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Interview: Jeff Daniel Phillips on Playing Herman Munster in Rob Zombies ‘The Munsters’

Having launched last year in America, The Munsters is finally available to buy on digital, DVD, and Blu-ray in the UK. Not only has the UK release been a long time coming, the film has too. An idea for a movie reworking of the classic television series has been percolating inside the brain of musician-turned-director Rob Zombies for decades. A life-long fan of the series, it has been Zombie’s dream to bring Herman, Lily, and The Count to the big screen. After several attempts falling through, the project finally came together during, of all times, the pandemic. 

Lily (Sheri Moon Zombie) is just your typical 150-year-old, lovelorn vampire looking for the man of her nightmares . . . that is until she lays eyes on Herman (Jeff Daniel Phillips), a seven-foot-tall, green experiment with a heart of gold. It’s love at first shock as these two ghouls fall fangs over feet in this crazy Transylvanian romance. Unfortunately, it’s not all smooth sailing in the cemetery as Lily’s father, The Count (Daniel Roebuck), has other plans for his beloved daughter’s future, and they don’t involve her bumbling beau Herman.

Rather than recreate The Munsters as fans know them, Zombie opted instead to tell more of a prequel story. The angle granted more creative control, enabling more freedom with the iconic characters. Another change that Zombie opted for was to dial up the colour. The original series was black and white, but Zombie’s The Munsters is bathed in Day-Glo bright colour. As a director, Rob Zombie is better known for his work in the horror genre. His films have a reputation for being excessively gory and extremely cruel. He also likes to use the same actors time and time again. Whilst The Munsters sheds Zombie’s bloody reputation, he once more brings back his tried and tested on screen talent. 

In the lead role of Herman Munster, is Jeff Daniel Phillips. The Munsters form their fifth collaboration together, but the first time for Phillips as a lead in a Zombie movie. Ahead of the UK release, we spoke with Phillips to find out how daunting it was to lead Zombie’s latest film, and how easy it is to be green.

The Munsters is available on Digital, DVD and Blu-Ray now. 

Kat Hughes is a UK born film critic and interviewer who has a passion for horror films. An editor for THN, Kat is also a Rotten Tomatoes Approved Critic. She has bylines with Ghouls Magazine, Arrow Video, Film Stories, Certified Forgotten and FILMHOUNDS and has had essays published in home entertainment releases by Vinegar Syndrome and Second Sight. When not writing about horror, Kat hosts micro podcast Movies with Mummy along with her five-year-old daughter.


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