Sometimes you just have to give into instinct and try something that reason tells you couldn’t possibly work. Like that time I watched Zombie Strippers because how could I not, I chose to view Cocaine Bear because how could I not if so many people made the effort to make such a film. It’s based on a true story so it’s educational, right?
Back in the olden days of the 1980s, when cocaine was the coolest drug, a big time smuggler dropped a bunch of bags filled with bricks of coke into the wilderness from a plane and then jumped carrying another bag. When they found his body, splat on the ground because he had overloaded his parachute, authorities searched for the rest and discovered evidence a bear had found some white powder and gotten seriously addicted.
The movie version opens with some familiar 80s music, Jane by Jefferson Starship, which proclaims “You see it’s all over for you and me” and a driving piano score to set the tone of a sarcastic thriller, quickly followed by a Wikipedia quote about how to deal with dangerous bears. So much meta, so soon. After a quick introduction to some of characters, including a tweener girl with posters of Depeche Mode and Adam Ant on her bedroom walls, the bear goes on its coked up killing spree. It moves preternaturally fast, and does not discriminate as to victim. Fuzzy news video sets up some of the story, some of it from Getty Images from the actual event.
There’s lot of “light” humor, like the bear snorting a line off a severed leg, and the bear drooling all over a hapless paramedic trapped under the door the bear is standing on. Funny note, the props guy made sure the stunt drool was vegan, just in case the actor had issues. With the song “Just Can’t Get Enough” playing over some of the action, the bear goes for one violent, gory, often hilarious death after another.
There is a bit of diversity in the cast, with an Asian American ambulance driver and an African American police detective. The humor is sometimes as subtle as a billboard in the background advertising “Visit the ORIGINAL Glory Hole” or in your face like the aforementioned leggy line of coke. Be prepared, though, to either enjoy or endure – depending on your preferences – a lot of gore. There is certainly a lot more than I expected. I suppose the title led me to believe it would be more of a lighthearted romp.
The original dope drop was in Tennessee, but this movie is of course set in the Chattahooche National Forest in Georgia on Blood Mountain. I was surprised to see a lot of the movie was actually filmed in Ireland. Cokey the Bear is well acted by her human controller and the finishing animation strikes a good note between too cartoonish and just believable enough to sell the action. My biggest complaint was that the somewhat stilted dialogue reminded me of Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die.
My viewing companion didn’t like the movie at all, but she really hates gore. I found it to be a humorous and solidly made movie that isn’t quite as funny as the trailer would have you believe. The kid actors are great, and while the story is a little loose it hangs together well enough. What more can you expect of a film about a coked up bear?
- Cocaine Bear – Official Website
- Cocaine Bear – IMDB
- Cocaine Bear – Wikipedia
- Now for the Truth: Cocaine Bear: The True Story | Official Trailer | Peacock Original
Now for the Truth
Cocaine Bear: The True Story | Official Trailer | Peacock Original.
Yup that’s right Cocaine Bear IS a true story and this documentary tells you all about it. Very good documentary. Entertaining and educational. Hubby and I totally enjoyed it. Just like the movie.
CFR: In Addition
Oh I am so glad Mildred watched Cocaine Bear. LOLOLOLOL!! Hubby and friend Michael D. watched this a few weeks ago and laughed all the way. I could not believe this movie was made. However it was directed by Elizabeth Banks. One, I like Elizabeth Banks (Effie from Hunger Games) and I do like to support women directors. So bought it and we watched.
It is hard to describe – no really CFR – so just realize that yes this is a bizarre title and a bizarre movie expertly directed and put together. Fun characters, cool women characters (yay), good actors, a bit of 80s nostalgia, and the great outdoors. It is just silly fun. So go with it. And enjoy. I certainly did. Now I want to watch it again.
OH! And the documentary!
It was just as good as Cocaine Bear. and thoroughly entertaining too. I suggest you watch Cocaine Bear first as I think that made the documentary more fun.
Only drawback: I felt sorry for the bear. Poor bear not having the faintest idea what was happening. It must have been frightening. Oh and the real bear died immediately because apparently cocaine and real bears don’t mix.