MUNSTER, GO HOME! (1966)
Article 3560 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-21-2011
Posting Date: 5-14-2011
Directed by Earl Bellamy
Featuring Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis
What it is: TV sitcom makes it to the big screen
Herman becomes the heir to an English estate and the title of Lord. He brings his family to England, but finds that the current residents are hiding a secret.. and want the newcomers out of the way.
Let’s get this on record first; on the big “The Addams Family” or “The Munsters” question, I’ve always gone with “The Munsters”. Not that there was anything wrong with the other show; in fact, it may have been the better sitcom. But I’ve always had a soft spot for this one, at least partially because of the excellent casting of Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster and because of the show’s central premise that the Munsters thought of themselves as a typical family. The movie is exactly what you’d expect; it’s like an episode of the show stretched to feature length with the addition of color and a racing sequence that was probably a little too expensive for a sitcom. It’s only so-so, but it hits the right nostalgia buttons for me, and the supporting cast (which includes Terry-Thomas, Hermione Gingold, Richard Dawson and John Carradine) is a lot of fun. In fact, I was a little surprised to realize Carradine was in it; I didn’t remember his presence when I saw it as a kid. However, watching it again, I know why; his makeup is so elaborate that he’s almost unrecognizable, and only his voice gives him away. On a side note, I finally realized something about Gwynne’s performance that I really liked; given how the original Frankenstein monster was played by Boris Karloff with a certain child-like innocence, I found it quite amusing that Gwynne also gave his character a child-like spin, what with his gleeful joy at everything around him and his temper tantrums.