By now, we all know that giant costume puppets are pretty darn creepy. TV shows have parodied the druggy weirdness of Sid & Marty Krofft’s 60s output, and the hit Five Nights at Freddy’s video game series unveiled the horror of animatronic pizza bands. So it’s a little surprising that it has taken this long for someone to put puppets into movie monsters, it’s a lot surprising that the movie is an adaptation of an existing kid’s property, and it’s absolutely bonkers that the movie will be filled with R-rated gore.
When Warner Bros. and SyFy announced in February that a film adaptation of the Krofft Brothers show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968-1970) would be a horror thriller, conventional wisdom suggested a kid-friendly outing, like the popular Goosebumps films. But this week, an official bulletin from the MPAA reveals that The Banana Splits (2019) has been rated R for “violence and gore.”
Directed by Danishka Esterhazy (Level 16), from a script by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas (R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour), The Banana Splits stars Dani Kind (Wynonna Earp), Finlay Wojtak-Hissong (The Kindness of Strangers), Romeo Carere (Don’t Talk to Irene), and Steve Lund (Schitt’s Creek). According to the official synopsis,
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?
We still don’t have a lot of info yet, which gives us plenty of space to speculate what makes the band go bad. Does Fleegle the Beagle develop rabies? Will Drooper the Lion go mad from his fist taste of human flesh? Does Snork the Elephant trample the camera crew? Will Bingo the Gorilla pummel partygoers?