Plot: Michael (Mathew Mackay) is having some issues at home, as his mother is on a trip to Australia and his father’s art business is struggling, but he finds some solace going on adventures with his friend Connie (Siluck Saysanasy). The two want to explore a home that was damaged in a fire, but when Michael gets one look at what’s inside, he is given a horrific fright and collapses. Once he tumbles from the second floor to the ground, he is nearly comatose, but he gets a second surprise in the morning, when he wakes up to learn all of his hair has fallen out. His sister convinces him to wear a wig, only to have it ripped off in the middle of a soccer game, so when the ghosts of two transients offer him a potential solution, he listens. But will the supernatural advice lead to results and if so, what if the solution works too well?
Entertainment Value: The heartbreak of sudden childhood baldness has rarely been explored in such a tender, thought provoking fashion, but then, few movies are as brave as The Peanut Butter Solution. This is one of those movies countless people watched in their youths, but many dismissed as a fever dream or warped memories, as it seems impossible that this kind of picture could exist, let alone be created for and marketed toward children. The narrative is strange from the start, then unravels into a surreal blast of one bizarre twist after another, until the entire experience starts to feel like some kind of waking nightmare. When Connie uses the solution to grow out of control pubes and that’s one of the minor plot points, you know The Peanut Butter Solution is loosely tethered at best. And this isn’t one or two odd elements at work, this is a tapestry of mystifying cinema that makes you question your sanity as you watch, which is of course, just the kind of cinema we appreciate here. This is all played out via sincere, if over the top performances and little in terms of winks toward the audience, which makes it all the more outlandish. The weirdness is wildly entertaining, though of course, those who prefer more traditional movies, you know, the kind that adhere to structure and common sense, will likely be left cold here. But for us, The Peanut Butter Solution is high art and deserves our highest praise.
No nakedness and no bloodshed. While this movie is an absolute whirlwind of craziness and unsettling moments, it was designed with younger audiences in mind. But rest assured b movie fans, there is more than enough to compensate and the wackiness is relentless here. The dialogue is masterful in The Peanut Butter Solution, with a wealth of nonsensical, awkward, and quotable moments. The lines are often hilarious, but it is also the performances and nature of the scenes that add even humor. The characters are colorful and have no real anchors to work from, which means relationships are odd and anyone is likely to say or do anything at any time. I love how simple situations send some characters into fits, while more serious scenarios are ignored and downplayed, it is a wonderful and ridiculous approach. A perfect storm of characters, performances, and writing that produces one off the wall, head scratching moment after another, cinematic bliss. The craziness is strong here, as you should be able to tell by now, with general weirdness high throughout. Wild plot twists, odd characters, and simply inexplicable madness are all here is high doses. I’d say they don’t make children’s movies like this anymore, but let’s be real, they didn’t ever make them like this, outside of this one off, mind warping experience.
The Disc: Severin Films launches the new Severin Kids line with this movie, which is hilarious and once again shows why Severin is one of the most creative labels in the business. The movie looks fantastic on Blu-ray, with a super clean print that allows all of the visuals to shine. The movie has a lot of bizarre visual touches, so the clean print allows you to soak in all the little details. The clarity is quite good, with solid depth and an overall visual presence that surpasses expectations. I only have my memories to compare this to, but I was impressed with Severin’s treatment. In addition to offering the extended U.S. theatrical version of the movie, we have a slew of extras for fans to browse as well. A new audio commentary features star Mathew Mackay and producer Rock Demers, while interviews are available for Demers, star Siluck Saysanasy, and genre expert Paul Corupe. The extras round out with both the U.S. and Canadian trailers.