‘Cocaine Bear’ Review: Campy Horror Romp Delivers Wild Comedy Carnage

Cocaine Bear! There is a bear! It does a ton of cocaine! Films! Cocaaaaaiine Beeeeaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr!

That is it, that is the assessment!

Need greater than that? I am unsure the movie has way more to supply, however seeing as this new film with Ray Liotta, Keri Russell and Alden Ehrenreich is in theaters now, I will give it a shot. Astonishingly, this gory comedy-horror flick a few bear that does cocaine is predicated on a real story. This in all probability leaves you with a ton of questions: When and the place, and the way, did this occur? What did the bear do when it bought excessive? How did it roll up a banknote with these claws?

The solutions are that it occurred in 1985 in Chattahoochee Nationwide Forest in Georgia, when a drug smuggler threw thousands and thousands of {dollars} of Colombian marching powder out of a light-weight plane and scattered bricks of coke throughout the wild woods. In actual life, nobody is aware of what the bear did when it bought excessive, however the film imagines a extremely entertaining drug-crazed killing spree. Clearly the bear did not use banknotes to snort the coke, it simply ate kilos of the stuff a brick at a time. Though these claws can be fairly good for racking up a number of strains in a single go.


A modest field workplace hit behind Marvel blockbuster Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Cocaine Bear is directed by Elizabeth Banks (and produced by comedy filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller). Except for appearing, Banks directed Pitch Good 2 and a poorly acquired Charlie’s Angels reboot. Following a comedy and an motion film, schlocky horror is as logical a profession development as any, I assume.

Cocaine Bear’s rapid-fire quirkiness and carnage are nice enjoyable to look at, particularly after a beer or two. Someplace between a slasher film and a low-budget creature characteristic, it throws an ensemble of people into the woods to face off with a drug-demented black bear. Banks’ zingy path and author Jimmy Warden’s blackly comedian dialogue hold the laughs coming, with the ever-looming menace of a coked-up murderbear giving it that midnight film frisson. The result’s a gloriously foolish, gloriously gory bearsploitation B-movie that delivers just about the whole lot you need from a film referred to as “Cocaine Bear.” You would be hard-pressed to discover a higher Friday night time moviegoing expertise than this unholy mashup of Jaws, Deliverance, Friday the thirteenth and Yogi Bear. 

The ’80s outfits, needle drops and synth-driven rating from Mark Mothersbaugh (previously of Devo) add to the cheesy retro really feel. However presumably probably the most genuine points of this homage to old-school exploitation flicks is the very fact it’s, ever so barely, only a bit crap. The people principally mill about within the woods till it is their flip to face the bear. Probably the most weak but resourceful characters disappears for many of the film, which deprives us of spending time with them whereas utterly failing to create any suspense about their destiny. That search component of the film would in all probability be extra involving if it was a chase that required working/combating/outsmarting of the bear. As an alternative there’s extra leisurely wandering within the woods than there must be in a film that is named, if I could remind you, Cocaine Bear. 

The ending actually peters out, however most of all these characters are thinner than a line lower by a very stingy drug vendor. The solid members know precisely what sort of film they’re in, no less than, with esteemed actors like Margo Martindale gamely constructing out their country-dumbass characters by delivering turns broader than a barn door. Fashionable Household’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, for instance, bases his character totally on a daft wig and faux mustache, making his character concurrently not sufficient and an excessive amount of. 

A cop and three lowlifes lurk in the woods in a scene from the movie Cocaine Bear.

O’Shea Jackson Jr, Ayoola Good, Alden Ehrenreich and Ray Liotta poke the bear.


Viral comic Scott Seiss is a scene-stealer, as is Aaron Holliday. Among the many leads, Alden Ehrenreich does his finest as a grieving drug smuggler, though he spends most of his time standing round behind O’Shea Jackson Jr. And Jackson’s character arc goes roughly like this: begins off a bit grumpy, will get more and more extra grumpy.

A extra relatable character is Isiah Whitlock’s good-hearted however robust cop. No concept if anybody else seems like this whereas watching Cocaine Bear, however an enormous a part of his enchantment is that the previous The Wire actor appears on the verge of claiming “Sheee-iiitt” more often than not he is on display. Nicely, if a bear on cocaine got here at you, you in all probability would, would not you. 

There’s little or no, in the meantime, to the villainous drug kingpin driving the motion. However the late Ray Liotta brings a snarling, sweaty authenticity simply by advantage of being Ray Liotta. The film has little or no to say concerning the rights and wrongs of the warfare on medication (moreover sniggering at ’80s-tastic “Just say no” advertisements), however Liotta’s furiously determined efficiency flicks at the concept sellers are addicts in their very own manner, compelled to behave in harmful and self-destructive methods by a cycle of dependence and degradation which evokes — holy shit it is a bear! On cocaine!

A good 95 minutes of Paddington’s cokehead cousin on the rampage, Cocaine Bear is the humorous, gory romp we want in a panorama of samey superheroes. Maybe paradoxically, contemplating the quantity of leisure medication flying about, there is not a lot substance to it. However what there’s, and I can not stress this sufficient, is a bear on cocaine. And is not that what the films are all about? 

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