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DIRECTED BY: Michael Rubbo
FEATURING: Mathew Mackay, Siluck Saysanasy, Alison Podbrey, Michael Hogan, Michel Maillot
PLOT: After suffering a terrible fright while exploring a derelict house, young Michael’s hair falls out, leaving him completely bald; possible salvation arrives in the form of a strange cure proffered by a pair of ghosts, which involves smearing a bizarre concoction atop his head. When an impatient Michael adds too much peanut butter to the recipe, his hair commences to grow wildly out of control. Not only does Michael have a new set of challenges associated with his uncontrollable coif, but he becomes the target of a dubious art teacher who covets the boy’s locks for the manufacture of magical paintbrushes.
- Quebecois producer Rock Demers made his mark in the world of youth-oriented cinema with 1970’s The Christmas Martian, which was made to take advantage of Canadian tax breaks.
- The Peanut Butter Solution was the second of a planned dozen kids’ movies by Demers’ Les Production La Fete studio under the banner “Tales For All.” The success of the series earned the studio the moniker “Disney of the North.”
- The soundtrack includes two songs performed by future music titan Celine Dion. She was seventeen at the time, and these were her first English-language recordings.
- The script began as a bedtime story director/co-writer Rubbo would tell his 6-year-old son.
- Co-writer Vojtech Jasný, best known as director of The Cassandra Cat (1963), was a veteran of the
INDELIBLE IMAGE: There are many memorable shots of Michael’s ever-growing hair, but probably the most lasting is the contraption he is forced to devise to prevent the hyperactive follicles from killing him in his sleep, resulting in a ‘do that resembles one of St. Basil’s onion domes.
TWO WEIRD THINGS: Way too much hair down there; paintbrush sweatshop
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: What doesn’t? The film starts out with an unusual premise, surrounds it with a cast of characters who act in ways that bear no relationship to the way humans behave, and then sends the story in random directions that only magnify the craziness. You’ve heard the hype; the buzz is justified. It’s exactly as strange as you think it will be, and then some.
Original trailer for The Peanut Butter Solution
COMMENTS: I don’t remember how many years ago it was that my Continue reading 34*. THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION (1985)