Who’s the Next Killer in the Disney Public Domain Murderverse?

The minds who brought us the Winnie the Pooh murder film want to make similarly brutal reimaginings of Bambi, Peter Pan, and more.

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Image: Jagged Edge Productions

The global release of Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey is happening in a week, and ahead of the premiere, writer/director Rhys Frake-Waterfield told The Hollywood Reporter that “he’s planning to create an entire universe filled with bloodied X-rated adaptations of beloved childhood stories.”

This is, quite possibly, one of the most inane statements I’ve ever heard a professional filmmaker say. I expect this kind of edgy pablum from high schoolers who think that hotboxing their mom’s Kia Sorento makes them cool, not from men who have literally made a living producing low-budget horror films. It’s absolutely the kind of masturbatory nostalgia that makes we want to gatekeep moviemaking a little. Just a little. Just enough to stop this absolute foolishness.

Frake-Waterfield runs Jagged Edge Productions alongside Scott Jeffry, and the studio specializes in low-budget creature features. They have already started work on “X-rated” adaptations of Bambi and Peter Pan, to the surprise of utterly nobody, and inciting excitement in maybe three people who are fans of admittedly bad films. Frake-Waterfield has additionally said that he wants all of these twisted childhood stories to exist in the same universe. “People have been messaging saying they really want to see Bambi versus Pooh.”


This is the kind of bullshit that Funny or Die would reject at the pitch meeting. The sort of weird animatic that talented TikTokers would draw on a slow weekend in response to an offhand comment. Bambi trotting through Hundred Acre Wood with the eviscerated corpse of Piglet hanging from his antlers is the subject of a teenager’s doodles in the margins of their calculus homework. Truly, the only reason that anyone cares about this mashup is because Frake-Waterfield has realized that if he can use familiar Disney names and characters which are currently in Public Domain to bust up some childhood memories he’ll bring in the big bucks (get it... bucks?), regardless of whether or not he puts any original thought into his work.

The idea that a serial killer in a bear costume and a murderous deer would clash in a disgustingly gross gorefest isn’t necessarily a bad one—less has been made into decent, if not great B-movie horror. Honestly, doing one twisted childhood character film like this for the cult horror status isn’t that offensive, but Frake-Waterfield has this horribly grandiose vision that lacks self-awareness while indulging in the worst impulses of childish narrative rebellion. Frake-Waterfield imagines he’s edgy for creating a “fat Tinkerbell on drugs” as if shitty stereotypes and half-baked nostalgic “twists” are enough to convince his audience he has imagination when most of them aren’t laughing at the joke, but at the idea itself.


Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey premieres on February 15.

Correction: 2/6/2023 12.00 PM. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Winnie the Pooh was in creative commons. It is in the public domain. This has been edited.


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