When we here at Murphy’s Multiverse exclusively revealed that Rob Zombie was working on a reboot of The Munsters, it’s safe to say hopes were high. After all, the reboot has long been a passion project for the musician and filmmaker. Unfortunately, there’s nothing redeeming regarding this reboot.
The Munsters, of course, focuses on the Munster family. Lily, a 150-year-old vampire, is eagerly looking for the man of her nightmares. While her father, The Count, has her idea of the type of man she should go for, Lily soon finds herself drawn to Herman, a seven-foot-tall, green experiment much to her father’s dismay. As the duo get to know one another, they quickly fall in love and seek to get married, they’ll soon encounter plenty of hijinks along the way. It’s a simple enough story, but one that doesn’t warrant a reboot.
It’s frustrating because Zombie has been trying to make The Munsters for some time now. His love of the original and his drive to make the film should’ve produced something of quality. Instead, fans are treated to a film that looks like it was crafted for television — it’s shot cheaply and there are moments when the cinematography is downright terrible. To put it in better terms: It looks like an episode of Doctor Who from ten years ago.
There are two areas in which The Munsters kind of succeeds. The set design is pretty great. There’s no denying the set is constructed to capture the campiness of the original television series. The film also does a great job of not forgoing the absurdity of the original series. Sadly, though, that’s about as interesting as this reboot manages to get during its 110-minute runtime. It often drags, lacking any sort of charm or true purpose. It doesn’t help, either, that Zombie insists on using the same core cast for most of his films. It’s unfortunate enough that the screenplay is weak, but to make matters worse, the cast is subpar. Sheri Moon Zombie and Jeff Daniel Phillips are both severely miscast.
Moon Zombie and Phillips admittedly both try to deliver good performances. The problem is they’re both simply out of their leagues on this one. They seemed to have been cast out of convenience rather than skill. And while it does work for some of Zombie’s other films, in this case, though, the filmmaker played it too close to the chest. This take on a classic like the Munsters could’ve benefited from someone else tackling the screenplay and an A-List cast.
The Munsters is meant to be light-hearted and campy. It’s meant to be exciting, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. Sadly, Zombie’s The Munsters is simply a snooze fest that is best to avoid. You’ll be counting down the minutes, questioning what the purpose of this reboot truly was, all while growing frustrated you wasted the time to check it out.