This post contains spoilers for "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey."
"Winnie-the-Pooh slasher film" is quite the eyebrow-raising elevator pitch. And yet, upon hearing that short phrase, the listener instantly knows what to expect: gore that subverts the pre-established notion of Pooh Bear as a cute, family-friendly character in a way that aims to be visceral and perhaps comedic. So goes the moviegoing experience of "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey," a real film that actually exists.
"Blood and Honey" is extreme. It's probably not a stretch to say it's one of the most graphic, gory films you've ever seen. Think "Kill Bill" level intensity here. Interestingly, the movie doesn't always lean into its inherently humorous concept. Yes, seeing the likes of Pooh and Piglet presented as horror villains is funny, but once the initial shock wears off, the characters' acts of violence hold nothing back in terms of gruesomeness. These moments are dark enough to feel more like legitimate horror scenes (or, at least, attempts at legitimate horror scenes) rather than like they belong in a parody movie.
Suffice it to say, though, putting any energy into articulating critical thought toward a movie called "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey" feels like a complete oversight of the point of the film to begin with. This is everything its elevator pitch entails, and it certainly aims for the shock value. Here are some of the film's most brutal moments.
Piglet Chokes Christopher Robin's Wife To Death
These scenes practically write themselves. In the opening moments of "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey," director Rhys Frake-Waterfield sets the tone for the film by immediately communicating this is not the Pooh Bear from your childhood. Christopher Robin (Nikolai Leon), now an adult, returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with his wife, Mary (Paula Coiz). Excited to introduce his beloved animal friends to the love of his life, Christopher Robin discovers his longtime pals have traded hugs for hunting.
Pooh (Craig David Dowsett) and Piglet (Chris Cordell) never forgave Christopher Robin for abandoning them all those years ago. The iconic characters appear in the film as full-body performers wearing grotesque masks that resemble a perturbing cross between their respective animal counterparts and their familiar cartoon designs. Pooh grunts menacingly. Piglet has tusks. It's unsettling, to say the least, but that's all part of the thesis here. Just before the camera cuts to the opening credits, Piglet chokes Mary to death with chains. It's not particularly graphic, but it communicates its intended message: Welcome to "Blood and Honey." You're in for a wild ride.
Pooh Slits A Woman's Throat
By the time the film reaches its end, a simple slit of a throat is far from the most disturbing sight the audience has seen. Nonetheless, the idea of everyone's favorite "silly old bear" murdering someone is the type of heebie-jeebies that "Blood and Honey" thrives on. In the final moments of the movie, Christopher Robin and Maria (Maria Taylor) are the only characters still alive after Pooh and Piglet's murder spree.
Earlier in the movie, Maria embarks on a stress-free trip with her friends to get her mind off of the recent trauma of being assaulted. This topic in and of itself comes across as way too dark for this kind of movie and leaves many moments in an indecipherable limbo. The basic concept of the film (Pooh and Piglet as psychopaths) invites laughter, but when it throws in themes that are serious and don't play for laughs, the audience is left in the middle of a mess of a movie that can't decide what genre it wants to be. Again, though, entertaining such analysis seems to miss the point. In the end, Pooh kills everyone on the girls' trip, Maria last. Just before the end credits roll, Pooh murders Maria with a swift slice of his knife to her throat.
Windshield Wipers Spew The Remains Of A Woman's Severed Head
For all its nonsensical stuff and fluff, one must give credit where credit is due. As an independent, low-budget film, "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey" occasionally attempts to prove itself stylistically alongside your favorite big-budget horror spectaculars. One such moment is toward the end of the film when Maria tries to escape Pooh's wrath by driving away in a truck. Pooh has just murdered Jess (Natasha Rose Mills), a friend of Maria's who went on the girls' trip.
Pooh throws Jess' severed head onto Maria's windshield, and in a panic, Maria activates the windshield wipers. This woefully makes the situation much worse, spewing Jess' blood and brains from the inside of her head all over the windshield. It's a truly macabre visual that stands out as an inventive shot that would have felt at home in a horror movie not revolving around Pooh and Piglet as serial killers.
Pooh Eats A Woman He Killed And The Camera Holds Nothing Back
As the film progresses, the audience learns that Pooh doesn't just dispose of the bodies after he kills people; that's where the movie's title comes into play. "Blood and Honey" isn't merely a catchy name. It's Pooh's preferred combination of condiments. After killing his victims, Pooh makes a feast of their remains, but not before dripping honey all over the dead bodies.
In a particularly gross moment, Pooh eats the remains of one of his victims and the camera lingers on the bear enjoying his dinner. In extreme close-up shots, Pooh's face fills the entire screen, his signature combo of blood and honey smeared across his face and dripping from his mouth as he chows down on handfuls of flesh. The sound effects of Pooh slurping his "food" make the scene even more disturbing. Anyone with a gag reflex might want to cover their eyes and ears … and everyone else will want to wipe their memory clean.
Pooh Throws A Woman Into A Woodchipper
Pooh Bear never seems to kill anyone the same way twice. He goes full "Fargo" when he throws Tina (May Kelly) into a woodchipper. Tina doesn't go down without a fight, kicking and screaming as Pooh unceremoniously hoists her into the machine. Rather than skipping ahead to the inevitable aftermath, filmmakers keep the audience in the moment with Pooh as the woodchipper does its thing. This technique works double-time by the audience bracing themselves for impact, perhaps knowing what comes next — and then having to actually sit through the unspeakable scene they predicted.
