tisdag 10 september 2019

The Banana Splits Movie

Children TV shows, i have so many good memories from the 80´s cartoons i watched on Super Channel and on The Children´s Channel. Classics such as Dungeons & Dragons, Thundercats, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Jayce And The Wheeled Warriors, and many more. Back in those days you could see very violent cartoon shows, and Saturday mornings became a tradition for me and my sister. I have seen children TV shows with kids in our family, and i have to say there are some shows that feels pretty original. But let´s travel back in time, to the year of 1989, when director Peter Jackson ( who most people recognize from Lord Of The Rings, Bad Taste and of course Braindead ) released his puppet satire comedy Meet The Feebles. Imagine puppets doing drugs, having sex and killing each other, that sounds like the perfect childrens movie right ? This film is of course not for children, but an entertaining film on puppets and their shitty lives. My favourite is the heroin addicted Wynard The Frog, a Vietnam war veteran who is constantly high on drugs. Meet The Feebles is almost like a Monty Python version of The Muppets, and really funny if you are in the right mood. Well worth checking out if you want to see director Peter Jackson´s earlier work. How many of you remember the children´s TV program The Banana Splits Adventure Hour ? Maybe not a young generation, but i can imagine if you were a child around the end of the 60´s and early 70´s, you might have seen this show on TV. Animal characters Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky, all formed the fictional rock band The Banana Splits. I did not see this show as a child, not until i was older and the show was mentioned on TV. The TV show lasted 2 seasons, and now in 2019 we have a new film based on the characters, but in a horror themed way. I enjoyed the trailer for The Banana Splits Movie, but is this film better than i expected, or a total disaster ?

The Banana Splits Show is a children´s TV show that is loved by fans worldwide. One of the show biggest fans known as Harley ( Finlay Wojtak-Hissong ) Watch the show all the time, and love the characters Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky dancing and singing. When Harley get ticket´s to the show as a Birthday gift., he is beyond thrilled. He invites his friend Zoe ( Mariah Nash ) to go with him to the show, together with Harley´s parents and his big brother. As they arrive to the studio they are all welcomed by Paige ( Naledi Majola ), who works behind the scenes on the show. But what the audience does not know, is that this show is being cancelled. But this show is not over yet, not until The Banana Splits have made sure that their show will be better than ever.

When you have such a classic children´s TV show as The Banana Splits, it is important to capture the same style of the show and still make a version that works as a horror comedy. I would have to say that they have done a good job with this version. You have some brutal kills, happy songs and the robot costume animals looks pretty effective. When you see them dancing on stage, you want to dance with them ( not speaking about myself, a cousin of mine…..). The Banana Splits Movie knows what it wants to do, and that is to entertain the audience. The characters in this film are very divided. I like some of them, while others don´t leave any big impact. Let´s get into the characters that i enjoy in this film. Child actor Finlay Wojtak-Hissong is without a doubt one of the highlights in this film, as the biggest Banana Split fan ever named Harley. Finlay delivers a performance that fits well with his character. South African actress Naledi Majola as the character Paige, is clearly a woman with a good heart. Naledi make her character feel so natural, and matches so well into the studio environment where this film takes place ( for the most part ). Actress Dani Kind who plays Finlay´s mother Beth, becomes the survivor fighter, risking everything for her children, and i feel that Dani pull this off in a positive way. Now, most other characters are not the ones you will remember, so it is basically the characters i mentioned earlier who fit in well with the plot. What about the brutal killing scenes ? Well, they are actually kind of funny to watch. It is not often you see characters from a Children´s TV show kill people, and that is actually a fun idea. Except a burning head scene, where the CGI fire looks bad, including the make up. Other than that i had a good time with The Banana Splits Movie. Director Danishka Esterhazy ( who directed the well made sci fi thriller Level 16 ) have found the right tone for a film like this to work. This is my kind of Saturday morning show where heads fly off, bodies chopped up in half, the perfect way to start breakfast. Get this film on DVD or Blu Ray, and give a copy each to your family, and i guarantee they will start dancing of joy. On second thought, i feel like dancing and singing now:- Lalala Lalalala…...

Rating: DDD

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