BARE BONES: THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE (2019)

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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

 

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES AUG 9-11

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Complete estimates are in for the weekend box office

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to the reviews here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1. “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” $25.4 Million

2. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” $20.8 Million

3. “The Lion King” $20 Million

4. “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” $17 Million

5. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” $11.6 million

6. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” $8.1 Million

7. “The Kitchen” $5.5 Million

8. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” $5.3 Million

9. “Toy Story 4” $4.4 Million

10. “Bring the Soul: The Movie” $2.3 Million

 

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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HORROR TV YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: SWAMP THING season 1 (2019)

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SWAMP THING season 1 (2019)

(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Swamp Thing was sadly canceled after it’s first episode aired and before it was even given a chance…and it’s a shame. The ten episode first season nailed so many aspects of the comics and also managed to be one of the better horror shows currently on TV. Was that the problem? Was it too edgy? Right now there are few answers to the questions of why a great first season was also it’s last.

The story takes place in Marais, Louisiana, where an outbreak of some strange illness has occurred. CDC doctor Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) arrives on the scene to try to find some answers and a cure. She meets eccentric scientist Alec Holland (Andy Bean) who tells her the answer is in the swamps. There they find that someone has been dumping a chemical growth accelerator in the swamp that has had a bizarre effect on the plant life. Alec is murdered in the swamp one night for what he knows and his body is regenerated by the plants into a massive human/plant hybrid..The Swamp Thing (Derek Mears)! Now Holland must not only come to terms with what he’s become, but protect Abby from those who would harm her and protect himself for those who find him a curious object of study.

Written and directed by a number of talents (see list below) Swamp Thing is a fun, atmospheric and delightfully gory show, that takes itself seriously despite it’s comic book roots. The show uses the North Carolina locations very well and the production and set design is perfectly spooky and fitting of the overall tone. There is a lot of action and intrigue as Abby and Holland uncover a conspiracy led by local businessman Avery Sunderland (Will Patton), his chief scientist Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand) and crooked sheriff Lucilia Cable (Jennifer Beals), who are trying to exploit the swamp for profit. This puts Abby in danger and makes Holland/Swamp Thing a hunted man/thing. The episodes are each slightly under an hour and with the variety of directors and writers, the show maintains a consistent look and tone. The FX are good, especially the prosthetics and the CGI ranges from good to passable with some weak spots here and there. This show had a lot of potential and whatever the reasons for it’s canceling, unfortunately there will be some loose ends that will never get tightened unless, somehow, there is a continuation either by revival or a feature film. Sad, this show had a lot of potential and a strong first season start that was thrilling and enjoyable for comic and horror fans especially.

The cast really click here. Crystal Reed makes a solid heroine in the determined and resilient Abby Arcane. The actress presents a strong, intelligent and caring young woman that makes her very likable and endearing. Andy Dean is good as Holland, thought we only see him in the first episode and a few other spots. He builds a likable character in limited time. Derek Mears shines as the plant hero. He does a very good job giving Swamp Thing some complex emotions as he tries to figure out who and what he has become. He can be fierce and dangerous and yet kind, gentle and very sympathetic. Too bad we can’t see where he could take the character. Mears and Reed also had some nice on-screen chemistry, too. Patton makes a nice villain as the scheming and greedy Avery Sunderland, He’s a man that will kill for what he wants and does. Kevin Durand’s Woodrue is a scientist blinded and made cruel by his work. The post credits scene at the end of the last episode signals a side of him we would liked to have seen more of. The rest of the supporting cast, including Jennifer Beals and Ian Ziering, all play their parts well, A very solid cast for a really well done production.

In conclusion, This is a sad example of studio chaos ending a good show before it had a chance. This had some great atmosphere, a cool horror movie tone, yet didn’t ignore it’s comic book roots. There was some great production design, some spooky visuals and settings and a healthy amount of blood, gore and creatures. One of DC’s best representations of their properties as of late and it’s canceling is as mysterious as it’s swamp setting!

-MonsterZero NJ

Photo Credit: Fred Norris / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

EPISODE LIST

  1. Pilot – directed by Len Wiseman and written by Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden
  2. Worlds Apart – directed by Len Wiseman and written by Mark Verheiden and Doris Egan
  3. He Speaks – directed by Deran Sarafian and written by Rob Fresco
  4. Darkness on the Edge of Town – directed by Carol Banker and written by Erin Maher and Kay Reindl
  5. Drive All Night – directed by Greg Beeman and written by Franklin Rho
  6. The Price You Pay – directed by Toa Fraser and written by Tania Lotia
  7. Brilliant Disguise – directed by Alexis Ostrander and written by Andrew Preston and Rob Fresco
  8. Long Walk Home – directed by E. L. Katz and written by Doris Egan
  9. The Anatomy Lesson – directed by Michael Goi and written by Mark Verheiden, Noah Griffith and Daniel Stewart
  10. Loose Ends – directed by Deran Sarafian and written by Erin Maher, Kay Reindl and Rob Fresco

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-MonsterZero NJ

3 and 1/2 (out of 4 ) swamp things.

 

 

 

 

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 HORROR THEMED COMIC BOOK MOVIES!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 HORROR THEMED COMIC BOOK MOVIES!

The comic book based Blade trilogy brought the horror…and Guillermo del Toro!

Catching up with DC ‘s delightfully gory, yet sadly canceled, Swamp Thing series gets one nostalgic for other horror themed comic book movies. So, here are 15 of them that brought the horror while delivering comic book movie entertainment!

Keanu Reeves battled supernatural forces in the comic book based Constantine!

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(To get to the reviews of the titles listed that were covered here at the Movie Madhouse, just type the title in the search engine to find the corresponding critique!)

-MonsterZero NJ

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES AUG 2-4

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Complete estimates are in for the weekend box office

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to the reviews here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1. “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” $60.8 Million

2. “The Lion King” $38.2 Million

3. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” $20 million

4. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” $7.75 Million

5. “Toy Story 4” $7.15 Million

6. “Yesterday” $2.44 Million

7. “The Farewell” $2.42 Million

8. “Crawl” $2.15 Million

9. “Aladdin” $2 Million

10. “Annabelle Comes Home” $875,000

 

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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SATANIC PANIC GETS A TRAILER AND POSTER!

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What happens when an adorable pizza delivery girl (Hayley Griffith), delivers to the wrong house?… Satanic Panic of course! Delightfully fun looking horror/comedy is directed by Chelsea Stardust from a script by Grady Hendrix (Mohawk) based on a story by Hendrix and Ted Geoghegan (We Are Still Here, Mohawk). The devilishly fun sounding flick also stars Jerry O’Connell (Piranha 3D), Ruby Modine (Happy Death Day 1 & 2) and Rebecca Romijn (X-Men‘s Mystique) and comes to us from Fangoria Films and Aperture Entertainment! Satanic Panic premieres on 9/6/2019 in limited theatrical and VOD release!

-MonsterZero NJ

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source: internet/youtube

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE LATE, GREAT WES CRAVEN!

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WESLEY EARL “WES” CRAVEN 1939-2015

Legendary horror director Wes Craven has been gone four years already, but today, on his birthday, we remember his legacy. Craven directed a number of horror classics over five decades from his grueling Last House On The Left to A Nightmare On Elm Street to Scream and it’s sequels, with Scream 4 being his final film! Craven was a one of a kind talent who will sadly be missed and whose work will forever be cherished by horror fans all over the world.

 

-MonsterZero NJ

Sources: internet

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