There’s only one solution to the newest League assignment, The Peanut Butter Solution!

By Shawn Robare

I’ve been having a lot of fun with these League assignments, and this week’s topic is no exception.  Brian over at Cool & Collected posed the question, what 80s kids/teen flick would you like to see get a present day sequel with the same cast now grown up.  This one required a bit more in the pondering department if for no other reasons than so many of the kid/teen flicks I grew up loving either had sequels (Karate Kid, Lost Boys, and Back to the Future came to mind) or had stories that were tied up very nicely and didn’t really need to be delved back into (E.T., The Goonies, or Flight of the Navigator.)  Though I wanted to go with something like The Monster Squad, I don’t really want to see the cast grown up as much as I’d like to see the concept of kids vs. monsters explored again, so that didn’t seem to be the way to go.  I also thought about Teen Wolf, as it’s a film series that was far from perfect and could be improved upon, it just wouldn’t be the same without Michael J. Fox who probably isn’t up to the make-up effects the flick would require.  Let’s be honest though, seeing Fox and Jason Bateman team up for a double dose of van surfing would be pretty badass, right?  At the end of the day, I love so many of the flicks from the 80s for what they are, that dusting them off and continuing the story just doesn’t tend to appeal to me.  Most recent ventures into that territory have really left me wanting (with the exceptions of The Muppets and Tron: Legacy), so I was stumped.

After wracking my brain for a couple of days I finally landed on something that I think could really be interesting though.  There are a handful of obscure flicks that I used to watch a lot on HBO back in the day that I was never fully gung ho about, but were still decent or interesting enough to keep my attention (flicks like the Meatballs sequels or Teen Witch.)  Of these, there was one film that always sort of weirded me out and felt a bit like it was shooting for something much deeper than I could appreciate at the time.  That movie is The Peanut Butter Solution.

It’s a film that I’ve begun to appreciate much more as an adult, and one that I think is just weird and insane enough that it would be really easy to dip back into that world and create something truly magical.  For those who haven’t seen it, TPBS is a Canadian flick from 1986 about a boy named Michael who wanders into an abandoned mansion and ends up seeing something so frightening that he loses all of his hair.

Ashamed of his sudden baldness and having to wear some truly terrible wigs, Michael is confronted by the ghosts of a deceased homeless couple that he had met and helped out once.  The ghosts tell Michael about the Peanut Butter Solution (in the vein of Freckle Juice, except it actually works), and by the next morning Michael’s hair growth is out of control.  He’s then kidnapped by a mad aertist who uses Michael’s continuously-growing hair to make designer paintbrushes that can paint pictures so real you can walk into them (as well as a really creepy hair jacket.)  Oh, and Michael’s friend uses the Peanut Butter Solution to grow hair in a very nsfw kind of place.  You still with me?

The worst kind of rattail is snaking out of those pants!

Anyway, the flick is surreal and over the top, though the production value is sadly lacking as it feels a lot like a made-for-TV movie.  The world and the concepts are great though and I can fully imagine folks like Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Guillermo Del Toro, or Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze diving into this material and making something truly insane and delightful with the original cast included.  This is the kind of thing that I think would make the best 20-30-year-gap sequel, one where it’s not important what decade it is, or that the actors have to try and recapture any magic that might be long gone.  For me, this would be a real treat.

Anyway, if you’ve never seen the flick, you can check out the trailer here.  Unfortunately this is a pretty obscure movie and it’s never seen a North American DVD release.  There are some bootlegs floating around that are pretty decent watchable ports of the old VHS tapes.  It’s also up in its entirety on youtube (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and Part 10.)

