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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey (2023)

Look boys and girls a beloved children’s classic has entered the public domain. I sure how someone does something clever to turn the characters and story on their head. Maybe a gleefully fucked up horror flick! I’m actually being serious about this. I had a blast with The Banana Splits Movie from a few years ago and I think we all know that the equally goofy Willy’s Wonderland was a riff on Chuck E Cheese. I really had hope for this movie which only makes what I got feel even worse.

The story is simple. Christopher Robin, the boy who was friends with all the inhabitants of the 100 Acre Wood, left them to go off to college. Apparently, he was their only source of food so without him they all starved. That is until they murdered Eeyore and ate him. This turned Pooh, Piglet, and the others (who we never see in this movie) into angry forest dwelling carnivores in coveralls. We find this all out in a voiceover done storybook style before we meet the characters. When we do it is Christopher and his wife returning home so he can show her his old friends. Pooh murders the shit out of his lady and chains Christopher up in a barn for some torture porn action! Really, he whips him with Eeyore’s tail.

The main part of the story is about a woman suffering from a traumatic stalking incident. We know this because when we first see her she is in therapy and later fills in the gaps when she confesses what happened to her friends. She and four of her pals, five if you count the one who dies on the way and is fed to a woodchipper (not as cool as it sounds), go to an isolated yet fancy cabin for some girl time. Somehow no one has noticed that this beautiful well maintained house is next door to homicidal critters and has been for the last five years! Pooh and Piglet hear some loud music and decide to kill the girls. The rest of the movie is them chasing, leaving them alone with a running car only for them to not leave, and then killing a bunch of locals who pick the survivors up on the road. All of this is wrapped up in a neat little nihilistic bow that leaves room for a sequel that I pray never happens.

But a sequel that will likely get made. This flick was made on a low budget of around one hundred thousand so the roughly five million it made is a huge return on investment. This isn’t because this is a good movie though but rather because idiots like me rented or purchased a copy because we had to see it. Remember when I said I had hoped they would do something interesting and twisted with the concept? Okay I actually said gleefully fucked up, but that is basically the same thing. Right?

Flannel and overalls... I shit you not!
Anyway, that isn’t what we got. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey plays more like a terrible rip off of a Wrong Turn movie. Pull the masks off and make them inbred hillbillies and you have every other generic shitty city folk getting massacred flick that dominated the horror genre for a few years there. They are literally wearing overalls and Pooh is decked out in a flannel shirt! Now had they pulled this off it would have been disappointing but still sort of okay. But they can’t even do a shitty knockoff right. The pacing is terrible with a bit of action, then lots of talking about feelings, then an okay kill followed by a boring flashback.

If that weren’t bad enough our protagonists, the five ladies who make it to the cabin, are so utterly devoid of depth that I had a hard time keeping track of their names much less give a rat’s ass about them getting brutally murdered. Just to be clear I’m in no way blaming the actresses here as the story gives them nothing to work with. It is also important to point out that whenever a movie like this adds random characters into the story solely to up the body count that should tell you that they had an incomplete script or that the idea/gimmick didn’t have enough legs to fill out a feature length movie. This happens not once, nor twice, but three times as we have the friend who never shares a scene with anyone else, a random lady whose face is torn up, and four locals who come to the girl’s rescue.

If this isn’t proof enough the ladies set Christopher Robin free who promptly disappears only to reappear at the end to save the day. Which also brings me to an ending that is both depressing as well as pointless. Does Pooh kill him? Probably not since this smacks of “we are awesome and have a new horror franchise” delusions. Though the director has already announced a sequel as well as an expanded universe that I guess is going to give Bambi the same treatment. What the hell guys?

I suppose I should talk about the kills and makeup. We get a respectable eleven deaths. Many are offscreen but we do see a neck snap, a topless women fed to a woodchipper (again not as cool as it sounds), a woman’s head run over by a BMW, heads gets smashed, a face gets eaten offscreen, a decapitation also offscreen, and a sledgehammer to the noggin’. This all sounds decent, but it is executed with terrible CGI that even the Asylum would be ashamed of. Well, if they were ever ashamed of anything. The creature design fairs a bit better with just Pooh and Piglet making an appearance. The actors are basically just wearing masks and they aren’t very articulated. Remember these are supposed to be actual creatures and not random killers in masks so this makes a difference. Overall, the special effects work isn’t very special.

This is just a poorly made generic cash in on a well-known property hitting public domain. It was sold with controversy and some perverse “I need to see this” need from horror fans, myself included. If I could speak directly to the filmmakers I’d have to say, “My dude you fooled horror nerds once, you won’t get us again. Don’t be surprised when your next opus faceplants now that we know the quality of your work.” I know that sounds harsh but if you had sat thru what I just did, which I wholeheartedly don’t recommend, you would understand and I think agree with me.  Skip this mess and go watch The Banana Splits Movie.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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