Friends, I was just finishing up my work for the evening down here in the Retroist Vault when I received an e-mail from a good friend – letting me know that Hanna-Barbera’s The Banana Splits was returning to television… by way of a horror movie? Well, that certainly appears to be the case in the press release offered up by Warner Bros earlier today – as part of their digital studio Blue Ribbon Content, it will debut later this year and then be aired on the Syfy channel. To be fair when I first received the e-mail I felt a sense of outrage build up, for one thing I have very fond memories of The Banana Splits as well as it seems like a mean-spirited move on the part of Warner Bros to turn these fun-loving characters into something darker. But having admitted that when I took a moment to read the press release… I’m not sure they are actually being misused:
“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?”
So upon reading that it seems like while something sinister is going down at the studio where The Banana Splits show is being taped, they might not have anything to do with killings. Actually if they do make the creations of Sid and Marty Krofft for Hanna-Barbera into something dastardly, the creators might have been inspired by a charming little horror tale that I heard on a podcast. Although I will admit I have no recollection of which podcast that might have been and I tried to look it up but iTunes is proving troublesome down here in the Vault at the moment.
To sum up that particular story, a young boy is taken to a theme park by his Family and it’s icon is an elephant – turns out that beneath the park though where the boy follows the park mascot things are quite strange and terrifying… and that mascot might not be a person in a suit after all. I do hope however that this isn’t the direction that Blue Ribbon Content has taken for their upcoming movie – I prefer my Banana Splits decidedly less monstrous and threatening.
The rest of the press release happens to include the cast that will appear in the upcoming film:
“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. The beloved 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 with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Syfy.”
You know… it’s not like The Banana Splits haven’t engaged in something a little more mature. Do you recall back in 2017 when DC Comics was publishing crossovers of cartoon characters like Elmer Fudd meeting Batman to The Banana Splits attempting to rescue The Suicide Squad?