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The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas (1996)

Get ready for some holiday spirits as the first family of fright rallies to show melancholy Eddie Munster (Bug Hall) some of the holly, jolly magic that only Santa can bring.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Larry
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Lefty
Mark Mitchell ...
Jeremy Callaghan ...
Tom
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John Allen ...
Mr. Pawlikowski
Noel Ferrier ...
Door Knocker
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Tziporah Malkah ...
Pretty Girl in Bar (as Kate Fisher)
Ann Dane ...
Mrs. Stein
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Storyline

Get ready for some holiday spirits as the first family of fright rallies to show melancholy Eddie Munster (Bug Hall) some of the holly, jolly magic that only Santa can bring.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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If you think your family is weird... spend this Christmas with the Munsters!

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Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

17 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agyrém család karácsonya  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The door knocker in this holiday-themed television special is based on Jacob Marley from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" depicting the moment in which Ebenezer Scrooge views Marley's spooky face rather than his own knocker. See more »

Connections

References The Fly (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The last best re-visitation of the original series.
6 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When you hear "The Munsters" you instantly think Fred Gwynne (Herman) Al Lewis (Grandpa) and Yvonne DeCarlo (Lily). The three iconic characters that define the original First Family of Fright are the three most difficult to recreate.

Since previous reviews have spelled out what happens in this made for television movie, I'll focus my comments on the cast.

Sam McMurray as Herman Munster. Of previous actors to play the role since Fred Gwynne, Sam McMurray does a fairly good job of bringing the bumbling goof-ball Herman back to the small screen. A number of scenes bring a smile as that old familiar Herman appears like a mirage through McMurray's acting. Unfortunately his delivery of some of Herman's most memorable outbursts seem canned and without heart. While other moments seem over acted to the point of being out of character.

Not to be held against McMurray, the make-up team lacked the ability to transform him into Herman as Steve Johnson did with Edward Hermann in "Here Come the Munsters." In this incarnation Herman's facial color is bright minty green and the contouring seems to appear and disappear between scenes, leaving him looking flat and without character. McMurray also is not nearly as tall (only 6'2) as either Fred Gwynne or Edward Hermann who were both 6'5. Even with the platform boots and flat top head prosthetic McMurray did not tower over his costars as he should have.

All things considered Sam McMurray gets seven stars out of a possible ten.

Sandy Baron as Grandpa. With all due respect to the late Mr. Baron, he was the worst element of this television movie. Baron's portrayal of Grandpa was so poorly delivered it actually brings a cringe. Ignoring the poor script for Grandpa, Baron delivers almost every line nearly out of breath and completely out of character. His facial expressions and mannerisms come across the screen as a painfully forced, terrible Al Lewis impersonation. Making matters worse his poorly applied make-up included a monstrous, out of proportion nose prosthetic that stood out like a sore thumb. None of the magic or charm of Al Lewis' Grandpa was invoked by Baron.

Sadly Sandy Baron gets one star out of a possible ten for his out of touch portrayal of the lovable, cantankerous Grandpa.

Ann Magnuson as Lily Munster. Yvonne DeCarlo defined Lily Munster and made her what she is. From her facial expressions, body language and personality DeCarlo made Lily iconic and impossible to cast. That is until Ann Magnuson.

Magnuson stands out as the highlight of this entire television movie. In every scene involving Lily, Magnuson channels DeCarlo's charm, charisma and matriarchal appeal. Magnuson managed to achieve what seemed impossible. She became Lily, to the point where every scene she appeared in, she stole completely. If Magnuson is guilty of anything, it is playing Lily so well, it only showed how poorly the rest of the cast embodied their characters.

While the make-up team failed miserably on Herman and Grandpa, they excelled on Lily. Her make-up remained constant through out the film and though not quite blue enough as the original, Magnuson glowed as the daylight resistant Vampiress. While a liberty or two was taken with her gown, and the length of her hair was not quite long enough. None of these small variances upstaged her presence. Dare I say she was a 'dead' ringer for Yvonne?

Ann Magnuson gets ten out of ten stars for her haunting recreation of a classic television icon.

Bug Hall as Eddie Munster. Butch Patrick acted exactly how you'd expect the prepubescent wolf-boy son of Frankenstein's Monster and a Vampiress to act. It appeared Hall could have captured the original feel of Eddie if his direction had been better. Once or twice he emulated Eddie but it soon faded. I'd blame the director for this problem.

Yet again the make-up team fell far short of capturing the skin tone and proper hair for Eddie.

Unfortunately Bug Hall gets five out of ten possible stars for his unmemorable portrayal of Eddie Munster.

Elaine Hendrix as Marilyn Munster. While Marilyn was portrayed by Beverly Owen in the first season of the original series, replaced by Pat Priest in season two Priest is unforgettable as the blond, 'unfortunate' member of the Munster clan. Hendrix's portrayal of the bombshell Marilyn fell flat. Her physical appearance simply did not embody the jaw dropping effect of Priest. While her acting was not bad, it simply was not memorable. At no point in the film did the familiar Marilyn feel come across.

Wardrobe failed miserably with dresses that were too short for the modest beauty that is Marilyn.

Elaine Hendrix gets five out of ten possible stars for her forgettable portrayal of Marilyn Munster.

The Munster Mansion. The Munsters home is just as important of a character as the cast. Sadly the crew failed completely in capturing the original look of the home. The interior sets bared no resemblance to the original, which would have been relatively easy to create. The only recognizable element was the staircase and Spot. Sadly Spot looked terrible as well. The exterior looked too much like the home from The Addams Family. They would have done better to use stock footage or shoot a model as was done in "The Munsters Today" television show.

All elements combined the show gets five out of ten stars. The only redeeming quality in this film is Ann Magnuson as Lily Munster. Fans of Lily will love every moment she is present on screen. For this reason alone this TV movie should be seen.


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