off to Britain they go, leaving Spot (the unseen pet dragon) to guard 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

Of course, there are some typical Munster sight gags, puns and misunderstandings on board the steamer across the Atlantic, but the real fun starts when they arrive at their ancestral inheritance and meet the British side of the Munster clan.

The UK Munsters are a family of homicidal psychopaths, jealous of their American cousins and determined to frighten them back to the colonies. And if that doesn’t work, there’s the mysterious Gryphon who runs a counterfeiting ring who’ll make sure that Freddie Munster (Terry-Thomas playing a cad, bounder and through and through rotter as usual) gets his inheritance by any foul means necessary in a cross-country car race.

The script is very much an elongated episode of the TV series, only in full colour – with some subtle changes to the make-up, particularly Grandpa Munster (Al Lewis), to accommodate the bigger screen. Though it’s a novelty to see the family in colour for the first time, we can’t help wondering if the original monochrome serves the characters better as a reminder of the old black and white films that inspired them.

The regular cast are all back in their familiar roles, with the exception of a mysteriously recast Marilyn Munster with Debbie Watson replacing series regular Pat Priest. The double act of Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis is a comedic delight. Joining Terry-Thomas as the matriarch of the English Munsters is Hermione Gingold as lady Effigie Munster, with John Carradine as Cruikshank the butler.

Fans of the series will love this opportunity to see this on DVD for the first time.

MUNSTER, GO HOME / CERT: U / DIRECTOR: EARL BELLAMY / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: FRED GWYNNE, YVONNE DE CARLO, AL LEWIS, BUTCH PATRICK, DEBBIE WATSON / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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