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The Munsters: The Complete Series
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Have a howlingly good time with the First Family of Fright in this collectible Complete Series that includes all 70 classic TV episodes and the two frighteningly funny feature-length movies. Reunite with the wonderfully weird Munster Clan: "working stiff" Herman, mom Lily, wacky Grandpa, the unusually normal Marilyn, and little Eddie. Plus, now see the episode "Family Portrait" in spookily spectacular full color for the first time ever. With so much Munster mayhem, your whole family is sure to have a scream!
It has its own stormy weather and fire-breathing housepet named Spot, but the mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Heights is otherwise like any other American sitcom home. This is the address of the Munsters, the family that for two seasons, 1964-66, found a permanent place in pop culture--if not "monster" success. Developed by Leave It to Beaver team Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, the series was a standard sitcom (complete with the same awful canned laughter), except that the Ward Cleaver character was a reanimated corpse.
Dad Herman (Fred Gwynne) was a Frankenstein's monster, mom Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo) and Grandpa (Al Lewis) were vampires, and son Eddie (Butch Patrick) a little wolf-boy. Munster niece Marilyn was inexplicably normal, which prompted much worry from the other members of the family (she was played in early episodes by Beverly Owen, who left to get married, and then by Pat Priest). The plots revolve around typically tortured sitcom situations: Herman must lose weight to fit into his old Army uniform, Herman has insomnia, Herman takes dance lessons from a crooked instructor. (As that list would suggest, 6'5" Fred Gwynne's wonderfully agile slapstick and Borscht Belt comedy made him the center of the show.) What distinguished The Munsters from Father Knows Best was the Universal horror-movie lineage and the ghoulish one-liners (the latter growing a bit tedious after a while). The three-disc DVD has all 38 first-season episodes in excellent transfers, a 15-minute pilot with different actors as Lily and Eddie, and no extras or commentaries. High points include "Hot Rod Herman," which features the tricked-out Munster Koach and Drag-u-la (boss wagons both), and "Eddie's Nickname," the one where Grandpa gives Eddie a potion that causes the boy's beard to grow (a weirdly memorable image, if you're a kid). The show was either pure kiddie farce or a radical comment on the absurdly unreal world of sitcoms. Either way, if you grew up with them as an alternate TV family, you can't help but have warm feelings for the Munsters, as clammy as they are. --Robert Horton
The second and final season of The Munsters seamlessly carries on the sardonic picture of family life painted in the monster-comedy's first year. Family head Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) continues to vacillate between thick-headedness and intellectual posturing. His wife, Lily (Yvonne DeCarol), has her feet on the ground, even if her daughter-of-Dracula looks skew her idea of beauty and grace. Grandpa (Al Lewis), the irascible vampire, spends his time concocting mad inventions and criticizing Herman. Young Eddie (Butch Patrick) goes to school and acts like any other kid except, well, he isn't. And lovely Marilyn (Pat Priest) is still stuck with low self-esteem, convinced by her Uncle Herman, Aunt Lily and Grandpa that she's an unattractive woman who scares away potential suitors. In the opening episode, "Herman's Child Psychology," Herman disastrously attempts to convince Eddie not to run away from home by acting as if his son's behavior is no big deal. The very funny "Herman, the Master Spy" finds the big man taken aboard a Russian submarine, where the undersea comrades assume he must be some sort of strange fish. "A Man for Marilyn" concerns Grandpa's ridiculous effort to turn a frog into a handsome boyfriend for Marilyn, an experiment he assumes must have worked when a good-looking guy turns up at the Munster home. (The fellow is there because he assumes Marilyn is being held against her will by monsters.) "Big Heap Herman" is a particularly silly but enjoyable story about an Indian tribe that has been awaiting the arrival of a god who looks, of course, like Herman.
Along with seasons one and two on The Munsters: The Complete Series are a couple of post-TV series, theatrical movies of differing quality. In Munster, Go Home, Herman discovers he's the new lord of Munster Hall in England. Crossing the Atlantic with his family to claim his inheritance, Herman is met with hostility by the would-be heirs (played by Terry-Thomas and Hermione Gingold) and a plot to eliminate him from a car race. While the film takes something away from The Munsters by placing them in foreign territory, Munster, Go Home is still a lot of fun. Less so is the cheap-looking The Munsters' Revenge, a 1981 potboiler in which Herman and Grandpa are charged with crimes committed by robot monsters from a wax museum. Hard to watch and kind of greasy-looking, Revenge is instantly forgettable, even with Sid Caesar's participation. --Tom Keogh
Top Customer Reviews
Previously released as separate season sets, each with its own history of issues Munsters fans are all too familiar with, The Munsters Complete Series doesn't just simply repackage the episodes but also attempts to do the fans proud by righting the wrongs that haunted the previous sets.
Remember the dual-sided discs? Gone. Remember the flimsy, gimmicky, craptastic "Herman's Head" box you had to fight with to get the discs out of? Gone. Instead you'll find...
For your convenience and viewing pleasure, Universal has repackaged from the Season 1 and Season 2 sets every classic episode from the series (and respective special features) on 12 single-sided DVDs (including two bonus features) all in an exclusive collectible box set with nice package art for hours of eerie Munsters fun, and for a very reasonable price!Read more ›
This set features twelve one-sided discs (unlike the two-sided discs from the original individual season sets that some find hard to deal with and annoying).
This set is truly a dream come true for any fan of this unique '60's sitcom. Available October seventh (2008) it should arrive in time to be a wonderful Halloween treat!
The Munsters worked because at its heart it was the All-American sitcom...they just happened to be monsters. They faced the same situations that all families face...issues at home, in school, and on the job; relationships with neighbors and family members, etc... The series featured numerous guest-stars who were well known TV personalities of the period including: Paul Lynde, Harvey Korman, Don Rickles, Dom DeLuise, John Carradine, and Frank Gorshin.
Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster and Al Lewis as Grandpa had previously worked together on another hit sitcom, "Car 54 Where are You?" Their chemistry was perfect from the opening episode as they sometimes fought, and sometimes schemed together, but were always a hilarious pair. Yvonne DeCarlo as Lily frequently found herself having to play referee in their squabbles. The series began with Beverly Owen playing niece Marilyn. When a homesick Owen wanted to go back to New York, Pat Priest replaced her in episode #14 for the rest of the show's run.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love The Munsters, but really out of a sense of nostalgia. Much of the humor is stale or predictable, more so in the second season than the first. Read morePublished 11 days ago by vincent b grabowski
This is always fun to watch. Even though like every other comedy on TV they go to extra pains to make "the man of the house" look stupid.Published 22 days ago by Sam
The Munsters were the first family of fright only the fright was pure humor and some of the best humor of its time. I was only a teenager when The Munsters first came out. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Midnight Hour
Great show but don't waste your money just saw complete series at Walmart for about $24Published 1 month ago by vincent marchese
These are as corny as I remember them but funny all the same, as a kid I loved ole Herman!Published 2 months ago by zozo
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