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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Munster, Go Home! (1966)

After the TV show ended in 1966, they tried to extend the success of The Munsters by producing a full length feature film in living color!  From the get go, I actually found the color distracting and would have preferred it to be in black and white to match the original show.  However, color was the thing back in the day, so color they got!

The original cast is back, except for Pat Priest who played Marilyn.  They thought she was too old to play the part [She was over 30 at the time.  Beverly Hills 90210, anyone?]  so they cast the red-headed Debbie Watson in her place.  Watson does a fine job in Priest’s place and I admire that they didn’t try to duplicate Priest and went for a different vibe altogether.

While the Munster family makeup doesn’t look nearly as good in color as it did in black and white [it’s not bad, it’s just too vibrant] once I settled into the brilliant comedy of Fred Gwynne, Yvonne DeCarlo and Al Lewis, it became less of an issue.  Even in places where the script feels a little thin, these three amazing actors make it work.  I never tire of watching this trio do their thing.  They always deliver the goods…and then some!

Adding to the fun are Hermione Gingold [The Music Man], Terry-Thomas [The Abominable Dr. Phibes] as some of the Munster’s eccentric English relatives, and John Carradine [Silent Night Bloody Night, The Sentinel] who plays the butler.  I love Carradine’s makeup and his deadpan approach to his character works brilliantly. 

While Munster, Go Home is not quite as good as the original series, it is enjoyable from start to finish.  Fans of the show will definitely enjoy it.

RATING: Very Good.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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