Directed by Danishka Esterhazy [Other horror films: Slumber Party Massacre (2021)]
Tra-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la, tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la
I didn’t go into this movie with high hopes, though I sort of knew what to expect. I’ve seen a lot of hype about this on Twitter, and read somewhat lukewarm reaction to it (which the current IMDb rating of 5/10 seems to bear out), and so I found it surprising that The Banana Splits Movie is one of the funnest films I’ve seen in awhile.
This movie consistently cracked me up. It seems to me to be a mix of the video game Five Nights at Freddy’s (which I’ve played a handful of times in the past) and the new Child’s Play movie (robots going wild, anyone?).
Cast-wise, I don’t think The Banana Splits Movie does much wrong. It’s true that the main kid, played by Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, was a bit generic (though he does have a few touching scenes with Snorky), but the other young kid, Maria Nash, was amusingly snarky (snarky, not Snorky, for she has no trunk). Romeo Carere was funny as a burnout teen, and he has great dialogue with Naledi Majola (who I also particularly liked).
Kiroshan Naidoo and Celina Martin’s characters were a bit too odd for me to really get into, and Steve Lund played a complete dick, but Dani Kind did great as the mother, and got really kick-ass toward the end. Lastly, kudos to Richard White, who cracked me up with his role here.
There’s a lot of painful imagery in this movie, including a very unfun-looking broken finger (or perhaps multiple broken fingers), a guy sawed in half (TAA-DAA!), a dude getting ran over by a banana buggy, and perhaps my favorite sequence, a man who gets his arms and legs torn off in front of a bunch of children. Certainly, in this department, The Banana Splits Movie has a lot going for it.
I had a lot of fun with this, definitely more fun than I was expecting. The humor was present, but it was never too over-the-top, and under the outlandish imagery of giant animal robots going wild and killing people, trapping kids and forcing them to watch gruesome murders, the movie’s a lot darker than you might expect, especially with such a catchy song.
God bless Snorky, by the way. He’s the real MVP here.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss The Banana Splits Movie.