Cocaine Bear

Huh. All I had to do was write the title and my review is done. That was easy.

OK, a little more.

I’ve got so much grading to do that I have to prod myself with little rewards. I had to compose an exam yesterday, and I told myself if I got it done before 7 I could go to the theater. I finished at 6. The choices available to me were Creed III, which is probably the better movie, but I’m not into sports movies at all, or Cocaine Bear, which looked entertainingly stupid. I went for the light entertainment.

There was a real cocaine bear, a black bear that discovered a drug dealer’s stash, ate 70 pounds of cocaine, and died. That would make for a short, sad, boring movie. In this movie, a plane drops cocaine into a park, and the bear finds scattered drops and turns into a raging drug fiend, flitting everywhere and ripping the limbs off various ne’er-do-wells and goofballs while collecting face-fulls of cocaine.

It was Ray Liotta’s last movie. It features a couple of kids who are cute, sassy, and don’t get eaten. The adults meet their demise in various creative ways. It’s a bit gorey.

Final assessment: it was honest schlock, and much, much better than Quantumania.

(I’ve got lots more grading to do, and am about to head off to the coffee shop with a stack of papers. When I get that done, the reward is to spend a little spider time. Then more grading this afternoon — maybe I’ll goad myself on with something on Netflix tonight. Then more grading tomorrow.)


  1. wzrd1 says

    I’ll recommend one film that’s underappreciated.
    Just finished watching it, it’s beyond well worth the time. Something I’ve rarely said of US films.

    Cocaine bear? I’d rather see the true and tragic story of that bear.
    Instead, we get Hollywood turning a horrifically poisoned bear, turned Jaws 33 1/3 on land.
    Which cheapens bear existence tremendously. It’s a family joke, we shared camps with bears every year, as every year we went camping, a bear came through our camp, to precisely zero drama. Bear came through to see who or what was in their territory, see if there’s something to eat (nope, it was in the bear bag, way up the tree on a thin branch), moved on to find berries and termites.
    So, cocaine bear vs masturbating with a cheese grater, I’ll go for the cheese grater.

    I’ll close with one commercial suggestion. Walmart still doesn’t like my debit card, Giant does and delivered this morning. One large tin of olive oil was substituted with two plastic bottles, the rest of the order was spot on. I’ll enjoy my olive loaf sandwich for lunch, already enjoyed my guac and egg salad for breakfast and limped my canned goods into the closet I’m using for canned goods. Frozen goods remained frozen and are happily slumbering in my freezer.
    Totally worth the $7.95 delivery charge!

  2. says

    I thought this sounded interesting until I learned the true story–a bear carcass in the woods and a duffel bag of cocaine. That just makes me sad.
    So this movie is “loosely based on a true story?” Sure, and I recently had sex loosely based on Ana de Armas.
    So I don’t know. Are the kids boys or girls? I’ll need to know that. As a girldad, I only engage when the child(ren) in peril includes at least one girl. Who cares about boys?
    Ah, but I kid. Well, mostly. Sort of.
    This comment is loosely based on things I actually think.

  3. microraptor says

    feralboy12 @2: It’s “inspired by a true story.”

    The movie I’m looking forward to is Sisu, which is apparently hitting theaters the end of April. It’s about an old Finnish gold miner at the end of World War 2 who encounters a squad of Nazis that are fleeing to Norway across Lapland while massacring every settlement they come across. When they try to steal his gold, he ends up going John Wick on them. I figure any film that’s about Nazis getting killed in ridiculous gory ways is bound to be pretty entertaining.

  4. says

    Huh. All I had to do was write the title and my review is done.

    Yeah, sort of like “Snakes on a Plane”. What more do you need to say?

    PS: I know the bear died, but did he really eat all 70 lbs of cocaine? That’s a lot. I’m sure he would have died before eating even half that amount.

  5. robro says

    feralboy12 — Actually the trailer says “inspired by true events”…so there you have it. Saying “had sex inspired by Ana de Armas” might be truer to the event than “loosely based on”.

