SLEEPING SOCIOPATH and the 7 Little Pervs, or on Adapting Cartoons into Adult Films

“Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” is not just a one-time experiment done as a joke.

Odys Korczyński

15 May 2024

Puchatek: Blood and Honey is not just a one-time experiment done as a joke. Although the production doesn’t rate higher than a 3, it’s fair to say it caught on thanks to its cringiness. It’s lousy, yet radically breaks norms; it’s different, and that’s intriguing. Therefore, there will be a second part featuring Psycho Pooh and Cannibal Piglet, and maybe even a third one with a higher budget. There will be an entire world called “The Twisted Childhood Universe,” with characters not just including Psycho Pooh but also Mickey Mouse, Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, and even Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. They will all be twisted, amoral, perverted, almost like human monsters from the horror film Barbarian. In short, they will finally reflect our culture without the mask of moral principles, because the original fairy tales always pretended something to us as children, so that we would pretend to be civilized later.

I mean to say that I am eagerly awaiting these adult fairy tales. Art must push boundaries, or rather, have none. Maybe we, the audience, need such a jolt to understand that neither cinema nor contemporary media are to blame for our unethical outbursts, but rather they show us, like sinister mirrors, who we are or who we will soon become in the radiant halo of truth we seek but deliberately fail to find.

It sounded lofty, but that was intentional, because our cinematography has always been grandiose. It exaggerates emotions, events, characters, even appearances, so we as viewers can feel these elements more intensely than in reality. There’s nothing wrong with that. The purpose of art is not just to speak but to shout, accuse, and shame. It should evoke emotions—joy, sadness, fear—more intensely than we want in reality, because in the real world, such emotions can physically and mentally harm us, while in film, we know we are watching fiction, so creators can play with us more boldly. We, as people, constantly want to assure ourselves that nothing threatens us and derive subconscious pleasure from these emotions. So we are willing to watch the story of Sociopathic Sleeping Beauty and the 7 Perverts, because Pooh: Blood and Honey has already paved an important path. Critics destroyed it, true. It didn’t earn much—that’s also true—but it wasn’t a flop conceptually. On the Polish film site FW, it has almost 10,000 reactions. That’s more than American Graffiti and Duck Soup. On IMDb, it has 29,000. That’s more than Twisted Metal and Little House on the Prairie, as well as many classic, acclaimed, and awarded films. So something happened in viewers’ minds. This uncompromising approach to fairy tale characters worked. If it had been about some unknown bear and a big pig, the production would likely have met the fate of some crappy horror movie. But this way, it subconsciously referenced iconic figures most of us have probably forgotten unless we actively engage in our children’s literary socialization, which parents avoid once their kids turn 10.

Blood and Honey

The problem, however, is that as adults, what is more appealing to us—watching another remake that bores us because we simply know it, or something radical, reflecting our adult experience of the world after turning 18? I am not judging whether it’s good or bad, because such categorizations make no sense. Critics shouldn’t be surprised that the Twisted Childhood Universe has a chance for success. Budgets will grow from film to film, and there will be more viewers. If there is a coherent storyline, viewers might get an interesting alternative to Marvel, and certainly to the dying DCEU. The latest idea is to pit Mickey Mouse against Pooh in a fight to the death. I just don’t know if this will happen before the premiere of the final Poohniverse: Monsters Assemble. Logically, it should, because only the most interesting fairy tale characters should remain on the stage, so the bloody summary of the universe announced for 2025 should be postponed by at least two years. This way, viewers would have time to get used to and understand the motivations of characters like Tigger, the Mad Hatter, or even Pooh himself, as I doubt he is just a brainless butcher as portrayed in Blood and Honey.

Returning to this lofty truth about humanity and the educational role of cinema, which productions like Blood and Honey destroy: in a world of widespread violence in video games, it’s a bit late to accuse anyone of desecrating classic Disney fairy tales. If someone doesn’t want to watch, they don’t have to. I doubt they will be tied to a cinema chair to have their childhood Disney patterns specifically degraded. Besides, let’s critically examine those old fairy tales—they are full of mental violence, humiliation of the weaker, and even racism. However, they were presented as something completely normal, real, while the Psychopathic Pooh universe at least pretends nothing. It’s obviously exaggerated, thus much less realistically violent than, for example, Scarface or Natural Born Killers. No one will dress up as Piglet and start stabbing people with a poker because of Twisted Childhood Universe. I wouldn’t be so sure, however, that someone, inspired by The Godfather, wouldn’t think about how cool it would be to have the power of Vito Corleone. The difference lies in realism. Pooh: Blood and Honey didn’t desecrate anything because it’s as fairy-tale-like as its animated counterparts. Besides, it’s probably no longer new to be inspired by fairy tales. Maybe Pooh hasn’t appeared in the porn genre yet, but Snow White has been regularly filmed in various configurations since the ’90s.

Blood and Honey

There is another potential advantage of such vivid remakes. Three conditions need to be met: repeatability, universality, and seriality. If, after Pooh: Blood and Honey, the creators didn’t follow up with a second part and didn’t announce plans for a whole universe, the first part would be considered insignificant exotica, which isn’t that groundbreaking. Creating an entire universe, however, gives the films and this theme a completely different reception. It familiarizes the audience with the new aesthetics, allowing us to observe an increase in average ratings over time. It also positively influences the whole cinema, inspiring other creators, and surely some will be inspired. Something like reworking and reinterpreting motifs will happen, and since they are clear, they will survive, as long as this twisted Pooh world remains an intensely made and promoted series. Eventually, something might even change at Disney, which might join the fun and raise the age ratings of some of its films targeted at older audiences.

And anyway, didn’t you, as children, play war games? Didn’t you sometimes mix fighting heroes, temporarily reversing their roles—evil suddenly becoming good, and good becoming evil? It was interesting to turn the children’s world upside down for a moment, because living in this already upside-down world, another twist makes it completely normal. That’s why I look forward to watching another crazy Pooh, injecting Piglet, and then making bloody marmalade out of the 7 dwarfs.

Odys Korczyński

Odys Korczyński

For years he has been passionate about computer games, in particular RPG productions, film, medicine, religious studies, psychoanalysis, artificial intelligence, physics, bioethics, as well as audiovisual media. He considers the story of a film to be a means and a pretext to talk about human culture in general, whose cinematography is one of many splinters.

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