The Munsters

I’m getting a kick out of the people who are trying to provide Rob Zombie professional criticism regarding The Munsters, and likewise for the writers and vloggers who want to take digs at it and make fun of it – it’s all very cute.  I don’t hold myself in higher regard to my peers, but I know a lark when I see one.  And, Rob Zombie’s family-friendly seasonal comedy The Munsters is a big, fat, flashy lark that appears to have been made with a bottomless budget and not enough supervision.  It’s refreshing as it is insane.

Known for his music and his violently unhinged R-rated horror movies, Zombie’s latest is a weird anomaly that not only goes against his usual output, but defies outsider opinions and expectations.  It doesn’t matter that you think it’s good or bad.  Zombie wants you to know that the movie is simply “there” for your consumption and, hopefully, your enjoyment;  notably for those who enjoy watching something “Halloween-y” around this time of year.  The movie has been made with the same intent as most holiday specials and commercials, and Zombie has been given a large paintbrush and unlimited cans of neon colours to visibly match the same excitement.  There are single frames of The Munsters that instantly deliver joy for the spooky season.  The costuming and make-up range from evoking nostalgia to making viewers reflect on how they would like to celebrate Halloween this year.  These are distractions, but they don’t draw our attention away from the film.

Rob Zombie also indulges in lots of cornball comedy.  In the past, the writer/director has been guilty of deviating away from his violent thrillers to crack wise during jarring, standalone scenes.  The Munsters, resembling a sketch comedy anthology, has an unconventional pace that will usually shelf a traditional narrative for eccentric laughs and gaffes.  Much like the visual cues, the silliness fits in with the lighthearted atmosphere of Zombie’s movie, though the film’s unnecessarily and unbearably long runtime takes the focus away from why the writing and the performances work.

Much like how the Farrelly Brothers’ The Three Stooges captured the same goofy tone and rhythmic slapstick of its titular comedy troupe, Rob Zombie’s consistent commitment to his ambition earns an “A” for effort.  Like The Three Stooges though, the finished film doesn’t make a case that this type of movie is sufficient enough to satisfy modern audiences – the takeaway will vary with each movie goer.  And for me, The Munsters is good enough for an annual watch to hype up Halloween.


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