The beloved Munsters show originally came to an end in 1966, having only ran for 2 years. After that came various movies and even a late-‘80s relaunch (The Munsters Today), before we were given another updating of the classic family with Here Comes the Munsters. The plot is thin at best, with the Munsters clan upping sticks and moving from Transylvania to the US of A – to be more precise, to the familiar homestead of Mockingbird Lane. Upon arriving in a new country, the family are ostracised and ridiculed for being different, giving the movie a moral tale to bang its audience over the head with at every turn. As they struggle to fit in to their new surroundings, there’s also a subplot involving the missing Norman Hyde and slimy politician Brent Jeckyll, although we’ll let you guess how that turns out. And that is literally it in terms of the plot of this redo.
Taking over as the classic family, we’ve got Edward Herrmann as Herman, Veronica Hamel as Lily, Mathew Botuchis as Eddie, Christine Taylor (Ben Stiller’s other half and one of those faces who turns up in nearly every modern-day comedy of the last 5 years) as Marilyn, and Robert Morse as a Grandpa so slimy that he would give even Jimmy Saville the willies. The cast all do their best with what’s in front of them but largely just feel like washed-out caricatures of characters we already know so well. As a duo, Herrmann and Hamel work well at the centre of the action, although they never really have much to sink their teeth in to other than parading as parodies of Fred Gwynne and Yvonne De Carlo.
In fairness to Here Comes the Munsters, it does attempt to tick the right boxes. The problem is, it’s nowhere near as enjoyable as the original ‘60s series. Whether this is down to nostalgic reminiscing or whether this 1995 movie is just plain bad is the real question, though. There are plenty of similar tropes of the classic show in place here, yet the final product ends up being nowhere near as endearing and simply makes you yearn for the original series, even more so when certain members of the classic show’s cast pop up to make some brief, enjoyable cameos.
As far as a light-hearted romp, Here Comes the Munsters may work for some, particularly for those unfamiliar with the original Munsters series, and this 1995 movie doesn’t exactly offend. It’s just that by the time you’ve sat through the 96-minute run time, all you’ll want to do is track down the original series in order to vanquish the memory of what you’ve just watched.
Special Features: None
HERE COME THE MUNSTERS / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: ROBERT GINTY / SCREENPLAY: BILL BRADY, JIM FISHER, JIM STAAHL / STARRING: EDWARD HERRMANN, VERONICA HAMEL, ROBERT MORSE, CHRISTINE TAYLOR, MATHEW BOTUCHIS / RELEASE DATE: JULY 27TH