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Here Come the Munsters

   

Here Come the Munsters (1995) starring Edward Herrmann, Veronica Hamel, Robert Morse

Here Comes the Munsters was an attempt to reboot the classic TV series, The Munsters. It doesn’t quite succeed, but it has it’s own charms.

It’s probably damning with faint praise to say that Here Come the Munsters isn’t all that bad. But, it’s true.

What they got right

  • The actors all do a fine job.
    • Edward Hermann does a fine job of capturing the sweet, childlike nature of Herman Munster. At one point, he’s literally a “monster in the closet” of a young boy. He apologizes for scaring him, and then tucks him into bed. It’s very sweet. Later, a young girl at a political rally gives him a balloon. “I love balloons.”
    • Veronica Hamel does a surprisingly good turn as Lily Munster. She’s a sweet, loving wife and mother. After having some of their neighbor ladies over for “tea”, she follows their advice and tries making the family eat “healthy”. A funny running joke.
    • Robert Morse make a very entertaining Grandpa. He’s not quite playing the original character, but he puts his own spin on him. And he’s very enjoyable, and fun to watch.
  • The makeup, sets, etc. all look wonderful.
  • There’s a very sweet, extended, cameo of the surviving original cast (Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Pat Priest) at a restaurant. Where Herman is their waiter. Sweet and enjoyable.

What they got wrong

  • The movie attempts to combine The Munsters with The Addams Family. In the original series, The Munsters may look like monsters, but they act like ordinary American citizens. This is where much of the humor came from. Here, they’re decidedly more ghoulish. Herman speaks of using the villagers as spare parts, for example. Lily puts a vampire bite on a security guard, Eddie goes full-on werewolf, etc.
  • The movie attempts to create a backstory for the Munsters. Unlike the original series, which simply took up with them living their American dream. I feel that it distracts from the movie.
  • Much of the movie is more bad sitcom than zany. And it doesn’t play well.
  • Some of the scenes/effects are … disturbing. For example, Herman’s sister, Elsa, is in a coma. So Grandpa literally cuts open her skull, and looks at her brain – on camera.
  • The basic story is fairly stereotypical. The villain, an unscrupulous campaign manager, is one-dimensional and boring.

Conclusion

I just finished watching Here Come the Munsters on TubiTV. I enjoyed it, but I frankly wouldn’t have paid to watch it.

Cast

  • Edward Herrmann (The Cat’s Meow) … Herman Munster.
  • Veronica Hamel (Hill Street Blues) … Lily Munster
  • Robert Morse (The Emperor’s New Clothes) … Grandpa
  • Christine Taylor (The Wedding Singer) … Marilyn Hyde (Munster). The “homely” Munster niece. Nice, pleasant, attractive girl-next-door.
  • Mathew Botuchis (Letters from Iwo Jima) … Eddie Munster
  • Troy Evans (Demolition Man) … Detective Warshowski. The slightly-crooked cop, who’s moonlighting as security for the Jekyll campaign. And, is willing to “bend the rules”.
  • Joel Brooks (Stir Crazy) … Larry Walker. The unscrupulous campaign manager.
  • Sean O’Bryan (The Princess Diaries) … Detective Cartwell. Handsome, young. honest and compassionate police detective. He treats Herman kindly when under arrest. He becomes Marilyn’s boyfriend by the end of the movie.
  • Mary Woronov (Night of the Comet) … Mrs. Dimwitty. The nosy next door neighbor. She initially calls 9-1-1 when she thinks the Munsters are moving a corpse. Later, during Lily’s tea party, she snoops around the kitchen and finds things she didn’t want. At the end, she’s Grandpa’s date … or snack.
  • Jeff Trachta (The Bold and the Beautiful) … Brent Jeckyll. The handsome, charismatic, easily manipulated alter ego of Norman.

Secondary characters

  • Max Grodénchik (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) … Norman Hyde. The “normal” version of Marilyn’s father, Elsa’s husband. A mad scientist, who made a mistake in trying to “cure” Marilyn.
  • Judy Gold … Elsa Munster Hyde. Herman’s sister, comatose for much of the movie. I love the shout-out to Elsa Lanchester, since she’s made up to look like the Bride of Frankenstein.
  • Brian George (Batman: The Killing Joke) … Immigration Official. A short, but funny, appearance.
  • Keone Young … Ralph, the limo driver. Who “runs into” Herman at the airport. Another short, but funny, performance.
  • Jane Carr (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) … Cassie O’Leary. Unemployment office worker. A nice lady, with some very funny lines!

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