The true story of Cocaine Bear isn’t nearly as eventful, ridiculous, or bloody as the events of the film. In 1985, a bear was found dead in the Chattahoochee National Forest located in Georgia. Drug smuggler Andrew Thornton was found dead after a parachuting accident. It’s believed that Thornton was traveling by plane with 880 pounds of cocaine.

Cocaine Bear movie poster

He dumped some of the load, strapped some to himself, and eventually jumped out of the plane after he thought he was being trailed by the Feds. He was found dead in Knoxville, TN on September 11, 1985 with about $15 million in cocaine. Four months later, a 175-pound black bear died of an overdose of cocaine. 40 opened containers totaling 35 pounds in weight were found and believed to be consumed by the bear.

In the film, written by Jimmy Warden and directed by Elizabeth Banks (Charlie’s Angels 2019, Pitch Perfect 2), the cocaine shipment belonged to drug kingpin Syd White (Ray Liotta). He sends his fixer/cleaner named Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr, Godzilla: King of the Monsters) to retrieve what’s left of the load. Daveed also has to tend to Syd’s son Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich, Solo: A Star Wars Story) who is currently mourning the death of his wife and has left his son in the hands of his drug dealing grandfather.

Meanwhile, in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, a black bear has stumbled upon several duffle bags filled with cocaine, has developed an addiction to it, and is violently dismembering anyone that gets in its way.

O’Shea Jackson Jr, Alden Ehrenreich, Ayoola Smart, and Ray Liotta in director Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear. Image property of Universal Pictures.

You should know what you’re getting into with a film called, “Cocaine Bear.” The film is all about the bear getting high and slaughtering people with outrageous performances selling the computer generated bear’s onslaught and an actual, “story,” being just coherent enough to string things together. If you expect something absurdly entertaining, you’ll probably leave with a smile on your face.

Also entangled in a second storyline is a single mother named Sari (Keri Russell). Her daughter Dee Dee (Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project) has skipped school and wandered off with her friend Henry (Christian Convery, Netflix’s Sweet Tooth) in order to paint what is known as Blood Mountain; the bear’s current whereabouts. As Sari eventually meets up with Henry, it’s revealed that the bear took Dee Dee off into the depths of the woods.

Brooklynn Prince and Christian Convery in Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear. Image property of Universal Pictures.

Scott Seiss, a comedian that has blown up on social media in the past year or two, debuts as an actor in the film as a paramedic. He has been posting some behind the scenes footage revealing that the bear is mostly entirely CGI apart from its drool, which is apparently a Vegan concoction. The special effects in Cocaine Bear are incredibly well done even when the bear isn’t mauling someone. The bear’s dangling lower lip gives it this empty brain lunacy with its as realistic as possible facial expressions.

The comedy horror film doesn’t shy away from gore as limbs are ripped off, intestines are played with and chewed on, heads explode from gunshot wounds, and faces are dragged across concrete. The horrific highlight is when a man is chewed to death while being high up in a tree. His leg is severed which falls to the ground first followed by the rest of his body, which lands in a sickening thud. The bear then follows, takes a few bites of his corpse, and then proceeds to snort a line of cocaine off of his severed leg.

Keri Russell hides from a bear in Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear. Image property of Universal Pictures.

While it can be truthfully stated that the film is nonsensical despite its amusing violence, and is hilarious, it can be argued that it has also struck idiotically brilliant gold. The film may revolve around an out of control animal, but it is essentially a creature feature. Not only does this animalistic creature get a fair amount of screen time, but the audience falls in love with it even though it only wants to rip off our faces and get high. Even though there are humans that live to see another day, it feels like this monstrous and terrifying bear wins at the end of the film.

As an animal, the bear snorts this thin line between a force of nature and an actual movie monster, so it feels somewhat appropriate. Also a potential franchise of nothing but animals being strung out on whacked out hallucinogens and slaughtering mankind to squelchy delight seems like a no brainer at this point.

Aaron Holliday and O’Shea Jackson Jr in director Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear. Image property of Universal Pictures.

The Verdict

Cocaine Bear is mindless entertainment in its purest and most uncut form. It is a film that is so dumb, so over the top with gore, and so laugh out loud funny that you can’t help but root for this doped up bear’s murderous rampage to not only continue, but hopefully never end. Cast members are already proposing sequel ideas with Adderall Alligator, Cocaine Bear vs Cocaine Shark, and Crystal Meth Puppies being the current frontrunners.

In the meantime, direct to DVD knockoff champion film studio The Asylum will be releasing Attack of the Meth Alligator sometime this summer to hopefully help quench the drug infused animal carnage fix all Cocaine Bear fans now currently suffer from.

The bear from director Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear. Image property of Universal Pictures.

'Cocaine Bear' Review - Brutally Absurd And Laugh Out Loud Carnage
  • The gore.
  • The bear.
  • Fully embraces its absurd concept.
  • The story is nearly nonexistent.
  • May be too dumb for those seeking something logical.
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (8 Votes)