Jump to content
Wil Dride

Episode 243 - The Peanut Butter Solution

Recommended Posts

While we were first watching this movie, we were wondering why the kids didn't go to the cops. We were positing that there were no cops in the world of the movie, and then....

copcar.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

God, I am so tired of lazy, stupid jokes about Canada. Plenty of things are funny in and about the country. Our so-called "accent"? Our money? Fuck off.

Edited to add the following now that I've listened to the rest of it:

Celine Dion was a teenager in the 80s, she's a year older than me. She was already being managed by the sketchy much older guy that eventually became her husband. She was a star in Quebec, which essentially has its entire own set of celebrities that do not necessarily cross over to English Canadian stardom. It is ironic/gross to me that this weird old movie about exploited children had Celine doing the soundtrack. I remember seeing a french-language  video of hers back in the day called "Trop Jeune pour Amour" - too young for love. :P

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, i'll hold the mike said:

While we were first watching this movie, we were wondering why the kids didn't go to the cops. We were positing that there were no cops in the world of the movie, and then....

copcar.jpg

I humbly recommend a much better insight into Canadian policing in this more recent and much more insane film series: Bon Cop Bad Cop!

 


 

Share this post


Link to post

This movie started me on a deep research dive, because I overcome being deeply disturbed by trying to understand. And it finally made me break down and get an account.

Things I learned during my google binge:

This godawful abomination started as a bedtime story the director Michael Rubbo would tell his son (shades of Geostorm, anyone?).

The producer Rock Demers started his production company and the "signature children's series" Tales for All as a response to learning about child suicide rates in the '80s because he wanted to "give [kids] an appetite for life, in spite of everything."

Said production company/Demers is trying to make a remake: "Our goal in tackling a remake was to connect the dots between these ideas and give audiences satisfying conclusions to the unanswered questions asked in the original. What does Micheal see during the great scare? Who sends the ghostly intruders? Why does Micheal’s hair grow out of control? And most importantly, once he learns that he can paint his way into another reality, what will his quest be?
As we tackled all these elements, the full potential of the story unfolded and we began looking at a tremendously powerful story of grief and the importance in believing in that we do not see."

Also according to IMDB trivia "Producer Rock Demers has said when he and director Michael Rubbo began the film, their goal was to create a "gentle, frightening film." He felt the theme was "If something frightens you, find out why. In most cases you'll discover it wasn't so frightening after all."

This movie was syndicated on both Canadian and US television. In Canada, because Canadian children's films were few and far between, and in the US because Disney/Eisner bought it and just...played it. All the time.

Skippy peanut butter paid for product placement (what a weird message to send to consumers. Use our peanut butter and grow 6 ft long pubic hair, kids!).

The best thing I found is this article by Courtney Fathom Sells. An excerpt: "I even became unable to wear striped jersey shirts to school because Michael sported one in the film and I felt almost definite that I would soon see a similar fate if I continued to mock his costume design. When I noticed one of my pals wearing such garb at church one Sunday, I prayed to God to forgive him, for he had clearly not seen The Peanut Butter Solution."

Sells is a maker of short documentaries, and even made a film called The Fright about how this movie traumatized the kids who watched it. Unfortunately, I can't find the film online anywhere despite my librarian sleuthing skills. If anyone wants to reach out to Sells via his website to see if he'll re-release it, I would love to watch.

Oof. What a movie.

 

 

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

This movie brings back memories. It was a staple growing up in Canada in the 80's and was shown in school at least once a year along with La Guerre Des Tuques (The Dog Who Stopped the War). I still have no idea why they kept on showing these two films...

https://youtu.be/c0xqOTGavy0

Edited by ToxicCaribou
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

                                                          *** HUGE SPOILERS FOR THIS EPISODE *** 

Spoiler

Paul had horses.

W in the actual F.

  • Like 5
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I was part of a francophone school in the 80's on the west coast of Canada.  I  was shown this movie at too young of an age in KINDERGARTEN! And then proceeded to see it every single year until I was 12. All the French Immersion kids in (I can't speak about other provinces) the 80's saw this movie all the time and most of us were TRAUMATIZED from it.  I'm 40 now and I still talk to my best friend how much we hated this movie.  Also, my friend's kids have seen it last year (grades 6 and 8). BC Teachers: Please retire this movie!  Shout out to the La Guerre Des Tuques (The Dog Who Stopped the War).  I have also seen this movie too many times to count.  

 

Edited by CanadianAliCat
grammar
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

I was genuinely terrified that there was going to a scene where  they made magic paint brushes from magic growing pubes.  I truly had the fear of God in me. 

  • Like 4
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post

Ok that mom 100% is leaving that alcoholic dad! He had some kind bed upstairs because he's clearly too sloshed to make it down the stairs after he paints his shitty paintings. Let's be real here he spends most of the time up there drinking. I'm willing to concede *maybe* the mom's dad died and she may even be in Australia to sell the house, but that's just to get a nest egg going to start her new life! Probably in Australia because if I were her I'd want to be as far away from that dysfunction as possible. It's clear from the way Suze acts she's been in this mom role for a while and is used to caring for her dad. Because he's a fucking disaster and can barely function. He needs help. Suze is The only thing holding this family together. The mom has been checked out for a WHILE. Maybe she's having her midlife crisis and is secretly Eat Pray Loving . I don't know. 

