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Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Halloweenout


Ted NugentSweden Rocks (Eagle Vision DVD) :: I like Ted, but his cackling, bug-eyed rants are beginning to scare even me.

Fred "Herman" Gwynne, Yvonne "Lily" De Carlo, Al "Grandpa" LewisThe Munsters: The Complete Series (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) :: If y'wanna suss out someone's secret psyche, ask if they're a Munsters or Addams person. The big diff being that The Addams Family was an early '60s TV series about a clan of oddball oddities who knew that they were queer and reveled in it. The Munsters, on the other hand, were monsters with a heart and soul of gold who knew that they were beautiful, while the rest of the human world — including, alas, their comely niece Marilyn — were seen as pug-ugly unfortunates.

So when it comes to the small screen, there's no denying that I'm a Munsters man. Let's face it: Raúl Juliá did an admirable job of aping John Astin's original Gomez on the big screen. But who in their right mind could ever imagine anyone else even coming close to conveying the unique humanistic charm of Fred Gwynne's portrayal of Herman Munster? Not me, and I'm as sane as they come.

You'll be commonsensical, too, after you dig into this mega-box that holds all 70 socially satirical episodes plus a whole slew of bonus features — including rare episodes filmed entirely in unliving color, like the unearthed pilot. It's downright spooky how well The Munsters holds up almost 50 years later.

Alfred HitchcockRear Window, Vertigo, Psycho (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) :: Each one of these definitive new two-disc versions technically surpasses every earlier incarnation extant, but you'll want to buy all three just to hear the actual audio extracts from François Truffaut's legendary 1962 interview with Hitch, which are extraordinary and invaluable.

SIZZLING RERUN OF THE WEEK: John CarradineHaunted Hollywood (Syndicated) :: Count Alucard himself hosts this sordid series of 70-year-old Bela Lugosi films, all of which are piteously presented in the absolute worst possible sub-VHS picture quality imaginable. Scary!

Boo spooking you!

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