Earlier this year, something exciting happened to Winnie-the-Pooh: The beloved teddy bear was freed from the Disney vaults. Rights to the character, created by English author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard, entered the public domain, and you know what that meant: A low-rent studio milked him for an over-the-top horror-comedy. Now something similar is (sort of) happening to another classic children’s book character.
As per ComicBook.com, XYZ Films — who’ve overseen genre fare like the Raid films as well as the Nicolas Cage starrers Mandy and Color Out of Space — are set to crash the holidays with The Mean One, seasonal horror film about a village terrorized by a murderous green creature (David Howard Thornton) who hates Christmas and wears a Santa suit.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a copyright-flirting parody of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which has been turned into two movies and one iconic TV special. Among the big differences — apart from some possible gore and a presumably higher body count (more than zero, that is) ¬— is the young girl who winds up melting his heart doesn’t melt his heart. Instead, the Mean One killed her parents and, now grown up, she’s out for revenge.
The Mean One is currently scheduled for a December 15 release. Will it make that date? Or will it find itself beset upon by legal headaches, much like The People’s Joker, the unauthorized parody of the DC-verse? Whatever the case, it will likely be a more cinematic experience than watching it in a theater off of Amazon Prime.