The Banana Splits Movie takes viewers behind the scenes of a children’s television show and shows us the sordid world that nobody knows about.
The stage manager is overworked. The new head of the network is a jerk. The star of the show is a drunk. The lovable Banana Splits, who play silly games and all play music instruments, are all actually robots who are looked down upon by their human coworkers. When Stevie (Richard White), the star of the show, learns that the show is being canceled, he makes the mistake of telling the robots and, before you know it, all Hell is breaking lose. People are getting stabbed to death with lollipops. Network executives are getting dismembered. One unfortunate person gets slammed in the head with a giant hammer. You gotta be careful who you piss off, folks. Robots are ruthless.
To me, the most shocking thing about The Banana Splits Movie was the discovery that it was based on an actual show. Apparently, the Banana Splits were real and they had their own show in the late 60s and early 70s. I’m going to guess that the Banana Splits were played by people in costumes as opposed to just being big robots. At least, I hope that’s the case because, after watching The Banana Splits Movie, I’m kind of over wanting anything to do with robots.
I will say this. If I imagine the characters from this movie not killing people, I can kinda understand why they would have their own TV show. I mean, they’re all really cute, except for when they’re covered in blood and brain matter. My personal favorite was Snorky, who was a big elephant and was a bit less murderous than the other three members of the Banana Splits. In fact, I have to admit that the film kind of left me feeling a little bit depressed because all of the robots are so cute that you really don’t want to see them murder people or get damaged themselves. The film actually does a pretty good job of contrasting the adorableness of the Banana Splits with the pain and carnage that they caused.
And make no doubt about it. There’s a lot of blood spilled in this movie. The Banana Splits are ruthless murderers and they don’t care how nice you are or if you paid money to see the show or if you’re just trying to make your daughter into a big star. If they see you, they’ll kill you. In fact, I have to admit that it sometimes got to be a bit too much for me. I got a little bit tired of all the violence but, at the same time, I also appreciated the film’s satiric intent. In a world gone mad, why wouldn’t the stars of a children’s TV show turn out to be a bunch of killer robots? When you think about all of the once beloved celebrities that have fallen from grace over the past 10 years, it makes an odd sort of sense.
Anyway, The Banana Splits Movie is well made splatter film with a satiric vein running through all blood and guts. It was a bit much for me but I respected it for sticking to its subversive premise and I do think it will be appreciated by a lot of other horror fans and pop culture fanatics.
I’m just hoping that the sequel features more Snorky.