“Banana Monster” is pure “Schlock”: John Landis’s first movie is a dog

By on June 20, 2015

When director John Landis was 21 years old, in 1971, he made this first directorial effort, Schlock, for $60,000 in just twelve days.


Then, after Landis found success with Animal House, Jack H. Harris, the producer of Schlock, for reasons unknown to all but perhaps his closest film colleagues, financial associates or his therapist, perhaps, re-titled the movie as The Banana Monster, and re-released it into theaters.

Makeup and special effects legend Rick Baker designed the monkey suit, which was worn by Landis himself, starring as the the banana monster Schlockthropus.


The Banana Monster goes on a murdering rampage until he falls in love with a blind girl — played by Eliza Garrett, who was also in Animal House — who thinks he’s a dog.


About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.