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Film / The Banana Splits Movie

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This is nothing like the show.

Tra-la-la! Tra-la-la-la! Tra-la-la! Tra-la-la-la!

The Banana Splits Movie is a Made-for-TV Movie based on the 1960s series The Banana Splits, making a Genre Shift from comedy to horror. It was released digitally on August 13, 2019, on Blu-Ray and DVD on August 27, 2019, and premiered on Syfy October 12, 2019.

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?

The trailer can be found here.

This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Mom: Beth takes this role to protect her children.
  • Action Dress Rip: Beth takes off her white sweater when it gets caught on a tree branch, sporting her red tank-top as she goes to save Austin from Bingo.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Needless to say, the 1968 versions of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky would never, ever, ever, ever, ever do any of the horrifying things their 2019 movie counterparts did. Although Snorky escapes this as the Token Good Teammate.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite being the Split who's the most predominant on the cover, Bingo has the least amount of screen time — most of the killing is done by Fleegle and Drooper, and Snorky gets a small subplot. Bingo only does two things by himself during the events of the film and is damaged after the second one, only showing up for the climax of the film to fight Snorky.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Drooper uses an aerosol can and Andy's dropped and lit cigar to do this to Jonathan.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Due to errors in their programming, the Banana Splits take the phrase "The show must go on" a little too seriously...
  • An Arm and a Leg: Andy's fate when Drooper and Fleegle perform the "banana split" on him.
  • And Show It to You: During the Snorky vs. Bingo fight, Bingo reaches into Snorky's chest and rips out a piece of machinery. While not a literal heart, it's blatantly heart-shaped, is leaking fluid, and a heartbeat sound effect plays as it gets torn out.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Harley is a fan of the In-Universe Banana Splits show, and he gets to see them live for his birthday.
  • Asshole Victim: Stevie, Mitch and Andy. In fact, most of the people whose deaths we see are justified by them being total dicks (Thadd being the most notable exception).
  • Audible Sharpness: Harley's extendable wand makes this sound whenever it extends. It's actually sharp enough to impale straight through Drooper's head during the final battle!
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Bingo uses this method to capture Parker.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Fleegle and Drooper, as they do way more than Bingo and Snorky.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice. The first time, Bingo snatches Austin from above while he and Beth are in his jungle, only for Beth to race to the top of the rafters just in time to save her son by grabbing Bingo and shoving him over the railing, making him plummet to the ground below. The second time in the final battle, only Drooper is left standing, but he gets the upper hand over both Austin and Beth. Harley returns, throwing Beth the extendible wand he received earlier. Stabbing it through Drooper's head is enough to finally bring him down.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The children are saved, Austin and Paige are starting a relationship, and the Banana Splits have been destroyed. However, much of the main cast have been killed (though admittedly, some really had it coming) and poor Poppy has been driven insane from the traumatic events that happened, she then drives off with the remains of the Banana Splits who all may not be out of commission after all.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Needless to say, The Banana Splits Show was definitely not this violent.
  • Bond One-Liner: Fleegle after sawing Thadd in half, says, "Ta-daaaaaaa!"
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to Poppy after Thadd is murdered by Fleegle in front of her eyes.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Stevie's nasty behavior towards the Splits makes him the first person to die.
  • Canon Foreigner: There wasn't a character named Stevie in the original 1968 series, nor was there a fifth female member of the Banana Splits, an owl named Hooty. Presumably, in the film's Verse, the show was enough of a Long Runner to justify having added to its cast over time.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Within moments of meeting Paige, Austin tries to get her number, only to immediately retract it after realizing how awkward it sounded. At the end of the film, he asks again and manages to get it.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The extendable wand Austin gives Harley for his birthday. It is used to take out Drooper at the end.
    • In a villainous example, Rebecca complains early on about one of the prop hammers not being big enough. Drooper later kills her with that very same hammer.
    • The Hooty plans and empty costume. They're stolen by Poppy as she decides to reinvent herself as Hooty.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Andy deciding to spitefully cancel the show causes the Splits to turn both against him and the rest of the production team.
    • An example also happens with Poppy. When Fleegle kills her boyfriend, she ends up switching to the side of the Splits and aids them from the shadows.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Almost all deaths at the hands of the Splits are particularly painful and gruesome.
  • Dance Party Ending: Harley notes that every episode of the show ends with the "Rock Out" choice when Andy lands on the "Banana Split" choice on the Wheel of Endings before his death. Also happens over the credits, with the Splits dancing to the theme song.
  • Darker and Edgier: Taking a kid-friendly (if a bit weird) show and turning it into a bloody horror movie? It doesn't get darker and edgier than that.
  • Dark Reprise: A lower-pitched version of the show's theme song plays in the second half of the trailer.
