Fall back into a nostalgic time with the return of The Banana Splits, the animal rock band that starred in The Banana Splits Adventure Hour in 1968. This cult classic returns with a gory edge in the new The Banana Splits Movie. Set in the present, the Banana Splits (Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky, and Drooper) are still filming and young Harley is ecstatic to learn that he will be going to see a live taping for his birthday. Once the show ends things take a dangerous turn as The Banana Splits learn that their show has been cancelled, but they can’t let the show come to an end.
The Banana Splits Movie is a bit of a slow burn for a horror movie. When it first starts if you don’t know that it is a horror movie you might think it is a fun family movie focused on Harley and his family celebrating his birthday, even though family drama is lurking beneath their smiles. Once you get to the set things begin to change. The Splits almost hit Harley while they are driving to set and when their creator says they need to be upgraded we watch as Drooper’s eyes and program screen take on a red hue. In this version of The Banana Splits the main characters are animatronic and are autonomous. As the show is going on Drooper is missing and we watch as he confronts the person responsible for their cancellation. That moment is what sets the horror element in motion, though in this scene we do not see anything violent happen. Paige the Page is in charge of the behind the scenes tours and a stage father and his daughter, a young couple obsessed with The Banana Splits, and Harley and his family are all invited to meet the stars of the show. This is when the death toll starts to rise. The Splits have gone from being kind and caring performers to rampaging murderers focused on finding anyway to keep the show going, for the children.
While I personally did not watch the original incarnation of The Banana Splits, I do vaguely remember the characters. As I watched this movie I kept thinking of all of the animatronic bands at arcades from my childhood, which added to my feelings of unease as I watched these characters attack, even the people that trusted them. Dani Kind as Beth, Harley’s mom, shifts from being a worried and overprotective mom(we learn a tragic backstory that has led her to feel hyper concerned for her children) to a danger confronting, though still, overprotective mom. When she throws off her top shirt to reveal a bright tank top, you know things have gotten serious. For fans of Wynonna Earp the phrase, Dani F*cking Kind, is perfect for this movie. She doesn’t care what happens to her as long as her sons are safe. Harley refuses to believe that his favorite Split would eve hurt him, which leads to some curious moments focused on him and Snorky. Sara Canning is also great as Rebecca, who is in charge of the show. She has to go through a terrifying obstacle course, which showcases some great physical work. If you are a horror fan looking for something a little bit different this is a movie you should check out. This is even more true for horror fans who also remember The Banana Splits. It is a fun time and very strongly brings the gore, there is even a bit of a tease for a possible sequel should they decide to continue using the characters. You can get your copy of The Banana Splits Movie anywhere movies are sold.