Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy
By Steve Anderson
April 1st, 2014

The Banana Splits Movie

The Banana Splits Movie
zero stars
Directed by Danishka Esterhazy
Written by Jed Elinoff, Scott Thomas
Starring Dani Kino, Steve Lund, Celina Martin
89 mins

Sometimes, we run across something that we literally cannot ignore. A sequel from out of nowhere, something whose director has an impressive pedigree or the like. This time, the something we can't possibly ignore is Warner Bros' "The Banana Splits Movie," a premise so thoroughly and fantastically bizarre that it cannot be ignored.

"The Banana Splits Movie" introduces us to Harley, age nine, and an inveterate fan of the Banana Splits. His parents, eager to get him something exciting for his upcoming birthday, land tickets to an upcoming taping of the Banana Splits' television show. Yet, little do Harley and his family know that this is perhaps the last taping of the show ever. That's right...the Banana Splits have been canceled, and when the band finds out about this, they're not going to take it lightly. Given that the Banana Splits are actually animatronics, this will be perhaps the biggest twist of all. At least, until the spurned Splits take their act on the road...a bloody, bloody road indeed.

When I first heard that this was a thing, I thought I'd finally lost my mind. A Banana Splits movie, rated R for "horror violence and gore"?? This is like watching the Get Along Gang flip out. Care Bears always care for slitting throats and drinking blood! It's so incongruous that it's almost impossible in nature! The sight of an axe-toting Bingo alone is much more bizarre than I care to elaborate on.

And that's before you start looking into the logical impossibilities involved in this premise. The ACTUAL last episode of the ACTUAL Banana Splits show was 1970. Are we supposed to believe that this level of animatronic wizardry was available in the 1960s, and was being used as kid's show fodder? And why are we watching "The Banana Splits Show" on a modern flatscreen television? The massive anachronism this movie represents makes me wonder when Doc Brown shows up in the DeSoto telling us we've made a terrible mistake! Yes, I know he should be driving a DeLorean, but clearly, the space-time continuum is just an utter wreck as the "Banana Splits Show" has survived to 2019 without incident! Someone tries to make an explanation of it, but it quickly boils off into a fat lot of nothing.

Admittedly, it wasn't all anachronism and screaming temporal doom. There were some hilarious bits in here like a guy running for his life from the Splits' go-kart, which clearly has all the off-road capacity of a fish on roller skates. That's not the hilarious part; that part comes in when you realize he's being chased down a gully between two three-feet-high concrete slabs. He could literally stop being chased at any moment by just jumping onto one of the slabs.

The ending, meanwhile, features the last ever Banana Splits show, which is something like children's television programming as conceived in hell. It features murder and corpse mutilation. Rather enthusiastic corpse mutilation involving fire. However, there's also an oddly fitting ending to all this as an oddly inappropriate children's toy turns out to pack enough punch to kill a robot. Then things get about as happy as they can get, until someone decided it would be a good idea to set up a sequel to this cinematic menace.

Special features include your choice of English, Spanish or Portuguese language tracks, your choice of English, Spanish, Portuguese or French subtitles, a behind the scenes featurette, and trailers for "Joker", "It: Chapter 2", "Batman: Hush", "The Curse of La Llorana", and "Critters Attack!".

Virtually no part of "The Banana Splits Movie" makes anything even resembling sense. It's not a particularly bad movie, but it was likely so busy wondering if it could that it never stopped to ask if it should. And the answer, overwhelmingly, was that it should not. This movie should not be. If you try it, you're in for a reasonably wild ride, but only because it's so patently ludicrous that nothing here will be expected.