A.A. Milne’s original stories were not in the public domain until just a few months ago, but as soon as they went out into films, “Winnie the Pooh” made his foray into slasher films.
“Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” wrapped up earlier this month, and the first stills of a demonic-looking Pooh and Piglet about to pounce on a scantily-clad young woman in a hot tub have already caused controversy online.
Rhys Waterfield talked about the response to the stills for his new film in an interview with Variety. He is currently in post-production on four other films including “Firenado” and “Demonic Christmas Tree.”
It will be a high priority for Waterfield Productions to make the post production process go faster and put out the best quality.
“Christopher Robin: Blood and Honey” will see Pooh and Piglet as “the main villains…going on a rampage” after being abandoned by a college-bound Christopher Robin. “Christopher Robin is pulled away from them, and he’s not [given] them food, it’s made Pooh and Piglet’s life quite difficult.”
“The bear and pig used to be domesticated, but they’ve had to fend for themselves so much, they’ve essentially become feral. So they’ve gone back to their animal roots. They”re no longer tame: they”re like a vicious bear and pig who want to go around and try and find prey.
The film was shot in 10 days in England, not far from Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for Milne’s imaginary Hundred Acre Wood in the “Winnie the Pooh” stories. Although Waterfield declined to reveal the budget for the slasher flick, he said audiences “shouldn’t be expecting this to be a Hollywood-level production.” Jagged Edge Productions, which Waterfield runs with co-producer Scott J., spent $500,000 on the 90-minute movie.
Given the premise, the biggest challenge, Waterfield said, was balancing the line between horror and comedy. “When you try and do a film like this, and it’s a really wacky concept, it’s very important to find that balance between what is scary and what is funny. And we really did think about this throughout so that nothing was just done once the movie began. We wanted to go back and forth between those two topics in order for the movie to really get into your head. It’s not obviously going to be one or another; it has to be both.”
The text above explained the set-up behind the still shown of a girl relaxing in a jacuzzi with Pooh and Piglet ominously standing nearby. “She’s having an amazing time and then Pooh and Piglet appear behind her, chloroform her, take her out of the jacuzzi and then kind of drive a car over her head. It’s scary but there’s also funny bits because there’s a lot of shots of Winnie the Pooh in a car, and seeing him with his little ears behind the wheel, and like slowly going over there [to kill her.]
Disney could announce anything, the only worry is this new-found publicity from “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.” However, Milne’s earliest stories are out of copyright, meaning Disney has exclusive rights to their interpretations of Pooh Bear and his friends. “We’ve tried to be extremely careful,” executive producer Rob Waterfield said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
Another reason why the characters in this story are not in copyright is because they’ve been swapped. Here’s why: Part of the story takes place in a world that uses two different Pooh Bear stories, so it’s important for those stories to be completely different.
“No one will mistakingly see this [for Disney],” Waterfield said. “When you see the cover for this and you see the trailers and the stills, there’s no way anyone will think that this is a child’s version of it.”