Saturday, October 05, 2013
31 Werewolves | Eddie Munster
Universal's monster movie output settled down after the '40s (with the exception of the Creature from the Black Lagoon series), but popular interest in the classic monsters didn't fade. Thanks to Hammer Studios, the '50s saw a resurgence in the genre. Though Hammer focused primarily on famous, public domain characters like Frankenstein and Dracula, they did make one werewolf movie, 1961's The Curse of the Werewolf, based on the novel The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore.
Sadly, Curse didn't make my list, but Hammer is important for keeping the love of monsters alive into the '60s where nostalgia kicked in and made the Universal monsters wildly popular again. That's when Universal's parent company MCA decided to make use of them with a TV show about humorous versions of the Universal trinity: Frankenstein-lookalike Herman Munster, his Dracula-inspired wife and father-in-law, and his werewolf son.
The origin of The Munsters actually goes back as far as the late-'40s when Looney Tunes animator Bob Clampett pitched Universal a series of cartoons about a monster family. The idea was kicked and passed around for a decade or so until MCA decided to run with it as a live-action show. When word got out that ABC had locked down a series based on Charles Addams' popular comic strip about a macabre family, MCA got moving and CBS got buying. The Munsters and The Addams Family both ran for the same two years and were cancelled within a month of each other, due to the popularity of Batman and color TV in general.