The Munsters’ Revenge (1981)

In The Munsters’ Revenge, the first made-for-TV movie from the beloved 1960s sitcom The Munsters, the Munster family gets its revenge. Aw, shit, I just spoiled it.

Anyhoo, the Munsters have an afternoon outing to the all-new Chamber of Horrors, where the wax figures include the Wolf Man, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Munsters themselves. However, the figures are actually robots programmed to embark on midnight crime sprees — the brainchild of one appropriately named Dr. Diablo (Sid Caesar, who jabbers and yammers as if members of the Great Depression generation may be watching).

After the city is terrorized, Herman (Fred Gwynne) and Grandpa (Al Lewis) are wrongly accused and thrown in jail. Their cellmate (Airplane! jive talker Al White) has an Afro comb and a bad attitude — he calls Herman “honky.” Post-escape, Herman and Grandpa try to convince the authorities of Dr. Diablo’s master plan to pull a heist of Egyptian artifacts on Halloween. The cops won’t have any of it, except for the young one (Peter Fox, Mother’s Day), but only because he wants in the pants of Marilyn Munster (Jo McDonnell, The Octagon).

Padded with a worthless trip to Transylvania and creating a running gag for in-town Cousin Phantom of the Opera (Bob Hastings), this act of Revenge directed by Don Weis (The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini) is pretty predictable, right down to where the commercials appeared. But it’s not without its amusing bits, such as when Herman destroys the police station because a bee flies up his sleeve. Or when Lily decorates their Halloween tree with bottles of poison. Or when Herman is shocked with 2,000 volts, causing steam to shoot out his ears. Why, yes, I was easily amused. —Rod Lott

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