Cocaine Bear Review

Cocaine Bear
Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear would probably cause Neil deGrasse Tyson to stomp his feet in anger, repeatedly yelling “Wrong! Bears cannot do that!” over an increasingly annoyed theater crowd. But personally, I’m a huge fan of “deadly beast goes on a killing spree” films. Each time it is released online, I rent all the average shark attack film since there’s something particularly satisfying about watching cocky, stubborn and generally obnoxious surfers or college goers on a boating trip gone wrong get ripped into pieces. Cocaine Bear has all those guilty pleasures in spades but unlike something like Sharknado, its coked-up bear is actually convincing enough to be scary when it tears apart every morally questionable person it comes across.

So yes, Cocaine Bear is a very stupid movie. You probably guessed that from the pitch: a bear finds cocaine in the woods, eats it, and then very bad things happen. It shouldn’t also surprise you that this isn’t an intellectual film either. It should not be one as well. It’s called Cocaine Bear; however surprising this may seem, it does make sense when you meet the movie halfway on its absurdity.

The real-life story of an American black bear who ingested 75 pounds of cocaine in 1985 after a drug drop gone wrong ended in the bear’s instant death, obviously. In reality, bears can’t really handle 75 pounds of cocaine. Basically no one else can too. Instead though (or paw I guess), the movie Cocaine Bear poses questions such as: ‘what if that bear had instead lived and gone on a rampage through a dense forest killing nearly everyone in its path while collecting more cocaine because he so likes it.” However unlike some movies like snakes on plane which ask “what if there were snakes on plane?” or Sharknado which asks “what if there were sharks in a tornado?” Cocaine Bear is actually surprisingly well made. It’s both very funny and very violent, providing us with a comically blood-soaked day in the park with a murderous bear on cocaine.

Horror and comedy themes always have the chance to be at odds with each other, but in Cocaine Bear they bounce off each other well. That’s not just because the entire concept is absurd but also because every single person (and animal) on screen is fully, completely committed to the bit, and there’s an infectious sense that they were very clearly having an absolute blast making it. Characters and costumes are totally hammed up, from Ray Liotta’s sleazy drug kingpin grandfather to Margo Martindale’s self-absorbed and inept park ranger.

The writing itself can best be described as weird and absurdist leaning more towards parodies like Wet Hot American Summer, Hot Rod or Tucker and Dale Vs Evil. So if you’re not into that particular flavor of alt comedy, the jokes might be hit or miss for you. But then again when you do see comedians perform live stand-up comedy sometimes they form a joke that doesn’t work for you till they leave the stage; whereas in Cocaine Bear it will probably get mauled by a bear straight away [TO1] .

Essentially, the horror aspect of this movie is kind of like Jaws – no, this isn’t a Spielberg masterpiece, but bear with me for a moment. One thing that makes Jaws scary is that sharks are real animals found in the ocean which once in a while attack people one such attack on an individual who might be at the beach during one visit and will always turn out to be shark food in the next instance. Therefore, it overplayed this fear by creating a giant shark that specifically hunts humans; there is no such thing as an intentional man-eating shark. In the same vein, any of us could come across a grizzly bear while camping or hiking but we’ll never greet one sitting on top of mountains of cocaine. So you cannot ever anticipate to experience Cocaine Bear scenario neither shall your family members however it’s even more fun watching other people go through it especially if some of them have bad intentions.

Early on, listeners get to know that Cocaine Bear has nothing against mauling its characters brutally in completely insane ways and bears are unstoppable killers. It’s massive, speedy and can either climb trees or knock down doors or leap several dozens feet into the air just to snatch whatever they’re interested in. The creature itself was designed and animated by Weta FX, the New Zealand-based digital effects studio responsible for movies such as Lord of the Rings as well as Avatar so suffice it to say it appears and moves very realistically if not just like how anyone would expect a cocaine-addled bear to look like.

The kills here mostly work because they’re gory, maniacal, and often just straight-up hilarious. Actually bears don’t usually kill their prey before eating them; instead they begin ripping apart these victims. Add some coke into that mix though and you definitely shouldn’t expect any dignity around dinner hours . Harsh maybe yet we do not necessarily side with most persons here since many lack the time to think clearly after being put in a crazy situation and some are simply bad people who we like trying to find cocaine. At the same time, this is not exactly a movie where you can cheer for the bear because it’s a violent animal that finds some cocaine, learns to love it, and then goes on a rampage looking for more of it. Rather, we’re watching a bunch of chaotic elements get dumped into a forest and celebrating with selfish glee as they all begin to clash violently and comedically. We don’t know at first when the bear appears if it needs human blood or its next hit so anything can happen.

This movie is full of cocaine, which seems wild, even though it was a bit much in those days. It happened during the mid-1980s. Most of what you love about 80’s films and music is nothing but incredibly huge piles of this white powdery stuff. So, even if you have your personal anti-drug stance on cocaine (I don’t use it), then by being a fan of these things, you are kind of a second foot smoke thingy. Or coke too I guess. Cocaine Bear does not have an agenda because there is no particular celebration or criticism associated with it beyond the fact that taking a line (or eating half-kilo,) in this film is like teenagers having sex in slasher flicks. Instead, cocaine here acts as one of the recipe ingredients when dumped all over a scene, making everyone who touches it go mad and obsessed with madness at its sight. Just like Kamek the Magikoopa waves his magic wand over a boss fight in Super Mario or blood rains from the ceiling in Blade nightclub.


Cocaine Bear celebrates its nonsensical story, gives its characters (and its bear) plenty to chew on, provides a script with jokes that mostly land and kills that frequently delight, and gives us exactly and specifically what we signed up for. I hesitate to say you should shut your brain off to enjoy this movie as much as I did because I think that exercise is mostly thrown around to excuse truly bad films – or “so bad they’re good” films. I don’t believe that Cocaine Bear is either of those things. It’s a great horror-comedy about a bear that eats cocaine – probably the best we’ll ever get about such an inherently ridiculous premise. This is where you come in.If you’re the kind of person who can buy into this insane idea and enjoy it for precisely what it’s presenting itself as, you’ll probably have a great time. It’s gory, fun as hell, packed with hilarious grotesque kills and over-the-top characters, and at 90-ish minutes, it’s paced near perfectly and never overstays its welcome or overdoses on the joke.

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