The Banana Splits movie takes 1960s nightmare fuel and makes a Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie out of it.

The Banana Splits movie now exists.

When you can’t get the rights to “Five Nights at Freddies,” you compromise. You get the Banana Splits. Already kind of creepy, the 1960s kid’s show characters are back, and they’re malfunctioning.

Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky are back in this blood-soaked tale that takes the conceit–that the show is now a popular kid’s variety show, and still draws a crowd for a live taping, and also the characters are robots–and turns it on its ear.

The relatable Williams family attends a taping, including young Harley, a kid who will not be killed off; Harley’s older brother Austin, a teen who’s good-hearted and will not be killed off; Harley’s mother, Beth, whose husband, Mitch, is a good-for-nothing cheater and will be killed off. The main character arc belongs to Beth, who spends the latter half of the movie defending her family and fighting robots.

Beth Williams, Robot Fighter. This fall on NBC.

There are a number of other characters, including social media influencers, at least one of which is clearly going to die before the film is over. There’s also a dad promoting his daughter as the next big star. He dies a most satisfying death. The movie does a good job making you care about the Williams family.

SyFy’s Banana Splits movie wasn’t terrible for a Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie. There’s a twist toward the end I didn’t see coming (and a pretty dark one: there’s a whole pile of dead parents by the end of the film). The film’s main drawback: at all times, it’s clear these “robots” are people in costumes, and that takes away somewhat from the hack and slash.

Overall, it’s a solid slasher, a perfect Halloween film, that just happens to include Sid and Marty Krofft characters. And, hey, someone got paid something for the rights to use these characters. Does Hanna-Barberra own them? Did this film allow Krofft’s grandkids to buy a new Honda Pilot? Probably.

Hell. They probably bought two.

The Banana Splits: Three Worfs Heads.

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