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The owner of a wax museum has an exhibit dedicated to the Munsters. When he uses robots that look like Herman and Granpa to pull a jewelry heist, everyone thinks that the real Herman and Grandpa did it. They must prove their innocence and uncover the real thieves. Written by
They've goofed it again. Even though Fred Gwynne detested what his old Herman Munster role did to the rest of his career, he agreed to reprise this wonderful character for an astronomical sum of money. Much to his surprise, the producers were willing to pay it - though as it turned out, Gwynne got the better half of the bargain. As a huge fan of the original MUNSTERS television show I can tell you this one hurts. That is, it's painfully unfunny to watch. I suppose it's better than no reunion at all, but what a shame it turned out so underwhelming.
For starters, the script is downright awful: A mad doctor (Sid Caesar - I'll deal with him later) has an army of monster robots, two of which resemble Herman and Grandpa (Al Lewis, also reprising his part). Sending these automatons out on random crime sprees, it isn't very long before they're mistaken for the real Herman and Grandpa Munster -- and our arrested heroes have to spend the rest of the movie convincing everyone that they're innocent, while trying to foil the doctor's plans.
Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis get the most screen time, which is a small solace, as their old jams together are the only thing worth staying tuned for. What very little satisfaction is squeezed from this revival is due to them. Just the same, they're visibly older and slower, and just don't seem to be as vital as they were on the show. This is certainly understandable, but what's not acceptable is that the jokes are terrible, and the glaring silence where a laugh track ought to be only alerts us to that fact. This brings me back to Sid Caesar, who is more annoying than funny, and adds absolutely nothing to the proceedings as "Dr. Diablo".
Yvonne De Carlo returns as Lily, but she's very under-used and that's probably all for the best. Since this was now the 1980's, the next mistake was in casting some new, "hip" modern-sounding actors to portray little Eddie and a new Marilyn. It would have been much more conceivable to cast the original Butch Patrick and Pat Priest as the now-older versions of their sixties characters. The modern music is also not very nostalgic for fans of the old show, and gets in the way. The feeling one gets from this lost opportunity is that those involved just missed the whole point of what made the original series so delightful to those of us who grew up loving it. Darn, Darn, Darn! ** out of ****
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