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Munster, Go Home! (Blu-ray Review)

The Munsters or The Addams Family? What kind of a household are you? How about you can love and enjoy both of them! Its crazy how we had multiple horror based sitcoms at the same time, but here we are. Both were pretty popular too and pop culture staples. Scream Factory is taking on the feature film from The Munsters, aptly titled Munster, Go Home! And I got to hand it to them, they created quite a bit of excitement for me when they unveiled the special features for this that included a commentary not just with Butch Patrick, but also dragging Rob Zombie along for the ride. That might be the most exciting thing I’m looking forward to on this release. They also have included the TV film The Munsters’ Revenge, so its pretty much a double feature disc. Quite a fun release that other studios might not have done so much with. You’ll be able to collect this one when it arrives…well…during these times I’d say its safer to say “online”…March 31st!

Film

Herman inherits a mansion in England and moves the family into an estate full of ghosts and other surprises. Also starring Terry-Thomas (The Abominable Dr. Phibes), Hermione Gingold (Bell, Book and Candle), Richard Dawson (Hogan’s Heroes), Bernard Fox (Arnold) and horror film legend John Carradine (The Howling), and directed by TV veteran Earl Bellamy who directed episodes of the original series, Munster Go Home is spookily splendid return for the first family of fright!
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The Munsters left the television schedule in 1966, but quickly after turned around and had itself a feature film in theaters with Munster, Go Home! that same year. Armed with the power of seeing them in glorious color, the team had a brand new sell on the family. Intended to kick off a new series for television, it wound up just being this film and done until they would return for a made for TV film (Also included with this release), The Munsters’ Revenge.
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The film plucks the Munster family from their natural habitat and has them taking their hijinks to England for a bigger adventure. It features a bigger scale with more exterior scenes and a grand race sequence in its finale. There are still plenty of sets, but much more detailed and realistically produces caverns and haunted houses. Much of the same humor remains and even there is some meta chuckles as Herman (Played by Fred Gynne) starts calling out “Car 54, Where Are You?”, another sitcom which he starred.
Familiar faces are all around here as the family returns, except for Marilyn Munster. She’s been recast with Debbie Watson taking over for Pat Priest (Who had taken over for Beverly Owen). They do their best to play it off as normal and Watson is quite charming, but for fans, its a pretty jarring jump. There’s a pretty notable “of its time” big guest cast here in supporting roles in the film, featuring Chris Pine’s father Robert as Watson’s love interest in the film. All in all, while being bigger as a film, it does feel still like an episode in interactions and structure.
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If you’re a fan of the series, this film is a still a charm and the technicolor blast on the aesthetic is a quite lovely and something to treat the fans too. Preferably, the classic Universal monster look of the black and white show is what will always be, this is still pretty fun to see. This has become a rare film and its still a real treat and enjoyable for all reasons you enjoy The Munsters from the get-go.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Munster, Go Home! has not provided any details on its transfer, but man does this one look quite stellar here on its Blu-ray debut. The film retains a nice grain structure that helps its sharpness and detail clarity at every turn. The most impressive aspect of the movie is its flashy and gorgeous color that is just rampant from scene to scene. The film’s image is a real bit of eye candy with its look and fans should be pretty impressed.

Depth: Retaining the film grain helps this film showcase a wonderful three dimensional sense of space with good fluid movements and distancing/pushback in every scene. Motion is natural, cinematic and features no issues with jitter or blur in quicker, more rapid action bits of the film.

Black Levels: Blacks are actually very deep and quite rich, appearing at very natural levels. Some information may be hidden, but what it does hold up it does very well. The nighttime and darkness scenes are a real ghoulish joy. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  This is a VERY colorful film and many does it burst right out here in the image. All of the make-up, clothing and upholstery really jumps right at you but does not suffer from any sort of bleeding issue. Reds, the green make-up, Eddie’s outfit and more just looking lovely. Regular grays, browns and more look quite well refined and saturated as well.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones keep a consistent appearance from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are quite impressive, especially with the Munster make-up. You can see the overall finish of them as well as the brush strokes and some of the thinner portions over the skin and where it blends into another tone.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio

Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Munster, Go Home! features apretty raucous and eventful mono track. Its quite loud and really makes a welcome impact you may not be expecting from the film. Its still light on the low end sounds, but the details of the effects and the score itself are pretty well layered and provide a good enough oompf.

Height: N/A

Low-Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are plenty clear, loud and crisp. There’s a bit of its analog sourcing, but no peaking or overly loud hissing happening.

Extras

Audio Commentary

  • With actor Butch Patrick and musician/filmmaker Rob Zombie – Justin Beahm (Reverend Entertainment) moderates this incredibly fund and informational commentary track. He and Zombie prompt and already informative and chatty Butch Patrick who is happy to discuss and has a load of great information just flowing the entire time. The commentary is conversational and not always what’s on screen, but always on topic. We even find tid bits and such from Rob Zombie, who has great Munsters-related stories and information on his own work as is appropriate. The commentary might just be the absolute highlight of an already terrific release!

The Munsters’ Revenge (HD, 1:36:14) – The Television film, presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA.

Cast Radio Interviews (HD, 17:59) – Features pre-recorded promo interviews intended for syndication with Fred Gynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Debbie Watson.

Radio Spots (HD, 2:26)

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:49)

Munsters, Go Home Still Gallery (HD, 11:53)

Munsters, Go Home Behind the Scenes Gallery (HD, 3:49) 

Munsters, Go Home Poster Still Gallery (HD, 5:08)

Munsters’ Revenge Still Gallery (HD, 6:27) 

Summary

Munster, Go Home! is quite a fun release that stealthily packs 2 movies into one release. Its great to look back at this stylish movie that extended the life of a genre sitcom. Extras provide quite a bit and the commentary track is an absolute blast and makes you want to just join in and converse with Rob, Butch and Justin. The video transfer and the audio on the release are terrific as well. Something like this has become more niche in fandom with the years passing, but its a pretty solid pick up for fans and collectors.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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