Film Review: The Banana Splits Movie

09:20 September 16, 2019
By: David Vicari

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour was originally a Saturday morning kids TV show that ran from 1968 to 1970 and was produced by Hanna-Barbera with costumes and sets created by Sid and Marty Krofft. The hosts of the show were these freaky, hippy-type animals played by people in costumes. Now, these characters come to us in a diverting and sometimes nightmarishly effective horror film. Yes, you read that right.

In this movie's universe, The Banana Splits is still on the air and still popular with some kids, and the rock band animal characters-Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky-are automatons. Good hearted soccer mom Beth (Dani Kind) gets her young son Harley (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) tickets to a live taping of The Banana Splits Show for his birthday. Harley is ecstatic since The Banana Splits is his favorite show.

Backstage drama arises at the taping that Harley and his family is attending. After discovering that the show is being canceled, the robot characters go on a bloody rampage.

This reminds me, in certain ways, of Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) in that the plotting is pretty standard stuff, but there are some outrageous moments peppered throughout. The over-the-top gory deaths are often amusing when the character being taken out is established as a jerk. However, the demise of one not-so-evil character by giant hammer is kind of disturbing. What makes the kills effective is the use of good, old-fashioned practical effects. There is a portion of a fire gag that is clearly digital, but for the most part The Banana Splits is filled with tried-and-true prosthetic makeup effects.

The Banana Splits Movie is available through streaming sites and on Blu-ray disc.

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