Director: Danishka Esterhazy
Cast: Dani Kind, Steve Lund, Celina Martin
Release Date: August 27, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
When the infamous rock band discovers that their show is being cancelled, they violently lash out taking matters into their own hands!
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Get ready for a dark and twisted new take on the classic Hanna-Barbara stars in ‘The Banana Splits Movie’ which accompanies a young, massive fan of the Splits’ show who gets the opportunity of a lifetime when his parents take the family to see a live recording of the show for his birthday. But when on set, the unexpected behind the scenes cancellation of the beloved show causes the animatronic stars to violently lash out and begin wreaking violent mayhem on set, with bodies dropping left and right. Now this young fan and his family will have to figure out what’s truly going on and find a way out if they hope to leave the set alive.
Directed by Danishka Esterhazy (Level 16) from a screenplay by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas (The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!), Esterhazy does a quite competent job at the helm of ‘The Banana Splits Movie’ capably guiding along the twisted fun. The film also features a cast comprised of lesser known individuals and includes Dani Kind (TV’s Wynonna Earp), Steve Lund (TV’s Bitten), Celina Martin (Level 16), Finlay Wojtak-Hissong (The Kindness of Strangers), Sara Canning (TV’s The Vampire Diaries), Romeo Carere (Pyewacket), Maria Nash (TV’s Killjoys) and more, with the majority offering surprisingly solid and fitting performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘The Banana Splits Movie’ is a dark, demented and wildly enjoyable new take on the infamous Hanna-Barbera characters. A surprisingly well crafted ride filled with dark humor and plenty of gory fun that does a remarkably good job of managing to blend the goofy plot, dark humor and bloody chaos while never trying to excel to illogical levels; perfectly content in being the twisted little horror comedy it is and unafraid to go all out with it. Only becoming consistently more engaging and dark as it progresses and even throwing a few minor twists and turns into the mix for good measure along the way. While some may be irked by the choice to make the Splits animatronics here, the fact is it works perfectly and contributes splendidly to the creepy nature of the movie. I would strongly encourage horror fans and anyone already intrigued by this one to try and make a point of giving it a whirl whenever possible. It’s a bloody, darkly humorous and just downright ridiculously fun little film that is far better than you might expect and one that fans of similar horror flicks won’t want to think about missing out on (and don’t be too surprised if you find yourself only wanting to revisit it again not long after an initial viewing). As long as you don’t go in expecting a high budget horror film with something unique to say and can accept it for the fun, bloody little movie it is, there’s a pretty great chance you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.
Overall, ‘The Banana Splits Movie’ is a surprisingly fantastic and twisted new take on the Hanna-Barbera characters filled with plenty of bloody carnage, creepy fun and dark humor. Knowing precisely what it wants to be, the film dives into the demented fun without hesitation and ends up coming together into a massively entertaining B grade horror comedy that only continues to impress throughout. ‘The Banana Splits Movie’ is definitely highly recommended for genre fans and anyone at all intrigued by the equally silly and creepy premise which works surprisingly well and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and twisted little ride that should prove worthy of the cost of a rental and ninety minutes of your time if nothing else, and many who appreciate similarly goofy horror flicks just may find themselves wanting to purchase a copy of the Blu-ray for their collection shortly after checking it out.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Banana Splits Movie’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks quite good as a whole and provides a sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable faults or issues to be found throughout. It holds up pretty competently even during the various darkly lit and heavily populated moments throughout, never causing anything onscreen to become messy or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fairly solid high definition video presentation that shouldn’t disappoint those planning to pick up the Blu-ray release.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack offers a crisp, clean at often fairly active audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, crowd chatter and other various audio effects throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that does a solid job of contributing some additional fun and creepiness to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Banana Splits Movie’ includes a couple brief yet fun extras in the way of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore bringing the film to life; they include ‘The Banana Splits: Behind the Horror’ (running approximately 8 minutes in length) and ‘Terror on Set’ (running approximately 6 minutes). A faux news video ‘Breaking News!: The Banana Splits Massacre’ (approximately 2 minutes) is also included.