I just know that the children know something is clearly wrong. My mom used to work as a quality auditor in blood banking and would travel around the country for a week every other week. I get missing your mom. But I wouldn't be angry and resentful that my sister was wearing her robe.  It's clearly because they know something is wrong, there is tension there. There is a fear that she won't come back.  I know that international phone calls are pricey but if your child suddenly had a weird unknown medical condition wouldn't you let him call his mother?  Unless you had a very contentious relationship OR SHE WAS GETTING READY TO DIVORCE YOU AND YOU WERE ABOUT TO GO THROUGH THE START OF A SEPARATION! 

I'm telling you the reason the dad hates Connie is because he mentioned how bad their marriage is because that kid would. 

The scene after the mom gets in the house after they all settle down is going to start with her telling the kids she has to sit them down and have a talk.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

Ok butI feel like the Signore  was teaching a valid point in his art class that day. Not that you shouldn't have imagination, but that today's lesson was Realism or the study of figure drawing . I don't know much about art so maybe I'm wrong but I feel like there is indeed a time and place for painting/ drawing what is truly there and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think it's a valid lesson but The Signore is obviously an awful teacher. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry I have a LOT of thoughts about this movie. It was just Too Much. I'm Forever Changed

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, gigi-tastic said:

Ok butI feel like the Signore  was teaching a valid point in his art class that day. Not that you shouldn't have imagination, but that today's lesson was Realism or the study of figure drawing . I don't know much about art so maybe I'm wrong but I feel like there is indeed a time and place for painting/ drawing what is truly there and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think it's a valid lesson but The Signore is obviously an awful teacher. 

"Draw what you actually see, not what your brain wants to autocomplete" is pretty standard art school advice for sure. It's one of the first tips in Betty Edwards' classic Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Though obviously we didn't have the word "autocomplete" back then.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I. Love. Connie! 
Let’s put aside for the moment the deadpan acting and terrible scripting, and focus on how great this character is. I was peeking through my fingers, waiting for the inevitable tropes that called on some mystical connection, or martial arts prowess, or science-y tech-head stuff, but no! Here is an Asian character who is never presented as defined by his ethnicity, but is allowed to have agency and impact on the story simply by being an active character! In fact, as Paul & Company notice, he’s probably more of a main character than Michael! This was in the same year (1985) that gave us Data in The Goonies, and a year after Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles. I notice the actor, Siluck Saysanasy, went on to be a popular character in the teen drama series of Degrassi High. Good for him! 

I really didn’t know what to think when I first saw the character— since another Chinese sidekick named Connie immediately sprang to mind. This one from a famous comic strip called “Terry and the Pirates,” and can it be a coincidence for such a specific name and specific character role to line up like that? But Terry’s Connie is a very, VERY flagrant racial stereotype. His nickname is shortened from “George Webster Confucius” and is complete with yellow skin, buck teeth, and somewhat minstrel-like behaviour.  The film writer/director Michael Rubbo is of the age and has an arts background that would certainly bring him into contact with Terry and the Pirates, but there's no indication there should be a direct connection except in my own mind. I’m *so* happy we get the Peanut Butter version of Connie instead, even if it does prompt disturbing thoughts about the nature of pubic hair. 
 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Glad I am not the only one who was disturbed by how the daughter and dad where interacting with one another. The opening minutes when she wakes him and he comes downstairs she is hanging off his shoulder like a put upon wife having to deal with her husband and an old drinking buddy of his who has overstayed his welcome, and there were other instances where it almost came off as the dad told her in a drunken stupor that she's the woman of the house and has to act like this, not in a sexual way but a familiar way so that he can remember his wife and keep the routine up at home.  Also after seeing the longer wigs on Michael, I have to assume the people behind Joe Dirt used this as a template for the wigs used in that movie.

Did anyone else notice that Connie's family might be really well off? When the Signor is getting ready to tear up his drawing after ripping Michael's flaming dog, Connie makes a threat of never coming to the class again and how much his dad is paying this school, or at least the last part sounded like that. The Signor instantly stops what he's going to do and steps away in a huff. It made me think that the dad was donating a boatload to this school and Connie could cause this to stop if he told his dad about his art class experiences. Also before seeing the principal run down Signor's misdeeds as a fraud, it should have been obvious when he as an art teacher was telling his students he wanted no imagination in the classroom, which is the complete opposite of what art is.

