Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
Is anyone here old enough to remember The Banana Splits Adventure Hour? For those of us who actually remember that show from ancient broadcast tapes and re-runs, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour was a silly puppet based kids show that ran from 1968-1969 with moderate results. The series was goofy, silly, and kind of a mixture of The Muppets meets Lamp Chop and Friends with a dash of Blues Clues, and was considered a marginal hit for the late 60s. Ironically, it was one of the places that Shari Lewis got her start in back before she came up with the iconic Lamp Chop character that launched her TV show back in the 1990s. Now, if you think that this The Banana Splits Movie is a continuation of that nearly 51 year old show then you have another thing coming. For some strange reason Warner Brothers greenlit a script for a horror movie about the original Banana Splits characters going on a murdering rampage, and just called it The Banana Splits Movie and pushed it out on home video.
It’s modern times, but supposedly The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (shorted to just The Banana Splits Show in the movie) has been running non-stop for the last 50 years. It’s a big children’s hit and has continued to make money for the produces all this time. The series has been kept alive by a not just puppetry, but robotics too as the original 4 Banana Splits puppet characters have been replaced by live robotic cores with their furry costumes covering them up. However, things are about to get nasty today, as not only is it a live taping where young Harley (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) has been given backstage passes to, but the it’s also the day that the producer has pulled the plug on the show, not to mention an update gone wrong to the Banana Splits robots themselves, and I’m sure you can figure it out from there.
Things seem to be going smoothly enough, even though the only human character on the show, Stevie (Richard White) is getting drunk off his butt in an effort to dull the pain of his being laid off. That is until the Banana Splits robots go crazy, hacking and slashing their way through the audience members one by one. Now it’s up to Stevie and his mother Beth (Dani Kind) to get out of the closed down production set, and hopefully do so alive in the process.
Everything is pure DTV acting and DTV special effects, but it kind of plays to the hammy nature of the film. The kills themselves are gory and bloody as all get out, but director Danishka Esterhazy doesn’t play the movie very seriously. Instead the whole thing is kind of tongue in cheek, playing off of the nostalgia of the characters and laughing along with the characters as the OBVIOUSLY low budget kills pain the room with cherry red blood.
Rated R for horror violence and gore
• Terror on Set
• Breaking News! The Banana Splits Massacre
The Banana Splits Movie is a film no one asked for, no one wanted, and yet somehow got made with moderate results (kind of like the show if you think about it!). A line from the movie is “The Show isn’t really what I expected”, and that translates to this movie as well. It is bizarrely kind of fun, and a weird bit of closure that is banking on some form of nostalgia from the kids who grew up in the late 60s and early 70s to really sell the concept. I never really grew up with the show and only new about them vaguely, but even though I had older brothers who grew up in this time line, The Banana Splits Movie is one bit of intellectual property that honestly boggles the mind on who greenlit this production. The Blu-ray looks and sounds good enough for a DTV film, but sadly (or not so much if you think about it) there are only a small handful of extras to fill out the near barebones disc. If I had to put a recommendation down for this one, I’d list it as a mild cheap rental for horror fanatics who just can’t help themselves.
Starring: Dani Kind, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, Romeo Carere, Steve Lund, Maria Nash, Naledi Majola, Richard White, Sara Canning
Directed by: Danishka Esterhazy
Written by: Jed Elinoff, Scott Thomas
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5,1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 90 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: August 27th, 2019
Recommendation: Cheap Rental