The Munsters: Best episodes to watch before the Rob Zombie movie

Writer/Director Rob Zombie has rebooted the classic sitcom Munster’s with a feature film set to receive a digital, Blu-ray and DVD release on September 27th (and will also come to Netflix streaming service). Zombie has been keeping fans updated on the making of the film throughout production and post-production, and has already confirmed that some obscure characters from the show will appear in this film. The trailers for the movie are also packed with sitcom Easter eggs… so we decided to put together a list of episodes you should watch before September 27th so you can recognize these lesser-known characters and spot the Easter eggs. Below you will find the list The Munsters: Best episodes to watch before the Rob Zombie movie!


This isn’t exactly one of the best episodes of Munster’s, but it was the episode that CBS chose to first introduce the Munsters to the world with. So watching this before watching the movie is kind of a “how it started, how it goes” situation. This episode also offers one of only two opportunities on this list to see Beverley Owen play the role of Herman and Lily’s regular-looking niece Marilyn. Owen played Marilyn for thirteen episodes before deciding to move on and was replaced by Pat Priest (who appears in the Zombies films). In this episode, Marilyn’s new boyfriend invites his family to attend a masquerade hosted by his parents… and things don’t go smoothly.


Zombie has announced that Butch Patrick, who played little Eddie Munster in the original sitcom, will take on the role of Tin Can Man in his film. On the show, Tin Can Man is a robot that Eddie and his grandfather created for the school science fair that assembles its limbs out of tin cans and gives it an oil drum for a torso. Tin Can Man doesn’t do much, which makes it a bizarre character to bring back – but maybe Zombie always wanted to see it do more. It’s also an odd cameo to give Patrick, since he’ll be hidden under the robot suit, and if the new Tin Can Man’s voice is like the old one, his voice will be unrecognizable. If he hadn’t told us it’s Butch Patrick in there, we probably wouldn’t have noticed. The person who played the Tin Can Man on the show wasn’t even credited.


Irwin Charone only had about 1 minute of screen time as Lily’s werewolf brother Lester, but this episode sets him up as an interesting character. He is described as a bum and a “born loser” who has gone bankrupt several times due to bad business deals (he even helped promote Titanic back then) – and the events of this episode occur because he has asked Herman for a loan on $5000. Tomas Boykin plays Lester in the Zombies movie, and he’s probably given more fun material to work with than Charone was in his brief appearance. This episode also provides some interesting information about Lily, confirming that her maiden name is Dracula and revealing that she is 137 years old.


Much like Lester is to blame for what happens in Herman’s rival, Uncle Gilbert kicks off the events of this episode by sending a box containing $180,000 in gold coins to the Munsters, who plan to retrieve the box in a few days. Meanwhile, a bank employee begins romancing Marilyn Munster so he can get his hands on that money. And like Lester, Uncle Gilbert doesn’t actually appear until the episode’s final minutes. It’s worth the wait to see this Gillman (played by Richard Hale), who confirms that he is indeed the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Zombie has shared footage of Uncle Gilbert on the set of his film, but has not said who is playing the character.


We don’t know if the Drag-U-La drag strip racer will be featured in Zombie’s Munster’s, but we do know that Herman is going to be seen wearing a leather jacket with “The Punk Rods” on the back, which is what he wears when he goes racing. But even though Drag-U-La isn’t in the movie, this episode is still worth watching as it also inspired Zombie to release a song called “Dragula” back in 1998. Long before Zombie was digging through the trenches and burning through the witches in his Dragula, Grandpa Munster was at the wheel of his own Drag-U-La. It is only used in this one episode of the show, but the vehicle was brought back in the 1966 film Munster, go home! (And Zombie recorded a commentary for the film’s Blu-ray release.)


Herman Munster works for the Gateman, Goodbury and Graves Funeral Home in Mockingbird Heights, and Zombie has revealed that the owners of the funeral home will be played by Jeremy Wheeling, Roderick Hill and Mark Griffith in his film. Only one of them was present on the sitcom: Mr. Gateman, played by legendary character actor John Carradine. Often mentioned, Mr. Gateman made his first appearance in the episode Herman’s Raise – where he fires Herman for demanding a pay rise. This leads to Herman trying and failing at several other jobs around town before Lily goes to Mr. Gateman himself in an attempt to get Herman reinstated. You might expect someone who fires Herman Munster for wanting a raise to be a raging jerk, but Carradine actually plays him endearingly.


Judging by the trailer, it looks like Herman Munster will be singing in several scenes in the upcoming film. It wouldn’t be surprising if he even turns out to be in a band called The Punk Rods. In the sitcom episode Will Success Pampering Herman Munster?, Herman is a solo act lucky enough to land a hit single when he records himself singing a Munster-ized version of the old spiritual song “Dem Bones” (aka “Dry Bones”). Fearing that success will spoil her husband, Lily dreams of Herman performing a song wearing a leather jacket and cap – and there’s a shot in the first full trailer for Zombies’ film that shows Herman singing on stage while he is wearing a leather jacket and cap.


I am a fan of several different horror hosts, and little Eddie Munster is a super fan of the horror host Zombo. We know Zombo is in the Zombies movie, but we don’t know who plays him. In this episode of the sitcom, the character was played by Louis Nye, and Eddie was fascinated by the dim-witted fool, believing him to be a real monster. Like his relatives. But Zombo is a fake, he’s just a regular guy with prosthetics and makeup on his face. Zombo got a little more screen time on the show than characters like Lester and Uncle Gilbert did, and it’s clear why he wanted to appeal to Zombie so much that he put him in the movie as well.


John Carradine reprises his role as Mr. Gateman for the second of the character’s two on-screen appearances. In this one, Mr. Gateman disturbs the peace in the Munster home by suggesting that Eddie join the school orchestra. Herman is so desperate to impress his boss, he gets Eddie to pick up an instrument… and Grandpa is so annoyed by the sound of Eddie’s practice sessions that he decides to create a spell to deal with this musical mess . As usual, the spell doesn’t go as intended. But at least Grandpa’s meddling means that Carradine has a little more to do as Mr. Gateman in this episode than he had in Herman’s raising. And he’s coming over to the Munsters’ place on Mockingbird Lane in this one!


We started this list with a “how it started, how’s it going” section, so we might as well wrap it up the same way. But this is the other way around. Since the Zombies movie is going to show us how Herman and Lily first meet, that’s “how it started”. With Congratulations on the 100th anniversary episode we can then look ahead to see how things go after Herman and Lily have been married for a hundred years. As it turns out, they have exactly the kind of communication problems and misunderstandings you’d expect from a couple at the heart of a sitcom. But they are also still deeply in love with each other after all these years. At least we already know that the Zombies movie will have a very happy ending.

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