Blu-ray Review: The Banana Splits Movie (2019)

August 27, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

*Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.

Harley (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) is b.d. into the Banana Splits… a wacky kids program starring a quartet of costumed critters (Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky, and Drooper by name). As fate would have it, Harley’s mother Beth (Dani Kind) gets our diminutive hero tickets to the live show for his birthday, and drags along his slacker half-brother Austin (Romeo Carere), douche of a dad, Mitch (Steve Lund), and classmate (notice I didn’t say “friend”, ‘cuz Harley has next to none of those) Zoe (Maria Nash). Seems prosaic enough, save for the fact that the series has been cancelled, effective right after filming, and the automatons that portray the cartoonish cast have gone completely berserk and begin murdering people six ways to Sunday! Will Harley and his family survive the ordeal, or become part of the eternal horror show the Splits have planned for those in attendance of their final broadcast?

Holy hell The Banana Splits Movie is one great time… and I’ll tell you why, but first a bit o’ haunted history! As a wee terror tyke, I loved me some Splits… all of us in the ’70s did; they were funny, showed some boss cartoons (and live-action programs too) and played rock n’ roll; all of our entertainment bases were covered. Now flash forward a few (okay, “alot”) of decades and some genius gets the neon light idea to transform our childhood friends into murder machines and I have to admit I did a gruesome grin ear to eerie ear just hearing that concept… and this fright flick kept that smile plastered on my mug throughout the films runtime!

I could go on and on about how game the cast are (they really are and kudos to them all for running with this film’s outrageous concept and delivering grounded performances during the chaos), or how solid the visuals are (the film features a wonderful early ’70s color palette and costuming, despite the present day setting)… but that’s not what you want to know… you want to know how much horror biz is in this. Let me tell you; it’s a freakin’ ass-load (that’s a technical term us critics use)!

I was absolutely floored by not only the rock-solid slasher vibe this pic lays down, but the astounding amount of full-on, practically realized gore on hand. There are literally piles of bodies on display as well as burning flesh, dismemberment, and so much more I won’t spoil here. I can’t praise director Danishka Esterhazy, along with writers Jed Elinoff, Scott Thomas, enough for going above and beyond in delivering gore and good times with this one!

Along with the freaky fun of the main event, there are a few extras on hand as well including a few behind-the-scenes featurettes, a faux news report detailing the murders the splits have committed, and some trailers for other Warner Bros. releases.

I absolutely loved The Banana Splits Movie; it’s a gore-splattered deconstruction of a childhood classic that we would never have dreamed possible as children, but can sure as shit appreciate as full-grown horror hounds!

 

 

 

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