Rob Zombie’s new prequel to the beloved 1960s sitcom The Munsters officially debuted on Netflix and released on DVD and Blu-ray this week. In the short time that the movie, which tells the story of how Herman and Lily met, has been met with starkly sharp responses from audiences and critics alike. According to the numbers from Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has received a score of 49% from critics so far, and even worse among audiences, at 35%. The criticisms have run the gamut, from the makeup and costumes to the general look to the very story itself. It further shows that it is impossible to improve on perfection, even when perfection only lasted two seasons. Thankfully for fans of the much better source material that has remained so beloved to this day, mpi Media Group released a much better alternative to the new Munsters movie in the form of the new classic Munsters compilation DVD, Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Show Cast Members & More Lost Treasures. The single-disc presentation offers plenty for audiences to enjoy over the course of its roughly two hour run time. That is due in large part to its featured content, which will be discussed shortly. The quality of the footage presented adds to the appeal in its own way and will be addressed a little later. Considering the content presented here, the DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation. All things considered they make the DVD a welcome watch not only during the Halloween season this year but any time during the year.
mpi Media Group’s brand-new collection of rare The Munsters TV appearances is a presentation that so many of the classic sitcom’s fans will appreciate. That is due in no small part to its featured content. The content that makes up the DVD’s body comes in the form of the rare hour-long TV special, Marineland Carnival. This is a presentation that is not included in the standalone DVD sets for either of the series’ two seasons released in 2013. Season 1 does include the series’ original unaired pilot episode, but again, neither season set features this collection which finds Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Eddie and Marilyn at the Marineland Oceanarium (likely in Florida) taking in a show at the facility. The family thinks it is at a fish market, leading to its own share of laughs along the way. Grandpa makes his way up a flag pole and does a few stunts in the process (or rather his stunt double more likely) at one point. Eddie and Marilyn see a pair of “mermaids” feeding some dolphins at another, as well as enjoying trainers work with seals and dolphins. Meanwhile Herman, Lily and Grandpa also meet a rather confident walrus who wants to get his feet…er…flippers in the TV door as they make their own way through the park. The hour-long story is funny in its own right, though it is clear why it was never included as part of the original series at any point.
Star Fred Gwynne gets his own moment in the sun in another funny appearance in The Red Skelton Show in the three-part story, “To-Ra-Ra-Bum Today.” Herman joins up with Red Skelton’s famous character Freddie The Freeloader in the story and learns how to live like Freddy. Freddy uses Herman as much as possible, though the story has its own hilarious ending that no one saw coming.
In yet another engaging and entertaining presentation, Gwynne’s co-star Yvonne De Carlo (who plays the part of Lily) appears on The Joey Bishop Show not in her Munsters costume and makeup but as herself. Her discussion with Bishop about her time on the show, and with the audience about other topics is truly enlightening in its own right.
Much the same can be said of fellow star Butch Patrick’s retrospective on his time on the show. Many audiences might be surprised to learn from Patrick himself that he got the part because Billy Mumy (Lost in Space, Babylon 5, The Twilight Zone) turned down the role of Eddie originally. He also notes the enjoyment that he had working with his fellow cast mates throughout the show’s short run while surprisingly speaking highly of Zombie’s new Munsters prequel. The brief discussion on these and so many other topics makes for even more enjoyment. This and the other features included in this disc really are the most notable of the disc’s overall presentation. There is an appearance by Gwynne as Herman on The Danny Kaye Show that is enjoyable. It finds Herman and Kaye’s Dracula-esque character acting like they are news figures in Transylvania. It is funny but not overly memorable. The commercials for other shows that mpi Media Group has released make up the rest of the DVD’s body. They really are anything but notable, so keeping all of this in mind, the primary content featured in this disc does give audiences plenty to enjoy regardless of the lesser material.
While the primary content featured in the disc makes for its own share of appeal, the quality of the footage therein makes for its own appeal. The majority of the classic clips shown here are from 1965. There is one from 1966, and Patrick’s comments were recorded this year. Those classic clips (including the hour-long special) still sound and look very impressive even considering the features’ ages. It is clear that no effort was taken to spit shine any of the footage, but it also did not need that added work, as audiences will see and hear for themselves. The result is such a wonderful and welcome sense of nostalgia for viewers. Again, this shows the clear importance of the footage presented here.
Keeping in mind the engagement and entertainment that this DVD’s content will bring through itself and through the quality of its video and audio, there is that much more for audiences to appreciate. That means there is one more item to note, that being the DVD’s average price point. The DVD’s average price point is $16.82. That price was obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million. The most common listing is $14.99, through Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy. Target lists the DVD at $15.99, which is still below the noted average price point. Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million list the DVD at $19.99 and $19.98 respectively, which is well above the average. In other words, for the most part, the DVD will not break any viewer’s bank account, coming in at less than $20. That will appeal in itself to the original series’ fans all the more. To that end, this price point proves to be just as important as the DVD’s content and its quality. Keeping all of this in mind, Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Cast & More Lost Treasures proves itself so worth owning and watching whether this Halloween season or any other time of the year.
Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Cast & More Lost Treasures, the new compilation of rare The Munsters TV appearances, is a presentation that so many fans of the original series will enjoy. The DVD proves so appealing in large part through its featured content. It is all content that is not featured as bonus content with the most recent – 2013 – release of the series’ two seasons on DVD. It is also so entertaining. The quality of the footage makes for its own appeal because it proves no touch ups were needed to any of said material. The average price point for the DVD makes for its own appeal, too, keeping in mind the overall appeal of the content. Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD in whole is a welcome addition to the home library of any fan of The Munsters.
Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Cast & More Lost Treasures is available now through mpi Media Group. More information on this and other titles from mpi Media Group is available at:
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