The Week In Horror: ‘The Banana Splits Movie’ Gets an R Rating

What’s shaking, fiends? As the fiery grip of summer begins to take hold, there is lots going on with Cinepocalypse happening right now and lots of TV shows to catch up on. I finally caught up with The Prodigy, one of the four evil kid movies we’ve gotten so far this year. I’ve got to say it surprised me how far the movie was willing to go. It is very well made and sinister from the start. And I have to salute the director for that very effective use of Mario Bava’s hallway jump scare from Shock. I knew it was coming, and I’ve seen it before, but damned if it didn’t still work. My only complaint, and let me go ahead and address any filmmaker that might be reading this: stop killing dogs. It’s not edgy, we’re not impressed. Yes, we all know it’s a fake dog, but that doesn’t make it less upsetting and off-putting. Anyway, back to Shock


So, what’s current?

Glenn Danzig’s film debut, Verotika, apparently didn’t go over super great with critics in attendance. But I swear, the more people bitch, the more I want to see it. Daily Grindhouse has a great review of the film, heaping on the praise while acknowledging the film’s problems. Verotika is based on three comic series from Danzig’s long-running comic imprint, Verotik, which has published several series full of violence and erotica, basically what you’d expect from Danzig. There’s no trailer for the movie yet, but here’s a comic trailer for Satanika, that looks a hell of a lot like a Devil Man movie…

Perhaps one of the biggest what-the-fucks of the week is the release of the new Banana Splits Movie trailer, which is rated R for horror violence and gore. In case you don’t know who the Banana Splits are, they were characters from a real live action 70s kids show with characters in big cartoon-come-to-life costumes. The theme song was catchy as hell, pure bubble gum pop bliss, and the show was slapstick and silly. Fast forward forty odd years to a post Five Nights at Freddy’s world, and boom. Boomer/Gen-X nostalgia repackaged as horror. Not bad. I’ll see this. The trailer looks great. I do have to wonder if this is somehow replacing that Five Nights at Freddy’s movie we never got?

Is there any bigger news, though, than the release of Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep trailer? Doctor Sleep is Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining, introducing us to a grown-up Danny Torrance. Flanagan, who has a slew of winners attached to his name, seems to be walking a tight rope between honoring King’s work while very directly referencing the Kubrick film adaptation from 1981, which King famously hates. For better or for worse, it’s the Kubrick version we all see when we close our eyes and not Mick Garris’ more faithful TV movie adaptation from the 90s. Flanagan is making the right move. The trailer is very intriguing, but I don’t feel like it gives that much away. I must say, I haven’t read the book yet, so I could be wrong about the significance of what we’re seeing. Personally, The Shining was not one of my favorite King books. Where I burned through most of his books in a few days (well, The Stand and IT took a couple of weeks), I found The Shining to be tedious at times. I kept putting it down and coming back to it. The movie, on the other hand, is a big favorite of mine.

And lastly, we cannot forget about Rob Zombie finally giving us a teeny tiny peek at the upcoming sequel to House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects3 From Hell! No, we get almost nothing of the plot, but hey, Baby, Otis, and The Captain are back. I’m loving the spaghetti western feel here. It looks grim and grimy and I trust Zombie to kick our asses.

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