The Munsters’ Revenge (1981)

Even in 1981, “The Munsters” are still so damn funny. “The Munsters’ Revenge” is the monster family once again getting in to a misadventure and learning how to beat the bad guy with the help of their twisted magic and family unity. I laughed a lot during this TV movie featuring most of the brood from the original sitcom. Sure, the original three monsters are showing a bit of their age here, but the movie feels like an extended episode with sharp comic timing, some hilarious gags, and a great supporting cast. Best of all there’s Sid Caesar and Bob Hastings who derived the most laughs out of me. In fact, the latter had me bursting in to hysterics as uncle Phantom of the Opera.

In this new movie, the Munsters are taking a tour through a new museum, oblivious that it’s a horror and torture museum. Coincidentally, there’s a new attraction here and the wax statues look exactly Herman, Grandpa, Lily, and Eddie. Little do they know the owner of the museum Dustin Diablo has turned the wax figures in to robots that do his bidding and begin committing crimes across the city. Of course, with two of his robots being identical to Herman and Grandpa, they’re mistaken for the robots by the authorities and are taken in to jail. Breaking out thanks to some hilarious circumstances involving a frightened prisoner, Grandpa and Herman team up to find out what Diablo has planned for the robots. All the while Marilyn teams with a local officer to help prove their innocence.

Back at the house, Lily and uncle Phantom are planning the big Halloween party along with Eddie. With the crimes and antics, Lily is scared Herman might not make it to his favorite event of the year. “The Munsters’ Revenge” has a brisk pacing to it, starting off with a simple but funny set up and going as far with it as it can go with the premise. Gwynne and Lewis are as great as ever as a pair of monsters working hard to figure out what Diablo is concocting involving a diamond and an ancient mummy, and they derive a lot of raucous entertainment. Meanwhile Sid Caesar has a ball improvising as the evil and eccentric Diablo, who wants the diamond to invoke an ancient mummy that will grant him immense treasures. Caesar is clearly ad libbing for a lot of his role, and he is a hoot to watch.

One long scene of exposition involving Diablo’s origin of the mummy was just so drawn out I laughed a lot. Bob Hastings is also hilarious as Uncle Phantom, from The Phantom of the Opera who expresses emotions through singing opera that eventually reaches a pitch so high that something eventually explodes in the background or foreground. It’s a running gag that drew hysterical laughter from me every single time, and Hastings is excellent, building a weird but fun character under make up influenced by Lon Chaney’s cinematic iteration. “The Munsters’ Revenge” is a fun and hysterical Halloween treat that finds the Munsters accidentally walking in to trouble once again, and through it all, sticking together and looking out for one another. It’s a very good sequel to “Munsters Go Home!”