Here Come the Munsters is a 1995 American comedy horror TV movie in which the family go to America to search for Herman’s brother-in-law Norman Hyde. However, they discover that he has turned himself into Brent Jekyll and is running for Congress; Grandpa must therefore concoct a formula to change him back into Norman.
Directed by Robert Ginty (star of The Exterminator movies) from a screenplay written by Bill Prady, Jim Fisher and Jim Staahl based on characters created by Norm Liebmann and Ed Haas.
The Bodega Bay Productions-St. Clare Entertainment-MCA Television Entertainment production stars Edward Herrmann, Veronica Hamel, Robert Morse, Christine Taylor, Mathew Botuchis, Troy Evans, Joel Brooks, Sean O’Bryan, Mary Woronov, Jeff Trachta, Max Grodénchik, Judy Gold and Amanda Bearse. Four members of the original Munsters have cameo roles and horror icon Dee Wallace has an uncredited role.
With an all-new cast, this is something of an ‘origin’ movie, opening with the family living in Transylvania but growing tired of the local peasants attacking their castle (the portrayal of Romanians here is as basic as the portrayal of the English in Munster, Go Home!), decide to head off to America, thinking that Cousin Marilyn (Christine Taylor) has invited them over.
These opening scenes hint at a rather darker version of the Munsters – there is no doubt that they have been killing the locals, either to supply Herman (Edward Herrmann, appropriately!) with body parts or to supply blood for Grandpa (Robert Morse). There definitely seems to be an Addams Family influence in these scenes, with Lily (Veronica Hamel) more darkly glamorous and Eddie (Mathew Botuchis) more feral.
However, on their arrival in the USA, the film takes a lighter tone, and instead becomes a none-too-subtle, but surprisingly biting satire on immigration – or more accurately, the demonising of immigrants by some politicians.
It turns out that Marilyn’s invitation was to help find her father and Herman’s brother-in-law, Norman Hyde (Max Grodenchik), who has mysteriously disappeared. At the same time, the family find themselves a target for populist right-wing politician Brent Jekyll (Jeff Trachta), who is running on a ‘send ‘em back where they came from’ ticket. Unless you have no knowledge of horror characters, you can probably see where this is going…
The political subtext of the film is rather unexpected, and rather welcome in a film like this, even if it is laid on a bit thick – every friendly person the family meets is a foreigner, every dreadful person a born and bred American, and of course, the Munsters themselves represent every immigrant trying to get by in a new country.
Of course, you have to get used to a new cast playing the familiar family, but that’s less of an issue than you might expect – everyone fits the roles well, and the film pays a nice tribute to the original cast by having Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick and Pat Priest make a cameo appearance (Fred Gwynne had died two years earlier).
The supporting cast includes cult favourite Mary Woronov, and the direction by actor Robert Ginty – The Exterminator himself! – is solid, if unflashy. The result is a film that is a lot more enjoyable than it has any right to be and a worthy addition to the Munsters legacy.
Guest review by David Flint via The Reprobate [click link for a lively overview of The Munsters entire history].
” …small gripes aside, Here Come the Munsters is surprisingly good fun and seems to have been made with love and respect for its source material rather than just being a cynical cash-in. It doesn’t touch the majesty of the original TV show but as a modern(ish) redux of a classic it is leaps and bounds ahead of the awful The Munsters Today series from the late 1980s…” Flickering Myth
For the trailers, two full Munsters movies free to watch online on YouTube and links to more Munsters content please click on page 2 below