Synopsis: A boy named Harley and his family attend a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which is supposed to be a fun-filled birthday for young Harley and business as usual for Rebecca, the producer of the series. But things take an unexpected turn.
Review: As a child of the 70s and 80s. I naturally wanted to check out this new horror-comedy take on ‘The Banana Splits’, which was a kids show that was canceled back in 1970. A year after I was born, but like many things made back then. It enjoyed a fair bit of success in the syndicated market place getting numerous repeats throughout the 70s and 80s. I remember watching the shows in the summer holidays. As they made up part of the BBC’s kids programming in the early mornings on weekends. The show included silly comedy skits featuring the splits as well as cartoons. It was all innocent fun, but not anymore.
This movie, which has been available to rent on Amazon Video for a while, but aired on Syfy Channel over the weekend sees Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky, and Drooper break bad when they learn that their show is being canceled.
When Harley and his family go to see a live taping of The Banana Splits TV series. They are expecting a nice innocent family day out. But behind the scenes, things are far from innocent. The studio has a new head and the kids show doesn’t fit with his future plans for the network. One of the Banana Splits overhears this news and thus begins a murderous rampage as the Banana Splits break bad and set about brutally slaying anyone that stands between them and their captive audience. The once child-friendly show takes on a whole new edgy feel as brutal torture and murder become the new norm for ‘The Banana Splits’ TV Series, and only Harley and his family can stop them or can they?
As far as performances go. This movie has a few noteworthy turns, but credit has to go to Eric Bauza who voices all four members of The Banana Splits, which was great when they did speak because they were more effective and creepy when they didn’t.
Finlay Wojtak-Hissong puts in a solid performance as Harley who undergoes some real character growth over the course of the film. I loved the moment where he manages to reach out to Drooper. Who seemed to be the only one of the four Banana Splits to have not gone completely batshit crazy. But his scenes throughout are all very believable. I even felt a twinge of excitement at seeing a live taping of the Banana Splits because of his convincing performance.
I enjoyed this for what it was. Which was a crazy comedy horror with enough gore and blood to keep a Ketchup Factory in business for at least a couple of years. The murders are gruesome throughout, but they are done in that Freddie Kruger tongue firmly in cheek kind of way.
Now. Obviously this is not ‘The Banana Splits’ that I remember seeing as a kid. It would be impossible to capture that. And I do not think today’s kids would go for it either given that technology and TV tropes have moved on.
Instead, the Banana Splits of this movie are basically robots who are programmed with the simple mantra of ‘The Show Must Go On’, and indeed it does. Harley and his family make their stand and survive, but don’t be fooled. These cuddly and menacing TV Icons of the 60s and 70s look set to return for more murder and mayhem. The film goes out of its way to set up a sequel.
Overall. Good gory fun. I’ll never think about a Banana Split in the same way ever again.
- Visual Effects9.5
- Incidental Music8.8