  • Driven to Villainy: Losing their show, and being told that they're going to be ripped apart for use at a theme park, is what causes the Banana Splits to go berserk.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The movie ends with Poppy, having lost her marbles and fully embraced the role of Hooty, escaping in a Banana Buggy with the remains of the Banana Splits, casually running over and killing Mitch, and laughing maniacally the whole time, while Fleegle re-activates.
  • Entitled Bastard: Mitch genuinely expects Beth to forgive him after constantly cheating on her and being unfaithful. Unsurprisingly, Beth calls it off with him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Mitch's first three scenes emphasize how much of a jerk he is. First, when informed that his son Harley only has one friend, he seems genuinely surprised, showing he doesn't pay much attention to his kids' lives. Next, he finds Austin rooting through his stuff and says that if Austin needs money, he can just ask... and then when Austin does ask, he laughs and says "Not a chance." Finally, when Beth starts to reveal to Harley that they're going to the taping, Mitch grabs the tickets and announces it himself instead, and when Harley thanks him, just tells him not to call him "Daddy".
  • Eye Scream: One person gets killed by having Bingo's drumsticks shoved through his eyes.
  • Final Boss: Bingo is the final obstacle to the heroes at the end of the film, but he gets defeated by Snorky at the cost of the latter's life.
  • Forced to Watch: Poppy is forced to watch while Thadd is sawed in half. The trauma from this is what eventually causes her Sanity Slippage later.
  • For the Evulz: Andy cancels the Banana Splits Show for no reason beyond it being "old and lame", despite it seemingly still being popular with audiences.
  • Foul Ball Pit: The final obstacle of the Sloppy Time obstacle course. Also is Rebecca's final resting place courtesy of Drooper.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Splits go from beloved children's entertainers to mass murderers after learning their show is going out of business.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Andy is seen puffing on a cigar to establish that he's a sleazy asshole in a position of authority.
  • Goofy Print Underwear:
    Zoe: But [The Banana Splits] is for babies!
    Zoe's Mother: And suddenly you're so mature? You've got bunnies on your undies.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Karl, who created the Banana Splits who later go on a killing spree.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Fleegle does the "saw a man in half" magic trick — with a real saw, and gory results.
  • Harmful to Minors: The Splits' goal is to force young children to watch horrific imagery, such as Stevie's corpse getting immolated and Andy literally getting torn limb from limb. No wonder Beth told them to close their eyes and not watch.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Stevie is the token human of the Banana Splits television series. A rude, lazy, selfish alcoholic, Stevie sexually harasses Paige and torments the animatronics with the knowledge that their show was to be cancelled before becoming the first to fall victim to their killing spree when a lollipop prop is lodged down his throat.
    • Andy is the studio executive of Taft Studios who was indirectly responsible for the Splits' spree by canceling the show for no other reason than considering it boring, and wanting to do something "cool and edgy" — essentially putting multiple people out of a job all on a selfish whim. He gets the worst death at the hands of the animatronics when he gets tied to the new Wheel of Endings and won the "banana split".
    • Mitch is the husband of Beth Williams and the father of Austin and Harley. Irritated that his wife was giving his sons more attention, he has an affair with a coworker (not to mention being smugly dismissive of Austin and joking about how Harley came within a hair's breadth of being run over), and when she finds out, he gets all huffy and acts like the affair is all Beth's fault. Of course, he gets run over by Snorky's Banana Buggy. Twice.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Bingo has the survivors cornered at the climax, Snorky comes out of nowhere to fight him and save the survivors, killing Bingo but not before Bingo pulls a And Show It to You.
  • Hidden Depths: Early in the movie, Austin seems to be kind of a Lazy Bum not doing much with his life at 19. Over the course of the movie, he's shown to be very perceptive and one of the most likable characters of the film such as getting his brother backstage privileges at the show and being the angriest at Mitch's infidelity.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Rebecca manages to finish the Sloppy Time course alive, only for Drooper to be waiting at the end with a hammer to finish her off.
    • Mitch manages to find the gate attendant and begs him for help, but one of the Splits decapitated him off-screen. Mitch shakes his shoulder to get his attention, and his head falls clean off.
  • Hostile Animatronics: The Splits go from being people in costumes to being animatronics. Naturally, this trope comes into play.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Beth kills Drooper by impaling him with Harley's wand.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: While the Splits never attack any children, it's pointed out that their ultimate plan (kill all the adults and chain all the children to the seats, so they can watch their show forever) will ultimately lead to their deaths via starvation or dehydration. Presumably, the Splits (being robots) didn't know that humans need food to survive. In terms of storytelling, however, the trope is played straight — all of the children, including Harley and Zoe, survive the events of the film.
  • Laughably Evil: The Splits have turned to psychotic killers, but it's near impossible not to get a chuckle out of their antics, especially in the rather ridiculous ways they murder their victims.
    Fleegle: Silly Stevie, smoking's bad for your health!
  • Laughing Mad: Poppy at the end, as she drives away with the remains of the Banana Splits, clad in the Hooty costume.
  • Lightmare Fuel: While the horror is played straight, the ridiculousness of the premise itself and dashes of Black Comedy make for a movie that's as genuinely scary as it is twistedly funny. Most of the sympathetic characters also survive, including all the children.
