A Look Into a Trip of a Horror Comedy Film
Cocaine Bear is a horror comedy killer animal movie released in 2023. The film is inspired very loosely on a real incident that occurred in Knoxville Tennessee when a black bear consumed 34 kilograms of dropped cocaine. The movie takes dramatic liberty with its source material and has an absolute blast with its crazy premise.
Classic Killer Animals at Its Highest
The events this horror comedy film was inspired by are much more mundane than one would believe. Containers of cocaine were dropped from a plane in 1985 and a bear did consume a vast majority of its contents. However, the bear, named Pablo Eskobear, fatally overdosed and died some time afterward. The body was taxidermied and now the bear is a unique landmark and tourist destination.
The film basically takes the idea of a bear sniffing and eating cocaine and goes ballistic with it. The bear goes on a wild rampage while a number of human characters react to it in hilarity and horror. The main human narrative focuses on a family on vacation and the drug dealers sent to collect the cocaine. There are also park rangers who try desperately to contain the maddened bear. The dark comedic nature of this film and the absurd lengths it’ll go to with a joke or sequence brings to mind some of the “best” Asylum and Syfy creature feature films.
Acting With a Crazy Fun Premise
Every actor in this film, from O’Shea Jackson to Keri Russel and Isiah Whitlock Jr., took their roles both seriously to the danger and comically to the absurdity. Jackson portrays Daveed, one of the “protagonist” drug smugglers alongside Alden Ehrenreich, who portrays Eddie. Together they try to secure the cocaine for Ray Liotta’s character, Syd, Eddie’s irate father. Ray Liotta has a special mention in this film as this is one of his last acting portrayals before his passing in May 2022.
The actors portrayed their characters very well with each character fitting their dynamic with each other and with the bear. Keri Russel’s character is the mother of one of the children in the film and her reaction to the absurd situation they were in is believable enough to sympathize with her growing temperament.
Graphic Violence With a Humorous Presentation
The bear acting out in unusually anthropomorphic ways when high on cocaine is one of the highlights of this film’s comedy. The characters reacting to it along with their interactions with each other also sells how bizarre and comical the situation is. This lighthearted sense of humor can drop the audience’s guard as it makes the film much lighter in tone despite its odd premise.
That being said, when the bear gets riled up and in the middle of a coke-induced frenzy, the movie does not shy away from the violence and gore. Dismemberment and other unpleasant manners in which bears can mutilate a human are in full display. Classic in many killer animal movies, the bear is treated as a hyper-persistent predator hellbent on the graphic deaths of any human in sight.
Cocaine Bear is an absolute blast of a movie to watch, whether in theaters or on available streaming services. There is a clear love for the absurd genre of creature features in this film and it’s not out of place for a sci-fi classic like Sharktopus, Piranhaconda, and the infamous Sharknado franchise. While it takes extreme liberties with the “true” events behind it, even that feels like a parody of how many films dramatize real events of people and moments of history. Cocaine Bear is the kind of film to watch with friends to laugh, drink, and comment over while loving the overall atmosphere of the film itself. It’s currently playing in theaters, as well as available to stream on Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube, Vudu, Redbox, and Google Play.
Cocaine Bear (2023) Official Universal Pictures Trailer
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