Some of the other League members are also chiming in with their picks:

Christopher Tupa, Tupa’s Treasures, talks about Labyrinth

TL, Flashlights are Something to Eat, talks about the Breakfast Club

Reis, The Dork Horde, talks about The Last Starfighter

Iok, That Figures, talks about a different sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark

Michael, Adventureblog!, talks about Legend

Dex, AEIOU and sometimes Why, also talks about Labyrinth

  • FreshSean – You know, that might just be worth watching. But honestly, I think Weekend 3 would be best by having Bernie turned into a zombie, and he just goes nuts on the beach… ;)

  • FreshSeanyD

    I’ve racked my brain for days thinking about what 80s movie should be sequeled with the original cast, and I’m happy to report that I’ve figured it out: Weekend at Bernie’s. 23 years later, Andrew McCarthy, Johnathan Silverman, and a skeleton with sunglasses. The original concept is just so stupid, that it could seriously work! I would totally love and support a third installment.

  • Fijimermaid – You know, I think another way this film could be revived is if Sylvain Chomet (the guy who directed the Illusionist and Triplets of Bellville) did an animated version. I could totally see that being all trippy and fun…

  • Dale – No problem man, glad I could provide it. Yeah, I’d be willing to bet this flick has the one and only (possibly forever) pubic hair joke in a kids flick…

  • Ladyjaye – Makes me wish I had paid more attention during my two years of high school French! Thanks for posting that link though. I think I need to find some subtitled/English subs of those other flicks in the series…

  • FijiMermaid

    Excellent weird film. I was a big fan of this one in the 80s and was able to secure a VHS copy of it about 10 yrs ago for dirt cheap. A sequel to this could be pretty damn strange. Although sadly I’d fear they would create the hair using CGI and that scares me.

  • Ladyjaye

    Ah yes, The Peanut Butter Solution. Well, it did come out on DVD in its French dub only, and it’s available solely as part of a box set that includes other kids’ movies in the Tales for All series (including the French version of Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveler and Tommy Tricker 2). In French, the movie was known as “Opration beurre de pinottes”. It’s not my favorite Tales of all, though (personally, my faves remain The Dog Who Stopped the War and Bach and Broccoli). If anyone really wants them, it’s 45$ for the six-movie boxset (just don’t expect any English subtitles or dub):

  • Dale

    Good choice! I too watched this movie on HBO as a kid and rewatched with my wife about a year ago. I put it on while we played a board game and it caught our interest enough that we would often pause the game to watch scenes from the movie. I think it still holds up well. It has scary scenes, it’s fairly dark for a kids movie and the scene where his friend uses it to grow pubes it hilarious. I can’t tell you how many times I wished for just a spoonful of peanut butter solution to speed along mother nature. Also, the windy day/getting hair tangled in a bush was tattooed on my mind from a very early age. It really freaked me out. Thanks for the nostalgia trip!

  • Brian – Yeah I’m probably the only person who thought this could use a sequel, and it would also probably qualify as the one movie that will never get a sequel or remake…

  • Dex – Yeah, growing up I thought everyone saw this film a bunch of times, but I guess it all depended on how bored you were and if you had HBO in the 80s. I’m glad at least it’s up on youtube for people to see (and to know that I didn’t dream it…)

  • Shawn, you have totally stumped me with this flick. If I have ever even heard of it, that memory is long suppressed.

  • If there’s a prize for Most Obscure Movie for this week’s assignment, I think you’ve got it locked up!

  • Paxton – It’s crazy and a half! Oh and I dug your review of the first Oz book. Now I need to dig my copies out…

  • Shawn, I love that you wanted to propose a third Teen Wolf flick with both Bateman and Fox. You forever have my loyalty for that. Good one. I’ve heard of this movie, but never seen it. Sounds crazy.

  • This movie was released by a French Canadian company called “La Fete” and was part of a series of movies called “Tales for All” (this being #2 apparently). You could probably contact them in case they could give you any information on whether this or any of their films can be purchased on DVD presently.

    • Awesome Thanks! Just e-mailed them to inquire about the availability. :)

      • Hopefully they’ll answer. Of course I’m sure they’ve gotten people asking for this film from all over.