  • Long Runner: The show has apparently been running for nearly 40 years in the universe of the movie.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Poppy goes slightly insane after Thadd dies, though the only people she kills are the resident assholes (the Splits' creator, Carl, and the adulterer, Mitch).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Banana Splits tape their show at Taft Studios. Hanna-Barbera was owned by Taft Broadcasting of Ohio for many years, including during the time they made the original show. (And yes, they were the same Taft as William Howard Taft.)
    • Fleegle having a magic show is a reference to the Great Fleegali segments from the original series, where he and Snorky would perform magic acts while Bingo and Drooper watched.
  • Neck Lift: Fleegle does this to Rebecca as she's forced to do the "Sloppy Time course", and Drooper does this to Beth as she tries to fight them.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Stevie is a nice and friendly character on the show (if a little creepy, due to being a grown man playing what seems to be a child character), but behind the scenes, he's a complete jerk, as well as an alcoholic. His awful behavior makes him the first person to die when the Banana Splits go haywire.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Austin is a pretty good big brother to Harley. He gets him a brand new wand for his birthday after his old one broke and later asks Paige if she can pull some strings to let Harley come backstage after the show. Aside from that, he is very devoted to his mother and willingly stands up to Mitch on her behalf.
    • Thadd is a loving boyfriend to Poppy and happily proposes to her. Too bad he ends up getting viciously butchered by Fleegle — in front of his fianceé, no less!
  • Off with His Head!: The gate attendant gets his head lopped off by one of the Banana Splits.
  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: Mitch is chased by one of the Banana Buggies early on. Despite being next to a waist-high wall that the car wouldn't possibly be able to get over, he never tries to climb up to get away, not that it would have made much of a difference, as seen when he reaches the security guard.
  • Periphery Demographic: In-Universe, Thadd and Poppy are huge fans of the Banana Splits show, and end up being the only adults in the audience who aren't accompanied by their kids.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Downplayed. While Snorky was never a bad guy (aside from running over Mitch, though he likely never intended to kill him, as Mitch makes it out slightly injured but still mobile), his decision to betray the Splits in favor of the humans costs him his own life.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: After Stevie's Bullying a Dragon moment, Drooper's eyes glow red, showing that things are going to start going to Hell.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Karl goes insane during the film, for reasons never explained. Maybe he was already insane to start off with, but still.
    • After Fleegle forces her to witness Thadd's murder, Poppy completely loses it, effectively turning into one of the Splits, before killing Karl and escaping with the broken remains of the Banana Splits at the end.
  • The Scrappy: In-universe, both the audience and the crew hate Stevie, which is really understandable.
  • Show Within a Show: The Banana Splits Show is presented as one in the context of the film.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After Beth's unfaithful husband, who had cheated on her with his co-workers and neglected her two sons, begs Beth to take him back, Beth nonchalantly decks the Jerkass and sternly claims she wants a divorce via Tranquil Fury.
  • Smug Snake: Stevie when he rubs in the show's cancellation to the Splits' faces. This doesn't end very well for him at all...
  • Smurfette Principle: The fifth Banana Split, Hooty. Unfortunately, When the show is cancelled, she's left on the drawing board. By the end of the film, Poppy is wearing what's finished of Hooty's costume, having declared herself to be the forgotten character.
  • Stage Dad: Jonathan, whose main reason for attending the show is to get his daughter an acting job. He gets killed, and his daughter chooses to quit acting in the end.
  • Subverted Kids' Show: The Banana Splits show is a popular kids show In-Universe. Then the bodies start piling up...
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: Beth sports a red one when she becomes an Action Mom.
  • Tempting Fate: "You don't have to be scared, honey. It's just a puppet." Cue Drooper lighting Jonathan's face on fire.
  • Token Good Teammate: Snorky is the only animatronic that doesn't kill anybody over the course of the film, and helps Harley to escape by sneaking him a set of keys.
  • Token Human: Stevie is the only human character of The Banana Splits set.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: They don't interact much, but Beth and Poppy do qualify. The former is a Tank-Top Tomboy who is persistent in fighting the Splits, while the latter is shown to be much perkier (at least before Thadd's death) and sensitive.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Stevie should have known better than to belittle the Splits during their faulty programming.
  • Tranquil Fury: After Mitch "apologizes" for his behavior to Beth, Beth decks him and flatly tells him she wants a divorce. She doesn't shout, but you can tell she's legitimately enraged at him.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The routine that Jonathan has Parker do for Rebecca involves her singing a pretty risqué song. Rebecca is quick to stop it, calling the whole thing "disturbing".
  • Unexplained Recovery: Earlier in the film, Bingo gets thrown off a catwalk and is badly damaged (he's still clearly alive, but too broken to even walk). Later on, he returns just fine with no explanationnote . It's possible that Poppy had something to do with it.
  • The Voiceless: Like the original show, Snorky never speaks. Unlike the original show, he only makes his honking noises a few times throughout the whole movie.
  • What Could Have Been: In-Universe example. The survivors find the plans for an unfinished character in Karl's workshop. According to him, it was to be a female owl named Hooty. These plans and Hooty's discarded costume allow Poppy to become Hooty.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: While the Splits do kidnap the children to force them to become their audience and kill their parents in the process, they never attack or harm the kids in any way.

Alternative Title(s): The Banana Splits