  6. kenbakermn says

    Reminds me of an episode in one of the Aubrey-Maturin series of novels (“Master and Commander ” etc.). In one voyage the rats on board the sailing ship became docile and friendly. The sailors were playing with them, keeping them as pets. Then suddenly the rats all became vicious and aggressive. Turned out they had gotten into Dr. Maturin’s stash of medicinal cocaine and ate it all.

  7. Dennis K says

    “Inspired by true events” can be rubberbanded to hell and back. I once wrote a story about hiking across Mars with an old girlfriend of mine. I was interested in Mars at the time, plus I had a girlfriend. Inspiration! True events!

  8. HidariMak says

    I found the scariness and gore of Cocaine Bear to be pretty much non-existent. Much of the suspense in the movie was telegraphed, and the gore was largely bloodless and not the open autopsy which seems to be in a lot of horror movies. (Disgusting is not the same as suspense, IMO, and is more of a lazy way of shocking the audience.) That being said though, it was a decent enough popcorn movie since you weren’t being repeatedly slapped in the face by stupidity. The combination of humor and dark humor carried most of it.

  9. magistramarla says

    The very best thing I’ve ever seen on Netflix is an eight–episode series called “From Scratch”.
    My husband turned it on because he correctly assumed it involved cooking, so I might like it.
    Actually, he turned it on because it stars Zoe Saldana, one of his favorite actresses.
    We were both glued to this series. It was so good!
    Then my BFF came to visit, and she and I binged the series.
    It’s worth a look – beautiful scenery and very well-acted.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    If you can find it, Night of the Creeps with Tom Atkins is a genuinely entertaining film from the Eighties.

    Famous scene: Atkins:” I have good news and bad news, ladies. Your dates are here”. “What’s the bad news?” “They’re all dead”.

    When searching for unusual films, good and bad, I watch “Terry Talks Movies “.

    When looking for “So bad they are good” films I watch “Brandon’s Cult Movie Reviews” at Youtube.
    Quite a few are cheesy, but entertaining.
    Some very few – like the one with Atkins- are actually good.

  11. birgerjohansson says

    The arty films by the likes of Tarkovsky are slow, but if you are in the right frame of mind, they are worth the effort.

    When going in to watch Tarkovsky’s Solaris, I was prepared for the sometimes glacial pace, and I came out considering it the best science fiction themed film ever, even better than 2001.
    It was about human beings and their relations, and dealing with the past. Did I mention It is also about SETI and engaging with things that have no analogy on Earth?
    Bubble gum SF like Star Wars and Star Trek – that is entertaining. But – while some ST episodes made an effort to make you think- most of it is like fast food.
    And I have not forgiven the film executives that made Matrix use the humans as goddamn batteries.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    Seven Psychopaths is pretty clever.
    And we learn what happened to the Zodiac killer.
    Most horror films are of course garbage, while some good films use similar themes.
    I would not recommend American Psycho for the average film viewer. It is a well-made film soaked in maximum awfulness.

    From Dusk to Dawn was a surprising film that mixed two different genres.

  13. chuckonpiggott says

    Today’s WaPo, Alexandra Petri has a dual review of Cocaine Bear and Ron DeSantis’ new book. It’s great, she is a wicked satirist. Amazing that a national newspaper has a place for her..

  14. René says

    Birger @16: You managed to produce a new paragraph after a white line, without resorting to include return, full stop, return! Kudos. Please keep experimenting.

  15. Rob Grigjanis says

    birgerjohansson @16:

    From Dusk to Dawn was a surprising film that mixed two different genres.

    It didn’t mix them. It started as a heist film, and, in a truly silly way, rapidly switched to vampire horror. I agree that it was surprising; surprisingly awful, even for Quentin (as writer here). But Tarantino being cast (casting himself?) as a psychopath was appropriate.

    @15: I also love Tarkovsky’s Solaris, but I find the “even better than 2001” odd. It was miles better. Solaris is about attempted (and ultimately doomed) communication. 2001 is thinly disguised theology.

  16. John Morales says

    (And since Solaris is mentioned, Lem had Earth’s life derived from bilgewater from space visitors in one of his vignettes)

  17. klatu says

    Is there precedent for banning René, if only because they’re an obnoxious grammar-nazi who never contributes anything worth reading or engaging with? If not, can you establish said precedent now?

