A.A. Milne, the original.Winnie the PoohStories that came out in the public domain only five months ago, but this chubby little guy has already made it into the slasher movies.
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey wrapped earlier this month, and the first footage of Pooh and a demonic pig about to pounce on a tight-fitting young woman relaxing in a hot tub has already set the internet on fire.
In an interview with diverseDirector Rhys Waterfield, who is in post-production on four other films including “Firenado” and “Demonic Christmas Tree,” said the response to the footage was “absolutely insane.”
“Because of all the press and stuff, we’re just going to start speeding up the edit and getting it into post-production as quickly as we can,” Waterfield said. “But also, making sure it is still good. It will be a high priority.”
According to Waterfield, who also wrote and co-produced the film, “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” would see Pooh and Piglet as “the main villains…on a rampage” after being abandoned by college-bound Christopher Robin. “Christopher Robin has been pulled away from them, and he’s not [given] Their food, it made Pooh and Piglet’s life very difficult.”
“Because they had to fend for themselves so much, they basically became brutal,” Waterfield continued. “So they are back to their animal roots. They are no longer tamed: they are like a vicious bear and a pig that wants to roam around and tries to find prey.”
Filmed in 10 days in England, not far from Ashdown Forest, the movie is Milne’s inspiration for the fictional Hundred Acre Wood in the “Winnie the Pooh” stories. Although Waterfield declined to reveal the budget for the flick, he said audiences “shouldn’t expect this to be a Hollywood-level production.” Jagged Edge Productions, which Waterfield runs with co-producer Scott Jeffrey, made the film, and ITN Studios has already signed on to distribute it (release date is TBD).
Given the introduction, Waterfield said, the biggest challenge was balancing the line between horror and comedy. “When you’re trying to do a movie like that, which is a really weird concept, it’s very easy to go down a path where there’s nothing scary, and it’s really ridiculous and really stupid. And we wanted to switch between the two.”
For example, Waterfield explained the setting behind the still image (above) of a girl relaxing in a Jacuzzi with Pooh and Piglet standing nearby. “She’s having a good time,” Waterfield said, “then Poe and the pig showed up behind her, chloroform her, pulled her out of the jacuzzi and drove a car over her head.” “It’s scary but there are also funny parts because there are shots of Winnie the Pooh in a car and seeing him with his little ears behind the wheel and I love slowly going in there [to kill her.]”
The only concern, especially with all the new publicity, is whether Disney has anything to say about “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.” Although Milne’s first stories are now out of copyright, Disney retains exclusive use of her interpretations of Pooh Bear and his friends. “We’ve tried to be very careful,” Waterfield said. “We knew there was this fine line between that, and we knew what their copyrights were and what they did. So we did everything we could to make sure [the film] It was only based on the 1926 version of it.”
Which is why Waterfield’s Pooh Bear has replaced the little red shirt with a lumberjack suit and Piglet is wearing black. It’s also why other characters still under copyright won’t appear, like Tigger – although there is a scene showing Eeyore’s tombstone, the miserable donkey being eaten by Pooh and hungry Piglet.
No one will go wrong with this [for Disney]’” Waterfield said. “When you see the cover for this and you see the trailers, the stills and all of that, there’s no way anyone could think this was a kid’s version of it.”