A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Banana Splits Movie is a 2019 low-budget comedy horror movie in which the beloved children's television characters go on a murderous rampage through a TV studio. Adults who grew up watching The Banana Splits will either be thoroughly appalled or perversely amused by this premise, and those expecting a basic kid-friendly reboot should avoid this at all costs. Horror movie blood, gore, and entrails throughout, as characters are killed in a variety of disturbing methods -- ranging from lollipop impalement to crucifixion on the "Wheel of Endings." Character's face set on fire by an aerosol can and a match. Character run over by a car. One of the performers on the show binge-drinks and performs while drunk. Kids are chained prisoners and forced to watch a disturbing version of The Banana Splits that involves dead bodies and killing. Frequent profanity includes "a--hole," "p---k," "s--t," "d--k," "bitch," "bastards," "pissed," "badass," "crap," and "hell."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE, a young boy named Harley receives a special surprise for his birthday. His mother Beth (Dani Kind) has gotten him tickets to attend a taping of his favorite TV show, The Banana Splits. Beth and Harley will be joined by Beth's awkward 19-year-old son Austin, their jerk stepdad Mitch, and Harley's new friend Zoe. Around the time they're taking their seats, it's announced backstage by the vice-president of programming that The Banana Splits is to be canceled. During the taping of the show, Austin convinces Paige the page to hook up his family with passes to meet The Banana Splits after the show. But after learning that their show is canceled, Bingo, Fleegle, Drooper, and Snorky, programmed by a deranged robotics designer, decide to take matters into their own hands. With no means of escape, and their smartphones destroyed, those who survive the massacre must find a way to stop The Banana Splits from continuing their twisted murderous rampage.
Is it any good?
This is a horror-comedy residing in the same low budget, deliberately-dumb, so-bad-it's-good space as Sharknado. Any weak points to the story, corny dialogue, or cheap production value is wink-winked away, and much of the entertainment is supposed to be derived from one being in on the joke. The premise of The Banana Splits Movie soon wears thin, and once the audience gets past the initial shock of seeing Drooper committing a homicide with an overlarge lollipop, all the blood splatter and entrails accomplish is a lack of creativity and a waste of potential.
It's downright bizarre to see these well-known children's television characters going on a blood-drenched frenzy. Perhaps more shocking than anything in the movie is that Hanna-Barbera would consent to allowing this movie to be made in the first place. What's next? Josie and the Pussycats start a death cult? Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo attack the campers of Jellystone Park with chainsaws? Hopefully not, as The Banana Splits Movie's dalliance with blood and gore proves that this kind of demented fan fiction misses the mark.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "comedy-horror" movies. Why do you think some people are entertained by exaggerated violent acts?
Did the blood, gore, and violence seem necessary to The Banana Splits Movie, or did it seem gratuitous? Why?
What are your thoughts on characters from a kids' show being presented as bloody murderers? Does it ruin the possibility of enjoying the more wholesome depictions of The Banana Splits?
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