THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE (2019)
Comedy/horror takes the goofy late 60s, early 70s Hanna-Barbera kids show and turns it into a horror movie. Young fan Harley (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) is being taken, for his birthday, by his mom (Dani Kind), brother Austin (Romeo Carere) and jerk step-dad Mitch (Steve Lund) to see his favorite show live, The Banana Splits. What Harley doesn’t know is that the characters, Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and his favorite, Snorky, are all robots. Robots who get a bit twitchy when the show’s canceled and go on a killing spree, with Harley and family trapped in the studio.
Taking a psychedelic TV kids show and turning it into a horror movie is an amusing idea, that is sadly bungled here. The flick is lazily directed by Danishka Esterhazy from a dull script from Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas. The creative element seemed to think the horror spin was cleverness enough and we get a generic story and very by-the-numbers direction. The pace is also very slow and what should have been an Evil Dead II style roller coaster ride becomes a tedious and dull ninety minutes. It does pick up a bit at the climax and there is some good gore, but it’s a little too late. The cast was mostly unremarkable, save for pretty Dani Kind as Harley’s mom. She shows some resilience and spunk in the last act and made a good hot mom final girl. Otherwise, what should have been a fun and gory blast is a half-assed mishandling of a really amusing idea.
The Banana Splits was one of my favorite shows as a kid growing up in the 70s, so I went a little easy on the rating for nostalgia’s sake. -MZNJ