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The Incredible Story Behind the Infamous ‘Cocaine Bear’

The Incredible Story Behind the Infamous 'Cocaine Bear'

Last updated on October 10th, 2023 at 11:53 am

Today marks the release of Cocaine Bear – a wild, imaginative film that perfectly fits the animals behaving badly subgenre of movies.

From the title and tagline you get an understanding of what happens in this outrageous outing – an apex predator on cocaine going off-the-rails.

Who wouldn’t want to watch this classic combination come to life? It’s sure to be a hit.

Sadly, Cocaine Bear does not offer an enjoyable viewing experience. It fails to capture the audience’s attention, and viewers can easily tell that it was made more for a quick snippet for a viral YouTube trailer rather than for its own sake.

“Inspired by real events” — no, it’s not a horror movie involving a huge marshmallow man.

This iconic true story actually dates back to 1985, when an American Black bear was spotted in the Georgia woods, weighed at 175 pounds and carrying an unexpected cargo: over 50 pounds of cocaine.

The shocking story is that a police officer, once a law-enforcer, turned to drug smuggling and hurled several duffle bags of cocaine out of a plane.

Unfortunately, he met his end while trying to parachute from the same plane.

After stumbling upon a cocaine care package and partaking in its contents, a bear was found dead three months later.

A toxicology examination revealed that the creature had nearly 4 grams of cocaine present in its bloodstream, with its stomach “packed to the brim” with the drug.

After the bear’s untimely demise, the animal was preserved and put on display at the Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, who playfully named it the “Cocaine Bear” in 2015.

The film offers a unique take on some of the traditional conventions associated with films about bears.

Instead of portraying them as wild and untamed creatures, the movie opens with an aviator-clad individual who is certainly not what viewers would expect to find in a bear film — an ’80s drug dealer playing music and throwing red duffle bags out of a plane above Chattahoochee, Georgia.

Creative liberties were taken here and it certainly makes for an interesting and entertaining experience.

The next scene in Cocaine Bear takes us to a romantic couple of hikers, blissfully strolling through the woods.

They are surrounded by beautiful nature and talk about the plans for their wedding, completely unaware that this will not have a happy ending.

In the film, the audience gets a first glimpse of a marvelous CGI bear.

The bear is seen up against a pine and appears to be stimulated with an excessive amount of energy, as if it had taken stimulants.

The cast begin to take pictures in awe and amazement of this bristling creature.

Cocaine Bear is an intense, thrilling film that makes no promises of keeping its brutality at bay.

The sight of flying limbs and exposed intestines quickly make the film a lot darker than initially intended with no lack of head-rolling maulings that take center-stage.

The mashup of comedy and horror in one make for a truly gripping viewing experience.

The scene is set for a wacky cast of characters to traverse Blood Mountain and reclaim the stolen gear.

Led by Ray Liotta’s villainous Syd White, Alden Ehrenreich’s wimpy pasta-loving son, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s Daveed.

Along for the ride are Isiah Whitlock Jr.’s police detective hot on their trail and trying to protect his furry friend Rosette; a pair of kids cutting school with their mother in pursuit; a park ranger; a Smokey Bear-loving wildlife man; as well as a gang of menacing hoodlums who stab people in the woods and take what they want.

Some face brutally harsh repercussions while others manage to escape unscathed, then the movie abruptly fades to black.

The creators of Cocaine Bear may have intended it to attract an algorithmic audience and become an easy target for internet jokes.

Yet, there is a serious lack of meaningful satire regarding the famed ‘Just Say No’ campaign advocated by Nancy Reagan during the 1980s, as well as the ‘This Is Your Brain On Drugs’ fried egg commercial.

Despite being two of the most iconic symbols of anti-drug campaigns from that decade, these elements were all but forgotten in this film.

Consequently, both drug users and movie viewers alike could be disappointed when they fail to find any witty and clever references related to the movie’s subject matter.

The biggest problem with Cocaine Bear is its lack of humour.

Despite Elizabeth Banks’ comedic talents, the script struggles to bring the laughs.

The only humorous scene being when the kids think cocaine is eaten by spoonfuls.

The pace of the movie is sluggish, similar to a bear who hasn’t had any stimulants.

Ultimately, it seems that all of the best jokes were included in the trailer leaving viewers feeling disappointed and let down by its lack of energy.

Christian Convery’s Spring Breakers style scream of “It was fucked!” providing the biggest chuckle in an otherwise flat film.

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