  18. klatu says

    Okay, I’m sorry for calling René a grammar-nazi when they’re actually a punctuation-nazi. That was wrong of me and I apologize.

    (I’ll stop now. For real.)

  19. John Morales says

    [just relax. René is a long-time commenter, and worthwhile.
    A spot of snark doesn’t vititate that]

  20. John Morales says

    Exactly, chigau. klatu is not new here.

    To be on-topic (!) I note PZ is amongst the many who think going to a movie theater is a bit of a treat.
    Of course, for some of us, it’s an imposition.

    Much, much better to watch stuff at home.

    Takes all kinds.

  21. John Morales says


    klatu, because preview on this platform doesn’t really show the space of paragraph breaks, some people (especially novices here) resort to a full stop to try to force a paragraph break type of spacing. There have been times when I’ve mentioned non-breaking spaces to such, but I don’t bother these days.
    It’s not needful.

    Anyway, as I see it, René just pointed that out, if a bit obliquely and jocularly.

    (What chigau imagined, I can’t say)

  22. silvrhalide says

    Couldn’t bring myself to watch Cocaine Bear, given that there was an actual bear who ate the cocaine and died from it. Plus all the wildlife dying now from the Ohio train derailment and attendant toxic waste spill. What a crap species we are.

    @16 “It is a well-made film soaked in maximum awfulness.”
    That’s about the best description of that movie you can get. Christian Bale is the embodiment of toxic capitalism and masculinity. I rewatched it a few days ago. You forget how nails-on-a-blackboard awful his character is. But the part with the handgun is priceless. And the intro with the raspberry coulis is brilliant.

    @16, 20 I loved the Solaris remake with Clooney and Davis. I thought Man Divided was excellent as well.

  23. hemidactylus says

    @34- silvrhalide
    First try with American Psycho I stopped after what he did to the homeless guy and dog. I eventually tried again much later and was able to make it through. I assume it was saying something deepish about the superficiality of 80s USian culture. I might be recalling what Jonas Čeika said about it on CCK Philosophy. Fight Club may too have been trying to say deep stuff.

    This was much better than American Psycho as only Weird Al can spin it:

    Also I agree with @31 John Morales that watching stuff at home is better. Popcorn and drink are much cheaper, you can use your cell phone, and pause for restroom breaks.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    Some “So bad they are good” films certainly require beer or other alcohol to be properly enjoyed.

  25. Walter Solomon says

    If there was still any bewilderment of why Marvel is still doing relatively well, I would say movies like this explains quite well why that’s so. There really aren’t great alternatives as far as mainstream films are concerned.

    If the best you can say about Cocaine Bear is that it’s not Marvel, that isn’t saying much.

  26. silvrhalide says

    @35 What birger said: American Psycho isn’t the easiest film to watch. And yes, it had something deepish to say about toxic masculinity and capitalism (far more than Wall Street and its “greed is good” message IMO) and the complicity of those with knowledge who do nothing (Chloe Sevigny as the secretary who’s clearly worked out that something is going on), in the same way that The Tale had something deepish to say about child sexual abuse and those who chose not to see or the way that Joker had something deepish to say about mental illness and who and what precisely qualifies as “normal”. (Spoiler: no one qualifies as normal in Joker.)

    FWIW, I described Joker as “a really good film that’s really hard to watch” to a coworker who was on the fence about seeing it. American Psycho is more satirical than The Tale or Joker though. (Fair warning: if you are easily triggered, DO NOT watch The Tale.)

    As for “view at home” vs. “go see it in the theater”, while there are plenty of movies in which home viewing is fine, there are some movies that work best on the large screen–LotR, Dances With Wolves (trite plot but beautiful cinematography– the movie loses a lot on the small screen), Avatar (same reason), even Matrix Resurrections (the cinematography and the CGI are beautiful, although there are advantages to home viewing, such as being able to see all the grace notes in the CGI in slo-mo), Ladyhawke, to name a few.

    Liked your “Funny or Die” clip, but if you like that, try this:
    Best Marvel/DC movies to date! :P