Watching this film is perhaps the most surreal experience I’ve ever had and I’ve had my fair share. I found myself making reality checks multiple times during the movie, pausing to take stock that I was indeed sitting on my couch watching a film and not dreaming it. I’d rouse myself back to acceptance that this was a thing that was actually happening, then ten minutes would pass and I’d have to do it again.
The Banana Splits Movie exists in an alternate timeline (and I’m not saying that because I’m still unsure if I actually watched this film or merely dreamed it) where the 1968 Hanna-Barbera kids show has become a long-running staple of children’s entertainment. In this alternate timeline, robotic technology has advanced to the point where the Banana Splits (Fleagle, Drooper, Bingo, and Snorky, for those of you unfamiliar with the show or theme song) are portrayed by robots instead of guys in costumes. They have a human sidekick named Stevie, who is tired of playing second banana to a bunch of puppets (as they’re referred to in the film). Meanwhile, it’s an exciting day for young Harley, who is the biggest Banana Splits fan in the world and has been given a birthday surprise of attending a live taping of the show. Unfortunately for Harley, his family, and the rest of the audience, it’s the final Banana Splits Show as the new network head has decided to cancel the long-running show and use the robot technology in a theme park. Little does he realize that the Banana Splits’ programming compels them to follow the mantra “The show must go on!” And if that entails a hefty body count to fulfill, so be it.
The Banana Splits Movie is not a good one, but I’ll be damned if that’s going to stop me from recommending it. If you grew up watching The Banana Splits Show in either first run or in syndication, this is an audacious train wreck that must been seen to be believed (or disbelieved, I’m still unsure). I’m giving it my first ever rating of five skulls out of four since it boggles the mind so much to allow logic to constrain it.
It would also not be right to conclude this review without at least one link to the “The Tr-La-La Song” as performed by The Dickies. Here you go.