Pooh stands forebodingly above the machine while it destroys Tina's body, with the audience looking directly up at Pooh from ground level. The horrific sounds of the woodchipper in the background accentuate the visual of blood occasionally spattering onto Pooh's face. He's unphased by the mess, continuing to just watch it all go down as his face gets bloodier by the second.
Piglet Beheads A Woman With A Sledgehammer
Piglet's weapon of choice is a sledgehammer. (Totally normal sentence, by the way.) He carries it menacingly as he confronts Alice (Amber Doig-Thorne) and Zoe (Danielle Ronald) at the rental house's indoor pool. When Zoe falls into the pool, Piglet dives right behind her, his sledgehammer at the ready. Much like the shark in "Jaws," Piglet swims toward his prey and goes in for the kill.
The camera remains stationary behind Piglet, with his head in the center of the frame as he swims further away from the audience's point of view. Once Piglet reaches Zoe, with a swing of his sledgehammer the hog sends the girl's head careening across the pool, the rest of her body sinking to the bottom. The shot is admittedly a bit cinematic, at least given the context of the film. This definitely isn't the timid, meek Piglet you remember from preschool. Squealing with delight upon every kill, this violent Piglet isn't afraid of anything.
Pooh Slices Off A Man's Face
As "Blood and Honey" continues course, Pooh reveals himself to be a bear of versatile talents rather than "a bear of very little brain," as his saying goes from the old animated films. One skill he doesn't utilize until the end of the movie is his apparent ability to karate chop things in a violent manner using only his bare hands. He demonstrates this by slicing off half of a man's face. You read that correctly. With a swift chop, Pooh swipes his hand across the side of a man's face, completely removing the flesh and exposing the tissue within.
The unlucky man is one of four guys who attempt to help Maria and Jess by fighting back against Pooh's tirade. The men never stood a chance. Pooh mutilates each of them single-handedly in a number of different ways. He steps on one of their heads, smushing the skull. He also sends a swarm of bees after another dude. Classic Pooh, right?
Pooh Whips Christopher Robin With Eeyore's Tail
During the prologue, Pooh and Piglet kill Eeyore. While startling, it's not exactly brutal for the purposes of this list because it's animated with rough hand-drawn sketches. The audience never sees anything particularly nasty from the moment. Later on, though, Eeyore's tail serves a much more disturbing purpose for one of the most horrific scenes in the whole movie.
After killing Christopher Robin's wife, Pooh and Piglet keep Christopher Robin as their prisoner, hanging him by his hands shirtless in their treehouse. A skeleton sits in the corner, implied to be all that's left of poor Mary. Not only have Pooh and Piglet eaten her, but they've also recycled her blood and funneled it through a shower head that they spray onto Christopher Robin. Covered in his own dead wife's blood, Christopher Robin screams in anguish. But that's not all. Picking up a long tail of hair hanging on the wall — recognizable as once belonging to Eeyore — Pooh whips Christopher Robin's back. With each lash, Christopher Robin shrieks. When it's all over, he's left with unsettling scars across his entire back. It's a legitimately disturbing scene.
Pooh Wedges A Knife Through A Girl's Mouth
Just when you think you've seen it all, "Blood and Honey" finds new ways to provoke the audience to wonder aloud, "What am I watching?" Pooh and Piglet kill off the girls one by one, each in a manner seemingly more brutal than the last. Toward the end of the movie, Alice is next on the chopping block. She's just murdered Piglet — no easy feat. Upon discovering his dead accomplice, Pooh takes his knife and stabs Alice.
As awful as that would be in real life, you've no doubt seen plenty of stabbings in movies, correct? A knife through the heart is terrifying, sure, but it's hardly the gnarliest item on this list, so why is it ranked so close to the top? Well, this isn't exactly a knife through the heart. It's a knife through the mouth. Yes, Pooh lurches his knife directly into Alice's mouth, the blade piercing through the back of her head. Try to scrub that clean from your memory bank.
Pooh Drives Over A Woman's Skull
You know the feeling: that moment in a horror movie when the action on the screen is so viscerally scary that the audience squirms, gasps, and maybe even screams. Rather than being undesirable, though, this sensation is partly why you came to the movies. That experience with the audience elevates the film to something more than just images on a screen.
If one were to boil down the appeal of "Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey" to the aforementioned shared, oxymoronic feeling of horrified delight in a theater, and furthermore select one moment from the film to embody that feeling more than anything else, it has to be the murder of Lara (Natasha Tosini). Piglet ties Lara's hands behind her back and ropes her to the driveway. Behind the wheel of a car, Pooh smiles with deranged glee as he slowly drives the car toward Lara. The camera focuses on a close-up of Lara's face wedged against the cement driveway, the wheels inching closer to her.
Just when the audience thinks the camera will surely break away and not show the impending doom, the shot remains firmly in place. In a moment straight out of a nightmare, the tire crushes Lara's skull. Her brain and accompanying guts spill out of her open head and her eyes pop from their sockets. The audience is in hysterics, some laughing and others shouting curse words. Is this not what you came for? Are you not entertained?
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