Review of “Munster, Go Home” (1966)

munster go hom
Image from IMDB

Plot:

Coming home from work at the funeral parlor one day, Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) finds the family waiting for him. It seems there’s a letter from some lawyer in England. The late lord Munster has just shuffled off this mortal coil, and left his entire estate, including the title to—yep—Herman.

After bidding goodbye to Spot, the dragon that lives under the front staircase (they’re not going to hire a Spot-sitter?), the Munsters head out across the pond from 1313 Mockingbird Lane: Lily (Yvonne De Carlo), Grandpa (Al Lewis), Eddie (Butch Patrick), and the “ugly” Marilyn (Debbie Watson). They take a cruise ship, not an airliner, which gives Herman and Grandpa amply opportunity to get into trouble.

Meanwhile, in Great Britain, the English side of the family feels rather put out by the arrival of the colonials. Ten seconds with this side of the family and the viewer doesn’t wonder why the old Lord Munster disinherited his children. Another complication arises when, as it turns out, the young man Marilyn met on the crossing comes from a family whose feud with the Munster family goes back decades. It can be settled only by a car race. Plus, there’s something the English Munsters don’t want anyone to know about—perhaps the content of the coffin-shaped boxes that keep coming out of the back door/dungeon of their estate?

Thoughts:

There is not much in the movie one can take seriously. It’s just goofy. The humor is, well, sophomoric. Among the gags are a temper tantrum from a grown man, cousin Freddy Munster (Terry-Thomas), at not being named Lord Munster and applause from Lily and Herman when their Old Country relatives try to scare them away from Munster Manor. The scare tactics have more in common with the carnival than with any haunting, I might add. To top it off, Cousin Freddy walks up to Lily and Herman in a ghost costume that dishonors old sheets. At his first glimpse of the two, he heads for the hills by way of the wall.

In a couple of places, obvious stunt doubles are used, and some minor continuity issues crop up, but the viewer has to be looking for these. None make any difference to the story, such as it is.

Like the television show, it’s intended for kids. It was the first time audiences saw the Munster clan in color. This would have been fun at a drive-in back in the day (yes, I’m dating myself…), but it was also fun—if not exactly hysterical—for pizza and bad movie night with the dearly beloved during the days of staying home and social distancing.

We watched it via Svengoolie.

Title: Munster, Go Home

Directed by … Earl Bellamy

Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)
Joe Connelly …(written by)
Bob Mosher …(written by)
George Tibbles …(written by)

Cast (in credits order) complete, awaiting verification
Fred Gwynne … Herman Munster
Yvonne De Carlo … Lily Munster
Al Lewis … Grandpa
Butch Patrick … Eddie Munster
Debbie Watson … Marilyn Munster
Terry-Thomas … Freddie Munster
Hermione Gingold … Lady Effigie Munster
Robert Pine … Roger Moresby
John Carradine … Cruikshank
Bernard Fox … Squire Lester Moresby
Richard Dawson … Joey

Released: August 6, 1966
Length: approx.. 1 hour, 36 minutes

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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