Today sees the release of The Banana Splits Movie, a horror film based on the beloved children's TV series from Land of the Lost creators Sid and Marty Krofft. The R-rated project is available now on streaming and will be out on DVD and Blu-ray in two weeks before it makes its way to SYFY later this year. This is an easy win for all you people who maintained that the Banana Splits were always nightmare fuel. We know you're out there, and we also know you are not 100% wrong. T
he Banana Splits offers a new take on the classic characters, which were first introduced to audiences in 1968 with The Banana Splits Adventure Hour variety program. In the upcoming horror thriller, a boy named Harley and his family (brother Austin, mother Beth and father Mitch) attend a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which is supposed to be a fun-filled birthday for young Harley and business as usual for Rebecca, the producer of the series. But things take an unexpected turn — and the body count quickly rises. Can Harley, his mom and their new pals safely escape? Well, we talked to the film's writers Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas at Comic Con International in San Diego last month, and asked them what drove them to reimagine the lovable puppets as murder machines.
“To be honest, [I only have] the faintest memory of these,” Elinoff told ComicBook.com. “When you talk about Sid and Marty Kraft, I think Land of the Lost was much more out when we were kids. We had to go back and examine this a little more and try to figure out what it was about. But ‘60s TV shows, they all seem kind of off-kilter anyway. Everything’s kind of psychedelic and weird, so it really wasn’t much of a leap to go from the children’’s show to the deadly Banana Splits.”
“When you think about Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and H.R. Pufnstuff, everything’s a little subversive a nd a little weird already," Thomas said of some other notable kids' shows from the same producers. "Once we took the Banana Splits...in the beginning of the movie, it’s a kids show, then they start to go a little crazy — it wasn’t a big leap to just give them weapons and have them start massacring people.”
Without a direct emotional tie to the classic Banana Splits TV show, we asked whether they might consider doing a horror-themed reinvention of any other Krofft productions, and both had ideas.
"Maybe H.R. Pufnstuff?" Elinoff said. "That one feels like it’s got a lot of room to mess around. It’s super psychedelic, super weird. It’s very trippy. That would be a fun one to take a shot at, I think."
"I think Sigmund the Sea Monster would be," added Thomas. "If you really played almost the Basket Case of it, or sort of like the movie Ben, where ehe’s friends with the rat but the rat is killing people. You can have the sea monster be friends with the boy, but he’s extremely destructive and he’s mudering people.”
The Banana Splits stars Dani Kind (Wyonna Earp) as Beth, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong (The Kindness of Strangers) as Harley, Romeo Carere as Austin, Steve Lund (Street Legal, Schitt’s Creek) as Mitch, and Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries, A Series of Unfortunate Events, War for the Planet of the Apes) as Rebecca. Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky and Drooper will also appear. The film is written by Jed Elinoff & Scott Thomas (Raven’s Home, My Super Psycho Sweet 16) and directed by Danishka Esterhazy (Level 16). The Banana Splits is produced by Blue Ribbon Content in association withWarner Bros. Home Entertainment and SYFY. The film is available now on digital video on demand services.