Blu-ray Review: The Peanut Butter Solution (1985)

December 22, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Mike (Mathew Mackay); junior soccer star, son to a attic-dwelling painter, and object of derision to his robe-wearin’ sister… also, friend to winos, as the children oft are. Anyway, speaking of those winos, they get burned to death in a fire, you know because that’s fun for the whole family!

Long story long, Mikey goes to the scene of the immolation looking foe survivors and gets the ever-loving shit scared out of him… which causes all of his hair to fall out (no bald cap here, my dude Mackay actually shaved his head for this flick),a nd for him to lose his damn mind.

To solve the prob, his sis and pops super glue a wig to his head… which of course gets as much accomplished as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest (and let me just say, when Mike’s mom gets back from her sojurn in Australia she will doubtless be hella fuckin’ pissed)… but thankfully the ghosts of the winos arrive on the scene and give him a wacky recipe to try (a peanut butter solution you may say) that they say will regrow his hair… but like, they are dead… and most likely drunk as balls, so yeah…

Amazingly that shit does actually produce results, and he grows hair like a mother fucker… like feet and feet of it. Now that would be enough for some movies, but not this one! Nope we get subplots about kidnapped children, early Celine Dion warbling, paint brush producing sweatshops… a lil’ somethin’ for everyone, and by “everyone” I mean deranged lunatics. Oh, and wait until you see the pubes part…

Okay, what the actual fuck is going on with The Peanut Butter Solution? This thing is like a fever-dream put to celluloid, and then shoved in front of unsuspecting children. Now most kids would definitely be totally confused or horrified (most likely both in equal measure) by this production, but for a wonderful few; this is just the type of insanity that could really get a young imagination firing, and that is a great thing indeed.

Now viewing this film through adult eyes is a hoot and a goddamned half. Every creative choice is so perplexing and just plain strange that the entire affair turn into an exercise in the surreal, and you’ll often wonder just how this heady mish-mash was put together… and why it’s so damned entertaining!

Hopefully the special features will contain some answers…

Kicking off those aforementioned features we have the U.S. theatrical cut of the film… which actually gives us three additional minutes of this insanity, so that’s no help. Following that comes a brand new audio commentary featuring producer Rock Demers and actor Mathew Mackay (moderated by filmmaker Ara Ball). This is a lively and fun listen, and does explain a bit how this beast came to be (a horror film for kids, that has a strong message of standing up to what terrifies you!), as well as how it was made.

Following that we get new interviews with Demers (this in particular explains a lot as the scenes and stills from this dude’s previous films are equally as bat shit as Peanut Butter), and actor Siluck Saysanasy (who plays Mike’s pal Conrad in the film), a look at the Canadian children’s film genre from film historian Paul Corupe, as well as two trailers for the film.

Delightfully off-center, and endlessly strange; The Peanut Butter Solution has to be experienced to be believed; it’s like a family film from an alternate dimension where everything is just slightly (and at times, not so slightly) wrong!



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