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January 1, 2012 2:00 PM   Subscribe

The Peanut Butter Solution is a 1985 Canadian 'family' film about a boy who is scared bald trying to sneak into a burned house and cops a hairgrowth recipe from two ghosts. Then things get weird. See for yourself [google video, 90 min]
posted by mannequito (40 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this repeatedly as a child and had completely forgotten it. I recalled it immediately on description. What odd things were produced in the 80s.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:15 PM on January 1, 2012


This movie is unbelievably terrifying. I only remember static images because I was way too scared to watch it straight through.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 2:23 PM on January 1, 2012


obviously another fine^Wdiseased product from the /Creating Rem Lezar/ school of film design.
posted by oonh at 2:38 PM on January 1, 2012


Definitely scarred me. I downloaded it months ago and have yet to brave watching it again.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:58 PM on January 1, 2012


There isn't any scene of this movie that isn't profoundly disturbing or surreal.

The magical growing hair that won't stop growing (and the very weird suggestion that his friend has painted this solution onto his junk in order to grow pubes), the painting scene with the freakish guy (surrounded by kids, I think?) as he dances the different parts of the painting onto the canvas. The freaky ghosts who show up.

It must be at least 20 years or so since I saw this thing. Just thinking about it again makes me feel oddly dirty.
posted by nosh, daven, shtup at 3:01 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


THEY MADE US WATCH THIS IN SCHOOL
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:02 PM on January 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Oh wow, Michael Rubbo! He made a series for Australian TV about the World's Oldest Blogger, Olive Riley. So endearing. He's the one who helped her set up her "blob" (previously discussed on MeFi; warning, original link to blog now goes to linkfarm).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:27 PM on January 1, 2012


I want to watch this for Col. Tigh but I'm scared.
posted by m@f at 3:29 PM on January 1, 2012


My husband's been talking about this for YEARS. We now have a date to watch it together. Thanks!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:47 PM on January 1, 2012


I really thought I must have imagined this.

Thank you (I think).
posted by davidjmcgee at 3:49 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember seeing this movie as a kid in school (showed on a half-day or something) and thinking for years that I'd imagined it because it was so damn weird and no one else I mentioned it to had seen it. Then a friend was describing it one day and someone else said, "OMG, the Peanut Butter Solution" and I was like "wait, that movie WAS real?"

Now I need to go watch it.
posted by lunasol at 3:50 PM on January 1, 2012


davidjmcgee: You too?!
posted by lunasol at 3:52 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read the book. Now I'm wondering if it was a novelization?
posted by jewzilla at 3:59 PM on January 1, 2012


Another completely boggling "1985 Canadian 'family' film" is La guerre des tuques, which is quite brilliant:

The film involves a huge snowball fight between the children of a town who split into two rival gangs, one defending a snow castle, the other attacking it.

posted by ovvl at 4:04 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Couldn't make it through when I was 6 years old and haven't been able to find a copy since. Thanks!
posted by FreelanceBureaucrat at 4:25 PM on January 1, 2012


this movie haunted me for much of my youth
posted by 12bits at 4:40 PM on January 1, 2012


Considering that this was funded by Telefilm Canada, the same mysterious government entity that brought to the world other such national treasures as all of Cronenberg's early work, this film fails to surprise me.
posted by Anything at 5:01 PM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Both Opération Beurre de pinottes (The Peanut Butter Solution's French title) and La Guerre des Tuques (La Guerre, la guerre... ç'pas une raison pour se faire mal) were part of Rock Demers's Contes pour tous series of movies, along with Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:03 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


This movie also has the first English-language songs by Celine Dion.
posted by JuxTPosition at 5:07 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hot damn I thought I'd hallucinated this movie. I couldn't remember what it was called just that it was about "a bald kid who put peanut butter on his head and then his hair wouldn't stop growing and it made magical paintbrushes" and no one I knew seemed to know anything about it.
posted by FritoKAL at 5:32 PM on January 1, 2012


I remember this too! And my plot description would have been exactly the same as FritoKAL's.
posted by web-goddess at 5:53 PM on January 1, 2012


This movie isn't available on DVD (in English, anyway), but it's pretty easy to pick up a VHS copy for cheap.

Of course, there are some bootleg DVDs out there. I have a copy myself.
posted by JuxTPosition at 5:56 PM on January 1, 2012


I vividly remember having nightmares for a long time after watching this.
posted by Proginoskes at 6:00 PM on January 1, 2012


I'd totally forgotten this, and didn't know it was Canadian. It was hugely popular amongst my preteen Southern California friends in the 80s - no idea how it found its way to us. Thanks for bringing it back!
posted by gusandrews at 6:48 PM on January 1, 2012


I too remember seeing this in school when I was a kid, and being moderately disturbed by it. I don't know what made anyone think that kids would enjoy it; I can only guess that none of the teachers saw the thing before they showed it to us.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:02 PM on January 1, 2012


Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller

That one freaked me out too. The idea of becoming an inanimate object and suddenly being at the mercy of the world was really unnerving.
posted by Theta States at 7:48 PM on January 1, 2012


I forgot this was a thing. But OMG, it was.
posted by zennie at 8:12 PM on January 1, 2012


Oh wow - I loved this movie, completely forgotten until this post, but... nice... ;-)
posted by jkaczor at 8:12 PM on January 1, 2012


Wait, these movies (also La Guerre des Tuques and Tommy Tricker) were awesome and we watched them in school and they were awesome there, too.
posted by jeather at 8:17 PM on January 1, 2012


Is that Short Run?
posted by kingv at 8:59 PM on January 1, 2012


Make that "Short Round". And no I guess not. Carry on.
posted by kingv at 9:04 PM on January 1, 2012


One of my university profs did an entire lecture on horrible 1980s Canadian films. There was some funding change around 1980 that sparked a bunch of quasi-Canadian films meant for the mass market. I think one of them was called Meatballs or something and then the Peanut Butter Solution was in there too. For most of my university years, saying "Meatballs" in term paper would get you better marks. I think it was Meatballs, anyway. It's been a while.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 9:17 PM on January 1, 2012


Another completely boggling "1985 Canadian 'family' film" is La guerre des tuques, which is quite brilliant:

The film involves a huge snowball fight between the children of a town who split into two rival gangs, one defending a snow castle, the other attacking it.


HOLY SHIT. I saw the ending to this as a kid, and no one else I talked to ever knew what it was. Then I forgot about it, and now my mind has been blown.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:52 PM on January 1, 2012


Aficionados of horrifying children's movies of the era might also remember Winter Of The Witch, featuring magic pancakes, flashing polka dot effects and the phrase "it's the final solution to the unhappiness problem."
posted by mhoye at 12:26 AM on January 2, 2012


Here's a curious detail on Wikipedia: 'Skippy peanut butter paid for prominent product placement in the film.'

Jesus. Someone looked at Cronenberg's films and their moderate success and thought: 'Hey let's do something in a similar spirit but instead of gore we'll have product placements! Win-win!'

I'd like to see if this 'Meatballs' film supports my theory.
posted by Anything at 1:51 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of my university profs did an entire lecture on horrible 1980s Canadian films. There was some funding change around 1980 that sparked a bunch of quasi-Canadian films meant for the mass market. I think one of them was called Meatballs or something and then the Peanut Butter Solution was in there too. For most of my university years, saying "Meatballs" in term paper would get you better marks. I think it was Meatballs, anyway. It's been a while

Meatballs, with motherfuckin' Bill Murray.
posted by mannequito at 2:31 AM on January 2, 2012


This movie terrified me so much as a child that apparently I never got to the part where his hair starts magically growing. And I think I must have avoided watching the part where he's "scared bald," too, because I assumed he was bald because he had cancer. I think I gathered, from the title, that he used peanut butter to cure his baldness, though I never actually made it that far in the movie. So for me, "The Peanut Butter Solution" was (and is) just a maelstrom of terror surrounding a terminally ill kid who smears peanut butter on his head.

Thanks, Canada.
posted by enlarged to show texture at 5:46 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


They played this on the Disney Channel when I was a kid. I totally forgot all about it till now. Thanks for posting.
posted by popaopee at 3:21 PM on January 3, 2012


One of my university profs did an entire lecture on horrible 1980s Canadian films. There was some funding change around 1980 that sparked a bunch of quasi-Canadian films meant for the mass market.

From the CBC archives: Tax breaks for Canadian movies
In the 1970s, dealmakers and tax accountants try their hand at the movie business. Gone are the days of the 1960s auteur-director struggling to survive. Now, thanks to a generous government tax-shelter program, Canadian movies are being made at a fever pitch. Throughout this decade, a slew of lowbrow, American-style films will be produced but few will actually ever be seen by the Canadian public. This Fifth Estate documentary, explores use and abuse of the Canadian tax dollar in the revived film industry.

posted by Theta States at 10:27 PM on January 4, 2012


I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought they'd imagined this movie. It scared the shit out of me as a kid, but later my sisters and friends claimed they'd never heard of it. They must have been suppressing the memories!
posted by harriet vane at 10:45 PM on January 7, 2012


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