Movie Review: Cocaine Bear


Zoie Baker, Student Reporter

Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear is now out in theaters. The movie brings with it a number of detached limbs, bloody bodies, and most surprisingly, a somewhat true story. The movie gives a version of the story, although it is not exactly how the real story happened. Cocaine Bear is a film inspired by the 1985 discovery of a dead bear in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest.

The real story started in 1985 when a convicted drug smuggler by the name of Andrew Thorton died after trying to escape the feds by plane with 15 million dollars’ worth of drugs. Thorton had 880 pounds of cocaine and decided to disperse some of it out of the plane to distract the feds chasing him. He then managed to take some of the cocaine with him as a he parachuted off the plane. It’s easy enough to say his plan went south when he died in the landing from too much weight. A 200-pound black bear, later nicknamed “Pablo Escobear”, found and ingested 75 pounds of the abandoned cocaine, which proved to be fatal.

Cocaine Bear is what some call “a very stupid movie”. From the pitch of the movie, it’s easy enough to gather that story focuses on a bear finding cocaine in the woods and eating it, which leads unbelievably terrible things happening. It is not necessarily a thinking person’s film, nor should it be, given the title. In reality, bears can’t handle 75 pounds of cocaine, and technically, nobody can. This movie in other words is suggesting that the bear did live and then went on a rampage and started killing people while trying to find more cocaine that it had clearly become addicted to.

The horror and comedy in this movie worked well with each other. Not only because the concept of the movie was completely absurd but the actors and actresses within the film were committed and did a convincing job in conveying that they were in a situation like that and dealing with it.

This movie seemed to have no main character, but it did present a variety of people within the movie, such as; hikers, drug dealers, and park rangers. There is no need to root for any specific character because each of the characters does not have enough time to make a decision, given the situation they are in. Most of these people are bad but likable, given humor and need to be in the woods. Each character is on a mission to find something they hold dear to them but instead eventually find something that wants to kill them.

The movie is a hit or miss depending on the whether or not a person can handle specific sights and sounds presented in the film. For example, in the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre, when you hear and see the chainsaw going through a person’s arm, it almost compares to when this cocaine bear takes a bite out of someone’s leg. Additionally, the movie gets into more horrific jokes and sights as well. When the character Henry, portrayed by actor Christian Convery, says, “Safe bears can’t climb trees.”, Peter the park ranger (Jesse Ferguson) argues back “Yes they can.” Henry then asks “So why are you up here then” which causes Peter to become more scared. In other words, if you are the type of person who cannot handle these kinds of jokes or see a lot goriness, then this would not be a good movie to watch. On the other hand, if you like watching these kinds of movies that will never actually happen but enjoy watching it happen to others, then this movie might be for you.