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The Banana Monster

USA 1973
produced by
Jack H. Harris, James C. O'Rourke, George Folsey jr (executive) for Gazotskie Productions, Jack H. Harris Enterprises
directed by John Landis
starring John LandisSaul Kahan, Eliza Roberts, Charles Villiers, Harriet Medin, Gene Fox, Susan Weiser-Finley, Jonathan Flint, Amy Schireson, Eric Allison, Emile Hamaty, Joseph Piantadosi, Richard Gillis, Tom Alvich, Walter Levine, Ralph Baker, Belinda Folsey, Phillip Levine, Shirley Levine, Mary Cortiz, Ivan Lepper, Mitchell Tadross, Kevin Collins, Carl Stone, Tonda Marton, Neil Forn, Dana Sue Collins, Harry Goins, Gorden Brettelle, Norman Crawford, Robert E. Collins, Ian Kranitz, Jackie Bonnhein, Stuart Weiss, Patty Holcomb, George O'Hanlon jr, Bill Record, John Chambers, Forrest J. Ackerman, Laslo Benedek, Donald F. Glut, Jack H. Harris, Andrew Marton
written by John Landis, music by David Gibson, special makeup design by Rick Baker, special effects by Ivan Lepper

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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There's a killing spree terrorizing the neighbourhood that leaves Detective Sgt. Wino (Saul Kahan) baffled as the killer, who often kills in large numbers, always leaves banana peels with his victims. Enter professor Shlibovitz (Emile Hamaty) who's convinced that the culprit isn't human at all but the missing link, vulgarly called Schlock (John Landis), who has been frozen in ice for centuries but now has come back with a vengeance. But Schlock isn't just the bad guy, he also has a gentle side ... as Mindy (Eliza Roberts), the klutziest blind girl in existence, soon experiences - that said though, she just takes him for a weird dog to play fetch with while Schlock's really drawn to her. Problem is, Mindy eventually has her eyesight restored, and once she sees again, she's totally freaked out by Schlock. And despite the town living in terror, her mum (Harriet Medin) insists on the high school dance taking place as planned - which can only lead to disaster of course ...


Schlock, the first feature by later comedy super-director with a track record in horror John Landis, is ... well, not a perfect movie - but lots of fun all the same. Basically, what the film's lacking is proper structure, as many of the comedy skits seem to be placed rather and random and seem to be interchangeable without changing the overall plot in the least, and some skits actually stand in the way of narrative development. But that said, these skits - like Schlock playing the piano, going to the theatre or evenplaying fetch with Mindy - are also terribly funny. Plus the film was a post-modern monster movie hommage/loving parody (with an emphasis on 50s to 70s genre output) long before postmodernism even came into vogue with genre movies. And then there's Landis' own performance as Schlock in Rick Baker's awesome monster suit that gives the creature actual depth - and an actual sense of humour.

So yeah, don't expect a masterpiece maybe - but also expect to be entertained to the fullest!


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD