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So, you’ve just finished watching The Banana Splits Movie on SYFY. First things first, are you okay? Will you ever look at animatronics the same way again? If you ever hear someone humming the Banana Splits theme song, will a part of you tremble in fear?
Now that you’ve gone on a whimsical and murderous ride with the Banana Splits, let’s go through all of the highlights from the new film. Some of these moments are scenes of gore (most of them to be fair, but not all), and they are all highly memorable.
Be forewarned! Only read on if you’ve already watched the movie, because from here on out, this is going to be a Banana Boat full of spoilers, and it’s coming right at you.
Everybody ready for the highlight reel from the worst backstage tour anyone’s ever gone on? Let’s begin.
DEATH OF THE FIFTH-BILLED DRUNK DIVA
It’s clear from the start that Stevie (Richard White) is not happy being the only human member of the show. He starts pulling diva antics like he’s Albert Finney in The Dresser, telling a stagehand that if “they wait for the puppets, they can wait for me.”
He finds out about the show’s cancelation early on, and really gives it to his puppet co-stars, telling them that he’s “hated every minute working with you a**holes.” The fact that we see him saying this from the robot puppet perspective ala RoboCop only makes it better.
Stevie then becomes our first real death of the movie, and it’s death via lollipop. What was once a harmless, child-friendly candy treat becomes an instrument of death, as one of the Splits rams the oversized pop down Stevie’s throat, killing him in horrifying way. The moment lets you know what kind of movie this is going to be from this point forward, and it is also somewhat satisfying, because Stevie mostly has it coming. Don’t be a diva backstage.
FLEEGLE KILLS THE INSTAGRAM STAR
Two of the characters that gain backstage access are a pair of instagram “celebrities” that sneak a phone in when they shouldn’t have. They promised their followers a look at the Splits, and they are going to deliver!
Such entitlement never got anyone anywhere. Right after Poppy accepts her beau’s proposal, her fiance for all of five seconds gets strung up in some kind of magic box contraption by Fleegle. Poppy looks on while Fleegle performs a variation on the “sawing the lady in half” magic trick on him.
There’s no real trick here, though, because Fleegle just viscerally cuts the guy in half. Just when you (and Poppy) think it’s over, the saw gets pushed down even harder, and more guts splatter to the floor.
Poppy doesn’t really get over this, which is something we’ll get to later. Once this guy has been cut in two, we almost expect Oompa-Loompas to come out and sing about not doing Instagram stories in places where you’ve been told not to. If he had just given up the secret phone, this guy would have possibly lived. A good lesson for us all.
STAGEDAD GETS TORCHED IN THE FACE
We get the feeling that poor Parker (Lia Sachs) doesn’t want to be an actor, but try telling her father that. Unfortunately, Parker has the ultimate stagedad, and he’s one big hat away from going full Mama Rose.
He’s determined to get his daughter on the show, and he's totally unaware that the show has been canceled. He tramps around everywhere backstage to find someone in charge (going all kinds of places he’s not allowed to go), and ultimately…winds up getting a large amount of fire shot in his face, courtesy of the Splits.
It’s a memorable moment because, well, his face doesn’t just get set on fire — stagedad writhes around for what seems like an hour, burning. It’s kind of hilarious, because we don’t really like the stagedad that much at this point.
Surprisingly though, stagedad lives! He lives long enough to make a perfect entrance, right when Rebecca the producer (Sara Cassidy) says, “I assure you, everything is under control.” Cue the entrance of stagedad with his face burned off.
How he survived the burning is something of a miracle, but the Splits don’t let him revel in his continued existence. Before long, both he and Rebecca are put through the Double Dare challenge from hell, and they’re both dead for good.
THE SNORKY WHISPERER
Harley (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) is a true believer in the Splits, and is the purest soul in the film. His favorite Split, by far, is the elephantine Snorky. He refuses to believe that Snorky could ever go bad, despite whatever malfunctions (or tampered with programming) are involved.
Despite the carnage going on all around him, Harley is determined to try and get through to Snorky, much to his new friend Zoe’s (Maria Nash) annoyance. Before this furry, sunglassed elephant robot can cause them any harm, Harley actually breaks through Snorky’s Cylon programming.
Pleading with him, saying, “Please Snorky, help us…”, Harley proceeds to do the “Snorky Shuffle.” It looks like it’s not going to work…but then Snorky joins in. We don’t know for certain that Snorky is on the road to redemption yet, but Harley has managed to put his foot in the door. It’s a lovely moment between a child and his favorite puppet creature in a movie that is full of murder and craziness.
TRUE MOTIVES REVEALED!
Eventually, Harley’s brave mom Beth (Dani Kind), his older brother Austin (Romeo Carere) and Paige the page (Naledi Majola) get to the bottom of what the Splits are up to — they are only killing the adults, and they are enslaving the children to watch a sick variation of their show forever, and ever, and ever. Try to cancel them? Good luck.
The reveal is horrifying, as is the new Splits show itself, which features the already dead Stevie being lit on fire (mail’s here!) and a studio exec being drawn and quartered.
It’s good that Beth is on the scene, and that she's gone into full action mode. In a scene worthy of Ellen Ripley, Beth takes them all on to save the children, and she succeeds. Beth proves that the courage and strength of a mother can defeat any evil robotic puppet plot.
THE SNORK-SHANK REDEMPTION
The day has been saved and all of the children freed, but wouldn’t you know it? Bingo is back, and he’s got a score to settle. That’s when we find out that Harley’s Snorky whispering from earlier on was not in vain.
Snorky takes on Bingo, and it’s a full scene of puppet vs. puppet, machine vs. machine. Snorky defeats Bingo, but he himself perishes in the process. In a scene that may remind some of Kong’s death (or the T-800 giving that thumbs-up to John Connor), Harley tells the dying Snorky that he was always his favorite. Sniff, we’re not crying, you are.
THERE IS ANOTHER...
The very end of the movie has a moment that ties two previously great moments together — one of them featured Mitch (Steve Lund), the cheating father, being chased down by a Banana Boat car. He’s in bad shape, but Beth punches him in the face and says she’s divorcing him. Way to go, Beth!
We’ve also seen Poppy, deep in the lair of Karl (Lionel Newton), the one who is responsible for the Splits. He lets her know that he was building a sister for them (a fifth Split), and it’s not long before Poppy adorns herself with the chassis of the new Split, her sanity dropping away bit by bit.
While Mitch staggers around in the street at the end, complaining about being left behind, he’s gloriously run down by Poppy, driving the Banana Boat at full speed. Mitch is definitely dead this time, and Poppy, still wearing bits of the new sister Split, takes off into the night — with all of the puppet corpses in tow. She hums the Splits theme to herself, and we get the distinct feeling that this particular show is far from over.
As many characters in this movie say, “the show must go on.” A newly-deranged Poppy seems intent on making sure this is the case. This show may never end.