As for the homeless ghosts, I get that they were wanting to help Michael with getting his hair back since he gave the male ghost money the day before the fire, but wouldn't it make more sense that they would hold him responsible for their deaths? By him giving them the amount of money that he did, I'm am guessing they decided to hoot it up in an abandoned building with whatever they bought with the cash, and incidentally caused the fire that killed them. That way it makes more sense for the female goes to be kind of a dick to Michael on the second night by saying she could be nice or mean to him and that night she was feeling mean and wouldn't give him the recipe.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, theworstbuddhist said:

"Draw what you actually see, not what your brain wants to autocomplete" is pretty standard art school advice for sure. It's one of the first tips in Betty Edwards' classic Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

I noticed the director is the grandson to an artist/art teacher named Antonio Dattilo Rubbo…  and what a character the elder Rubbo must have been. Wikipedia notes that he "encouraged his students to experiment with styles" and "was a flamboyant character." Often going above and beyond the confines of the classroom, such as "challenging a committee member of the Royal Art Society to a duel because he had refused to hang a Post-Impressionist landscape by his pupil."  I'm not saying that Grandpa Rubbo was a true-life villain in any way, but if "Write What You Know" has any truth, it's clear where the inspiration for the Signor comes from. Since Michael Rubbo went on to be an artist as well as a filmmaker, and his sister an artist and gallery owner, it's clear Grandpa Rubbo was quite an influence.

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Mary the Wino's story is extra tragic because it seems like her whole life she was carrying around a formula that she could have sold to a pharmaceutical company for several million dollars. Pebutrocile would have had a long reign as the most popular elective medication in the world until Viagra hit the scene.

I'd say conservatively Michael was growing about 2 pounds worth of hair a day.  The material to make that hair has got to come from somewhere.  How many cups of yogurt a day was Signor feeding Michael?  I don't know if the calorie math is appropriate in this case but if it is and Michael needs an extra 7,000 calories a day to make all that hair then he is eating like 70 cups of yogurt a day.

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

Why does Connie's pube hair vanish at some point? Did I miss something? Did he command it not only to stop growing, but to recede?

If Signor was selling all those brushes, were artists everywhere creating magical paintings, too? That would flood the market, and make Signor's paintings worthless.

If the homeless ghosts felt so grateful to Michael for his largesse and gave him the formula, why did they give him "a scare" to make him bald in the first place?

Is the Dad mentally ill, or just a bizarre parent? When Michael first becomes bald, Dad tries to comfort him as if he were a two- or three-year-old: instead of just saying, "Don't worry, it will grow back" (as you would to a 12-year-old), he has Michael feel the stubble on his face to explain how hair grows back? And what is with Dad's hair? It's not even a comb-over, it's just an tangled, unruly mess. Perhaps a symbol of his completely messed up life?

Jason said both of Signor's brothers spoke with French accents. Though it's terrible, the Doctor's accent sounded German to me. Is that supposed to be some kind of a joke: three brothers who live in the same city speak with different accents?

Signor's child slave labor factory reminded me of THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T. (1953)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This kid goes bald and freaks out. He tries a wig and freaks about that too. Why didn't he just borrow a hat from Connie? He clearly has a never-ending supply. Problem solved, movie over, all of our time saved.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

The fact that forum posters are confirming that, in Canada, this movie is shown to young children has me rethinking everything I know about Canada.

”Paul was actually kicked in the face and has a scar.”

AND YOU ARE ONLY BRINGING THIS UP NOW. This is huge news. 

I wonder what Marcus Lemonis would think of Signore’s business.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

 This Movie is currently manifesting as tension in the bottom of my neck (it been 2 days.) I've never had such a physical response to "art".  I feel like watching this movie got me to put on a list. On a side note I watched black Monday the other day, why are more people not raving about it? so funny.

Share this post


Link to post

In the scene where Michael is anger drumming, there is a poster for the first “Tales for all” movie, La Guerre des Tuques (aka The Dog Who Stopped the War) on the wall behind him.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

If Signor was so obsessive about realism vs. imagination, why did he think any of the kids' drawings were any good? Jim the dog was facing forward on the pedestal, yet every single kid drew him from the side.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
22 hours ago, gigi-tastic said:

Ok butI feel like the Signore  was teaching a valid point in his art class that day. Not that you shouldn't have imagination, but that today's lesson was Realism or the study of figure drawing . I don't know much about art so maybe I'm wrong but I feel like there is indeed a time and place for painting/ drawing what is truly there and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think it's a valid lesson but The Signore is obviously an awful teacher. 

I wanted to return to this idea, because "imagination" ends up coming back in a big way at the end.  We don't get a big reveal of what caused Michael's fright because it was entirely in his imagination. 

The Signore is also not against his own use of imagination, since all of his magic paintings are of  imaginary landscapes.  He needs to be coaxed into painting a real place — the burned out mansion — though what he encounters there is implied to be the same as Michael's fright, and thus a product of The Signore's imagination. 

Beyond the cape, wand-like brush, and the fact that he has demonstrated the ability to make his imagination come to life, Celine Dion's song makes it pretty explicit that The Signore is indeed a wizard.  I think we need to read The Signore's prohibition against using imagination in his class as more of a _warning_,  especially for Michael,  in whom he may already sense this latent power. Michael is also painting a scene of The Signore's dog being engulfed in flames, something The Signore would be understandably upset about if he suspects Michael is also able to manifest such scenes from his imagination.  

Can we get Jason to weigh in whether The Peanut Butter Solution takes place in the Legion universe?   

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×