Spooktacular: Rob Zombie's The Munsters (2022)

A prequel origin story we never asked for. Setting seems to be a random mix of 19th to mid-20th C Transylvania by way of overacting and bad jokes. Every shot is lit with colored gels or neon, it's like Atomic Blonde got drunk and threw up on the screen.

Opens with a series of vignettes. Mediocre, campy graverobbers (Richard Brake—Night King, Jorge Garcia—fatass Hurley, shocked he's still alive) collecting parts. Grampa/The Count (Daniel Roebuck) comes up from his coffin, with Igor (Sylvester McCoy! Not my favorite Doctor!) all excited about matchmaking Lily with Count Orlock. Lily (Sheri Moon Zombie) has an excruciating date with Orlock (also Richard Brake), full Nosferatu makeup. The terrible bar is kind of nifty, a goth Star Wars cantina vibe. Werewolf (Tomas Boykin, eventually named Lester) is The Count's disowned son, which at least explains where Eddie will get his lineage; the Countess is not seen or mentioned, but I expect she was a bitch! Breaking news tells us idiot & genius brothers have both died… WHICH BRAIN will the graverobbers collect? Yeah.

"I want a man that makes my blood run cold. That every time he enters my crypt, it's like a stake thru my dead, black, heart." —Lily

Up until Herman's (Jeff Daniel Phillips) unwrapping, I'm pretty dubious of this whole joke. But then he comes out… tells some jokes, clowns around, and… OK, this guy can play Herman. He is really dumb, but having him become a vaudeville/rocker works for dumb.

Zombie-a-Go-Go nightclub is pretty lit. I wish we had that for real.

Long sequence of them dating, over the Count's objection, then typical sitcom hijinks. The visuals are great, the plot is recycled '50s rom-com, and I really really hate rom-com. Half an hour or more with the only amusing bit being them collecting little baby Spot.

Through shenanigans, they move to Hollywood… 1313 Mockingbird Lane… on Halloween. There's a long block party sequence which is actually fun again. The movie nearly redeems itself!

And in the morning, under blazing sunlight, the Munsters react to their new normal life among square honkie pastel-clothed Los Angelinos with the same shock I would. IT IS A HORROR MOVIE AFTER ALL!

The end credits are pretty great, tho, recreating the series intro, then a little rock song by Count Orlock about them.

It has all the flaws of a Rob Zombie film, without any gore or fucking, and only a few funky scenes to make up for it.

★★½☆☆

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