Michael Rubbo | Peanut butter solution
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Peanut butter solution. This is the first family feature film that I made in collaboration with Montréal producer, Rock Demers. It told the story of young Michael who goes into a haunted house and gets a terrible fright.

To the horror of his friends and family, especially his best friend Connie, all his hair falls  out. They try everything but nothing makes his hair come back. Not until in a dream, when some ghostly magicians give Michael a secret recipe for growing missing hair.

Michael, waking up, mixes up a horrible mess, mostly peanut butter, and smears it on his bald head as his friend Connie watches. Yes, the hair does begin to grow, really well, a little too well, as it now won’t stop, slowly turning the boys joy to horror.

We see Michael bravely going to school, his hair dragging along the sidewalk behind him. Only Connie, sitting directly behind him in the schoolroom, can keep the runaway hair under control by constantly snipping the growth.

Here is the poster for the movie.

Earlier in the story we meet a spooky art teacher called the Signor who was based on my grandfather Antonio Dattilo Rubbo who I, as a child, indeed found scary and intimidating.  Especially when he told me how he cut off a rival artist’s ear with his sword. Was the fear of the other Michael in the story, based on the Signor?

In part it was, but there’s also a clue that it had something to do with puberty. At the time of Michael’s anointing with peanut butter, before the hair gets out of control and reveals its dangerous side, Connie puts a dab of the stuff “down stairs”.
Soon he has to face the sad fact of unwanted hair coming out of his pants legs.

I never told my producer about this explanation of the fright, fearing I would have to remove Connie ‘s fabulous trouser scene.
The film is quite comical as you can see, but is also more frightening than I knew, and its many fans even today write to me that it gave them nightmares.

At the end of the film, Michael’s sister, Susie, turns out to be the hero when she discovers that Michael and his runaway hair are prisoners of the Signor. The art teacher has set up a Dickensian art brush factory where he’s turning the overflowing hair into magical paint brushes. As Susie comes to the rescue, we hear a great song from Celine Dion, who is not so well known in those in days, Listen to the Magic Man.

Here is Celine Dion singing that song.

Connie and Michael.

The Peanut Butter Solution. Michael raises his hand as Connie cuts his hair.