Think back on the era before the Internet—what savages we were! Ubiquitous genres of media like the mash-up were barely in their infancy and relegated almost entirely to the art world (aside from druggy pastimes like syncing up Wizard of Oz and The Dark Side of the Moon, the political détournée of René Viénet’s Situationist comedy Can Dialectics Break Bricks? or comedic dubs like What’s up, Tiger Lily?). Apocalypse Pooh, a surreal 1987 cut-and-paste of Apocalypse Now and Winnie The Pooh, was one of the first 100% recycled mash-ups, and was distributed almost completely through an ‘80s tape-trading underground.
Video artist (and former childhood TV addict) Todd Graham created Apocalypse Pooh in art school, and it was a mini-sensation among tape-traders. It rarely got much credit from the art world—a reception Graham attributed to the oh-so-serious world of video arts’ lack of humor (he also did a mash-up of The Archies doing “God Save the Queen), but today the video is considered groundbreaking. Apocalypse Pooh is as strange and funny as anything you’d find of its genre on the Internet now, and here it is, remastered in crystal clarity, so you can really see the napalmed Hundred Acre Wood!