With The Munsters premiering on Netflix, the reviews are now flooding in for how well the classic TV show adaptation has fared amongst critics, and let’s just say the film’s Rotten Tomatoes score is greener than Herman Munster. However, the low ratings have not stopped some people from defending the Rob Zombie-directed passion project.
A “rotten” critical score of 29 percent, based on 14 reviews, is the current score for The Munsters on RT while its audience score, based on more than 50 ratings, is at 37 percent.
Despite the poor reviews, which should surprise no one based on those mercilessly roasted initial trailers, critics nevertheless acknowledged the refreshing lack of cynicism that Zombie brought to the project. Even in the negative reviews, many still attempted to be as polite as possible while tearing the film to shreds, knowing Zombie’s heart was in the right place.
“The Munsters is a wholesome labor of love that’s probably for the most diehard sitcom fans because for better and worse, Rob Zombie makes the Munsters reboot he wants to see,” IGN said in their review of the film while giving it a score of 6/10,
Bloody Disgusting‘s John Squires even wrote that he “quite enjoyed Rob Zombie’s The Munsters,” even if the film had its fair share of flaws.
“He marries the silliness of the property with his own visual pop for a uniquely charming blend. It’s like a live action cartoon and the cast – particularly Sheri, who channels Yvonne De Carlo – is good. Downside? It drags on too long.”
One obvious fan of the original 1960s The Munsters TV show even made an impassioned defense of Zombie’s interpretation.
“Tacky? Yes. But so was the original TV show (which I love). The jokes are faithfully old fashioned as though they’re meant for 1960’s kids. Very beautiful sets. Gorgeous colors. Campy performances. Not for everyone, but VERY MUCH for some of us.”
Though some viewers and critics lauded the vibrant color scheme of Zombie’s film, another commentator on Twitter proclaimed viewing The Munsters in black and white utterly enhanced the experience.
“The movie looks a million times better that way!”
The Munster‘s saturation in campiness — which many people dragged — was something one fan said oddly makes the viewing experience all the better.
“Pretty much everything you heard about Rob Zombie’s THE MUNSTERS is true and it strangely works in its own favor.”
“Look, I know I’m going to be in the minority opinion here, but Rob Zombie’s take on THE MUNSTERS is ridiculous and fun. Absolutely did not expect to feel this way,” reviewer Leigh Monson wrote.
Many other reviewers were not as generous with their assessments, such as entertainment journalist Eric Goldman.
“It’s really awful. We started it on Friday night and am now on my third attempt to finish it. 110 minutes is longer than most comedies need to be but this one manages to truly make that running time feel never-ending.”
Another commentator called The Munsters “the most embarrassing film I’ve watched all year.”
“Flat humor, cheap-looking camera work and visuals […] don’t waste your time.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the legacy of Zombie’s The Munsters pans out. With so many people already defending it, the film may take on a cult classic status in the future. As we’ve seen with the original Hocus Pocus, a rotten critical score on Rotten Tomatoes does not necessarily mean the film won’t find a devoted fanbase years after its release.
The Munsters is now available to stream on Netflix as well as being available on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD.