No matter where I go in these U S’s of A, I find I feel a deep and immediate kinship when I happen upon someone else who, like me, came of age in the 80s and was witness to the crop of so-called kid’s movies that, despite their pint-sized target audience, were some of the most bizarre and disturbing things ever committed to celluloid. Think The Goonies multiplied by what-the-fuck? and divided by holy-shit. I’ve heard it speculated that these flicks were part of a secret government psych-ops program, and I wouldn’t be surprised to discover some truth in that.
Whatever the intention behind the movies, they undoubtedly helped warp and bend me into the adult I am today. With that in mind, I think I’ll probably be subjecting my own kids to these same films and others cut from the same quirky cloth, in hopes of nurturing them into wildly imaginative and debilitatingly neurotic grown-ups. I’ll do my best to highlight them here so you too can “enjoy” them with your offspring.
First on the list of mind-molesters is The Peanut Butter Solution. This 1985 Canadian picture starts with a kid going into a spooky house on a dare. Once inside, he’s so scared by what he finds that all of his hair falls out. Now completely bald, the boy is visited by a pair of friendly ghosts who offer him a recipe for growing hair, the key ingredient of which is–you guessed it–peanut butter. While the ghosts give specific instructions not to overdo the amount of peanut butter, the boy is too eager to get his hair back, so he goes nuts with the Skippy. In no time, he’s grown back a full head of hair. Unfortunately, the hair begins growing so fast that you can literally see it coming out of his scalp. Naturally, a bad-guy kidnaps our young hero so he can hold him captive in his paint-brush factory and use his ever-extending locks as the bristles of the brushes. Oh, and at some point one of the kid’s friends puts the formula on his balls with predictable results.
Let me be clear, I didn’t make up or exaggerate anything in the above synopsis. I watched this movie when I was about 9 and it resonates with me still 20 years later. Sadly, The Peanut Butter Solution hasn’t yet been honored with a DVD release, but VHS copies can be found. Pick one up and inflict it on a child you love.