If you’re wondering why I’m giving this whole thing any additional oxygen, that makes two of us. But sometimes the universe deals up such general absurdity that I can’t let it pass.
Case in point, the latest buzz-generating horror flick, Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey.
First, I need to point out (if it wasn’t obvious) that the said buzz isn’t good; though Hollywood has always maintained all publicity is good publicity. In general, even hardcore horror types are expressing outrage that director Fyse Frake-Waterfield has crossed the line. If you didn’t see my original write up on this gem back in November, let me get you caught up.
In 1926 author A. A. Milne (1882-1956), wrote the children’s classic Winnie-the-Pooh followed two years later by The House at Pooh Corner. According to US copyright law, Milne’s creations became public domain when they turned 95 years old. Though Pooh and friends were officially licensed by the Walt Disney Company in 1961, resulting in films and merchandising, all that went straight out the window when the copyright ran out in 2021. At that time a British, indie-film production company called Jagged Edge pounced on the newly instated public domain decree to reimagine Pooh and his friends as serial killers.
I went on an Internet hunt for reaction to Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, which was widely released February 15th, and I couldn’t find anyone who said anything good about this movie. Usually there are at least a handful of people saying it was a trainwreck they couldn’t stop watching, or that their frat turned it into a drinking game or something. But in this case the viewing public (minus me, as I just can’t) spoke with one voice, “Blood and Honey is a hundred-acre wasteland, a witless gory bore, and in the end, you’re just depressed that anyone spent time working on it,” (via Rotten Tomatos).
Now, brace yourself for the real absurdity…
The guy to blame for all this: Fyse Frake-Waterfield
According to Collider, Frake-Waterfield has apparently gathered the financial backing necessary to contemplate the creation of a “dark universe” comprised of maniac slasher versions of all your childhood friends. The director recently told The Hollywood Reporter that his next project will be a blood-soaked version of Peter Pan called Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare. In this version the cute fairy Tinkerbell will be “heavily obese” and “recovering from drugs.” He went on to tell Dread Central that he wants to do a version of Bambi which casts the small deer as a “vicious killing machine.”
“The idea is that we’re going to try and imagine they’re all in the same world, so we can have crossovers,” says Frake-Waterfield. “People have been messaging saying they really want to see Bambi versus Pooh.”
Okay which one of you has been doing that…?
And how can this hot mess even be suggested? Just follow the money.
According to several online sources, and to the surprise of no one who’s seen it, Blood and Honey’s production budget was south of $100K. As of the writing of this article the film had grossed $2.7M. As I’ve mentioned before, in general, a movie is considered a success if it makes a minimum of 2x its overall budget, but in reality, this is more like 3x or above. By this accounting, Blood and Honey has made roughly 27x its budget, and to put that in perspective, at last check Top Gun: Maverick had brought in 7x its operating budget.
So basically, Tom Cruise is being dusted by a homicidal Pooh bear.
Concept poster courtesy of Deviant Art
But here’s the other branch of the absurdity tree, provided it’s true.
Frake-Waterfield has found himself in the hot seat over Blood and Honey of late. Winnie-the-Pooh fans who, I can only assume, are traditionally lovable pacifists, have made death threats to the director over the last few weeks.
“Look, this is mental,” Frake-Waterfield, told the Agence France-Presse (AFP). “I’ve had petitions to stop it. I’ve had death threats. I’ve had people saying they called the police.”
I have a friend who is mad for Pooh. I’ve made pilgrimages with her to the Magic Kingdom in Disney World for the sole purpose of purchasing exclusive Pooh merchandise, and she’s the only woman I know who has a limited edition Pooh sculpture for which she shelled out several thousand dollars. I asked her if she had made death threats to Frake-Waterfield, but she had no idea who he was and had never heard of the film.
Still, the thought of her composing a threatening email to him in the middle of the night from an encrypted account caused me to snort my coffee out my nose. Until that is, I considered that all this absurdity probably brought more people to the film and therefore more ticket sales.
So, I’m going to promise I will never write about this again. No matter how tempting it might be once those Bambi and Peter Pan movies get going. And if you’ve actually seen Blood and Honey, I’d love to know what you thought about it.
Just this once.