If there’s any merit in “The Munsters,” it might only be for die-hard fans of Rob Zombie, best known in the horror genre for its more extreme endeavors like “The Devil’s Rejects” or his two “Halloween” movies rather than for this ostensibly family drama. (There are some risky attempts to be funny, but nothing terrible.) At the outset, there are a handful of notable horror movie quotes or references, since a date blind date, Lily continues with Count Orlok, who looks…well, exactly like the title character from the classic German horror film “Nosferatu”, to “Frankenstein” in the first 20 minutes, to the The final appearance of Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The reference is easy enough to spot, but it’s hard to see it as anything more than rewarding for having some cultural insight.
The performances – whether sick, no matter how hard they are trying for good – all approach different levels of camp. Both Roebuck and Brake seem to capture the film they’re in, and so their over-the-top performances seem to match the material they’re offering. (The same goes for Garcia, who was mostly in the first third, before becoming one of the many characters… you know, leaves because they can’t do anything else.) Phillips focuses heavily on the goofy comedy style found in most of Herman’s films, both satisfying the material where it lands and often also being extremely painful when watch, especially when considering the slow-paced splash of each scene. Sheri Moon Zombie too, has a line-by-line reading that is too theatrical, but in a way that suits every angle with care, and every attempt to be weird from the costumes to the production design.
It’s hard not to let your mind wander a bit as you watch “The Munsters,” so it’s only fitting that this series be streamed straight to Netflix, which boasts a wide range of movies and shows built on it. customized to allow you to multitask instead of paying close attention. So it’s hard not to wonder who this movie is really for. Are modern kids a little champion for a “Munsters” movie? Would fans of Rob Zombie want to see him working in PG ranked mode? Perhaps they will, and perhaps they will consider this a movie that is so bad that it is good, or as a movie whose main point is lousy. (Gee, though, it sure would be nice to have a good filmmaking effort.) But the half-hearted way “The Munsters” is produced, from its winding beginnings to its abrupt ending, is implied. that it exists to tick one off the checklist, to make sure Universal Pictures has proven that they’ve finally tapped one more IP bit. What a messy, messed-up movie.
/ Movie Rating: 2 out of 10
https://www.slashfilm.com/1025258/the-munsters-review-a-baffling-painful-take-on-the-old-tv-comedy/ A hard, painful twist in the old TV comedy