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Cocaine Bear (2023)

Rated R

In Theaters and Vudu

Production/Distribution: Universal Pictures

Running Time: 95 Minutes

Budget: $35M

Director: Elizabeth Banks

Starring: Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Ray Liotta, Isiah Whitlock Jr


After a drug runner air drop ditches his cocaine in the Georgia woods, a black bear gets high on the supply and begins a drug-induced murderous rampage, sparing no one in its path.

Millicent (Morgan Saylor) experiences bizarre hallucinations while abusing her prescription LSD treating her anxiety

The Good

What is there to say about a movie with the title Cocaine Bear? It’s already not taking itself too seriously from the start and that is the beauty of it all. And the moment the film begins, and the words Based on Real Events pops up, you just know that that you are in for…..wait a minute….real events? Well, that is a stretch of course. Real news footage is looped into the intro with Tom Brokaw from NBC’s Nightly News reporting on a dead drug runner whose parachute did not open on a jump provides the backdrop for the events….so you know that is about as “based on true events” as it gets. But still, well done by writer Jimmy Warden for dreaming up an outrageously crazy plot around some very real history. I had almost forgotten that Massachusetts own Elizabeth Banks has shelved her acting hat a few times now to sit in the director’s chair (Pitch Perfect 2 and Charlie’s Angels among them). Keri Russell (Felicity, Mission Impossible 3) and Ray Liotta (his last film before his untimely death), are probably your biggest headliners, but it is an ensemble cast and the true star is the bear with the unhealthy addiction to hydrochloride and killing anyone who stands in its way of consuming more of it. There are a few over the top scenes, but none more hilariously effective than the ambulance chase mid-way through the movie, which beats any other scene the film has to offer.

Ray Liotta vs Cocaine Bear….guess who wins?

The Bad

It’s all bad, and isn’t that the point though? It’s everything that Sharknado wanted to be. A hokey and totally unbelievable premise with a big screen release! It is Ray Liotta’s swan song, and I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing to be honest. While the soundtrack takes you back in time (remember its inspired by an event that took place in the 80’s) they seemed to purposely choose some of the most cheeseball songs you could feature, but again, I think that was the intention. Spoiler! Cocaine Bear lives to snort again. So just wait for a very unnecessary sequel in the future.

No truth to the rumors that Banks used to feed her Teddy Ruxpin powdered donuts when she was a little girl.

The Bottom Line

ScyFy Channel, eat your heart out. If you love cheesy and ridiculous horror comedy with tons of severed limbs, characters that beg for casualty, and furry forces of nature with incredibly bad vices, then this movie is exactly what the doctor ordered. I don’t see this one as a repeat viewer by any stretch of the imagination but it was worth a viewing if you want to shut off your brain for 90 minutes. As of this writing, it seems that a lot of people were looking for that very experience, as it made over $20 Million opening weekend and has since blown its budget away and then some.

“R.J. MacReady”

Friday, Mar 31 2023 1:46AM


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