No, no, no. Just no. I feel like it’s April Fools Day, or my childhood is being punked. According to Deadline, Blue Ribbon Content (the digital studio of Warner Bros Television Group) is producing a “revival” movie of the late 60’s Sid and Marty Krofft/Hanna-Barbera live-action/animated kids variety show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, or at least more specifically focusing on the anthropomorphic animal hosts and musicians of the show, Bingo, Fleegle, Drooper and Snorky, collectively known as “The Banana Splits”. The movie will get a direct-to-video release via Warner Bros Home Entertainment, followed by showings on Syfy.
But what disturbs me is that this isn’t a kids program – it’s a horror story.
Here is the 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?”
I can’t understand why this would be called a revival. This isn’t a new series at all, but rather someone’s nightmare flashback turned into a script. Now as much of a fan I am of the old Krofft shows and would love to see them somehow represented again, I also admit I don’t think there is any way any of these shows would fly in today’s TV landscape. Translating these shows into other genres has been tried and failed miserably – remember Will Ferrell’s Land of the Lost? But I absolutely CANNOT get on board with this. I can’t image the damage this will do to me. How can we stop it?
It’s no real secret that as a child I grew up on 70’s Saturday Morning television. Today it is nothing like it was. One of the shows I was glued to was The Krofft Supershow, which was basically a show that introduced other “microshows” – shorter segments of other shows. In it’s first season, the microshows included were Dr. Shrinker (about three teens stranded on an island where the evil Dr. Shrinker hits them with his shrink ray and makes them tiny, and then chases them when they escape – think Gargamel chasing the Smurfs), Wonderbug (three teens drive around in the old rusty “Shlepcar”, but when they attach a special horn, it magically turns into “Wonderbug”, and they fight crime), and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, which was about a woman and her teen sidekick that were superheros that fought supervillains with high tech and 70s video effects. It was all cheesy, but it was the 70s, Saturday morning and I was 8. I miss those shows.
But I just found out via Facebook (thanks Fred!) that a reboot is not just in development, but is getting ready to debut as a digital series from Legendary, starring YouTubers Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart…check out the Vidcon teaser that debuted yesterday:
This seems real…more details can be found here…except when it will be released. I don’t know if it will be good (so far it seems a bit “meh” and seems more like a female team version of Kick-Ass than related to the original so far), and I’ll give almost everything a shot, but a note to Legendary – I’m still P.O.d at Universal and Relativity for that Will Ferrell Land of the Lost movie. Do not taunt 8 year old Doc.
But you know what? We could have been inflicted with this version instead. It’s hard to believe this was actually done in this century…
This could be good, or a another serious blow to my childhood memories, given past Land of the Lost attempts – but Amazon Studios has entered into an agreement with Sid and Marty Krofft to develop a pilot to bring back the 70s kids show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.
The original was pure Krofft camp – an unusually nice sea monster is kicked out of his mean family and is kept hidden from his family and other humans by two kids. The costumes were obvious but still fascinating, and the plots probably limited to 8 year old levels, but it is still remembered fondly by children of the 70s, when it ran originally from 1973-1975 and then kept alive in syndication for another decade.
“Sid and Marty are geniuses, and we are honored to be working with them to bring to the world a return of what we believe is TV’s most fabulous and funniest sea creature ever,” according to Amazon Studios Vice President Roy Price.
Doing my periodic update of our Sci-Fi TV Store (if you think anything should be included, let me know!)…the next two classic Doctor Who releases will be ”Frontios” and ”Time And The Rani”, released on June 14th; the classic Krofft show H.R. Pufnstuf gets a new Collector’s Edition which includes the only episode of “Horror Hotel”, a combo-spinoff featuring characters from Pufnstuff and Lidsville (along with a new standard release), out on April 12th; the MacGyver TV movies, (released last June but I missed it); the CGI series ReBoot finally get’s its first two seasons released on DVD on March 1st; and The Twilight Zone get its Blu-Ray releases, with Season 3 just out and Season 4 due in May.