Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mini-DVD Reviews: The Munsters: Two-Movie Fright Fest and The Benny Hill Show Set 5 (Sept. 26)

Welcome to another edition of Saturday mini-DVD reviews! Today we take a look at Universal Home Video's The Munsters: Two-Movie Fright Fest and The Benny Hill Show Set 5. Both have loads of laughs. See for yourself by reading our reviews. See Shawn Eaton's mini-DVD review of The Munsters: Two-Movie Fright Fest and My review of The Benny Hill Show Set 5.

The Munsters: Two-Movie Fright Fest (Universal, $19.98) brings the classic TV series as feature movies. America's first family of fright make their way to DVD in this very special release. Following their highly popular TV series (which is still going strong in reruns on cable -- TV Land), original cast members Fred Gwynne (Herman), Yvonne DeCarlo (Lily) and Al Lewis (Grandpa) reunited in two movies -- giving us the Munsters as they were never before seen -- in color! In 1966's "Munster, Go Home!" (1 hr. 37 mins), Herman moves the family to an English estate he inherited. Starring in this are Gwynne, DeCarlo, Lewis and original cast member Butch Patrick (Eddie). Red-headed Debbie Watson portrays Marilyn. Guest stars include Bernard Fox ("Bewitched") and Richard Dawson ("Hogan's Heroes"). In 1981's "The Munsters Revenge" (1 hr. 37 mins), Sid Caesar stars as Dr. Diablo, who concots a plan to create robot "Munsters" to pull off a series of art heists. Starring in this are Gwynne, DeCarlo and Lewis. KC Martell portrays Eddie while Marilyn is recast again, this time with blonde Jo McDonnell. The cover art is neat in that the case is like a regular movie release case (a snap-case), but the cover you can slide off. The cover is a spider web that covers the main box. On the main cover is the original cast (Gwynne, DeCarlo, Lewis and Patrick) along with Debbie Watson (Marilyn in "Munster, Go Home!"), who's now blonde! The menu is simple. It features a spider-web and the two movies are listed that you can pick from. Both selections take you to a sub-menu that allows you to choose English or Spanish subtitles. Closed captioning is available.
The video is presented in both Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) or Full Frame (1.33:1) -- and in color (although personally, I turned the color all the way to black and white -- it really brings back the feel of the show doing so). To get the movies in wide-screen, you're TV should already either be wide-screen or you might have a menu selection that allows you to pick wide-screen. I did and it does make the movie wide-screen. The audio is Dolby Digital Mono. And on a side-note, the movies are clearly remastered. The color is vibrant and dust and debris free. There are chapter skips available during the movies so you can jump around to different parts.
So in closing, I was very happy to get both of these on DVD; they are a must have for any Munsters fan! It's nice both movies are on the same disc. No special features are included but regardless of that, these movies haven't been in print for a while (although I did find both in a cheap bin at Best Buy a few years prior) so you should definitely shell out the 20 bucks to get these -- two movies for the price of one. You can't beat that!

-- Reviewed by Shawn Eaton
(5/5 stars)

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Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Munsters Page

The Benny Hill Show, Complete And Unadulterated: The Hill's Angels Years - Set 5 (A&E, $49.95) brings the next 9 episodes from the classic British series to DVD. This set is available on a three-disc set that contains 9 classic hours from 1982-1985. Hill's Angels join the cast and my they are so good. Benny got even naughtier when they arrived! Each episode runs about 50-52 minutes. Packaging is very similar to the first four sets. The set even has special features. "Hill's Angels Off the Record" runs 11:56 and is produced by A&E and has interviews with some of the Hill's Angels--they share a lot and it is very interesting to watch. Then there is the little trivia game you can play titled "The Benny Hill Cheeky Challenge Trivia Quiz #5." The menu screen has video clips to start off then the main menu comes, and the art is like the cover art. Episode numbers are on each main menu then when selected, you get to a skit selection screen, or you can just play the episode straight through. Chapter skips are also there, if you need them. Now, if my calculations are correct, we should have one more final set with about 8 episodes. Let's hope we get those episodes very soon on DVD. I liked Benny Hill even better in the 1980s years, so I'm sure many others do, too, and this DVD is great to watch because you'll die of laughing. Don't show this to little kids, because Benny is very naughty!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support

Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Benny Hill Show Page

Stay tuned tomorrow for our first week ratings blog for the 2006-07 season and on Monday a review for the new sitcom Help Me Help You, premiering this Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, March 23

Stuck in the Middle - "Stuck in a Mysterious Robbery" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the Bait N' Bite is robbed, the Diaz children use their resources to track down the culprit.

Bizaardvark - "Amelia's Perfectly Imperfect Volleyball Adventure" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Paige convinces the volleyball coach to put Amelia on the team, the DIY diva's ego lands the volleyball team in a match against the state champions.

The Paynes - "Payneful Repairs" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Curtis and Ella learn some troubling news about Nyla.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Friday, March 23

  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Watch Jim on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lena Waithe (Master of None) - Lena appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement) - Jenna and Oliver chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. They will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and the BUILd Series at 2:30pm.
  • Jamie Lee (Crashing) - Jamie appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) and Nicole Ari Parker (Second Time Around) - Boris and Nicole are guests on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani stops by Access Live, so check your local listings. She shares her recipe for spiked hot chocolate on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach appears on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay creates something delicious with Carla Hall on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella talks about Midnight Sun on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.