Lauren Wong | The Poly Post

Review: ‘Cocaine Bear’ is an oddball film about a bear on cocaine

By Lann Nguyen, March 14, 2023

Cocaine — apex predator — the ‘80s. Truth is stranger than fiction with this wild tale based on a true story of a bear who ingested cocaine and reimagining the rampage the bear might have gone on if it didn’t die in real life.

The movie opens up with a detailed description of how to survive a bear attack and ends up Quoting a corner of the internet where anyone can contribute is a perfect fit for the vibe of this intentionally unserious movie.

Amidst the silly nature of this film, the visual effects were so superb that I felt I was watching a real bear attack on Animal Planet in all its gore and glory. I couldn’t look away, it wasn’t just gore, it was a picture painted natural predator meeting mankind’s creation — cocaine.

On top of that, the high-energy music of the ‘80s fit well into the wildness of the film and lent to the style and wackiness often associated with eighties wardrobe, hair and makeup.

The storyline brought an oddball cast together to the Chattahoochee National Forest where a ton of cocaine was dropped by a drug dealer.

The fact this movie was based on a true story created the opportunity for a wild tale that has obviously gotten carried away through the ages, moving further from the truth.

Lauren Wong | The Poly Post

In reality, the “cocaine bear” did not go on a wild rampage but was found dead a few weeks later surrounded by ripped open packages of cocaine and was rumored to have been turned into a taxidermy bear.

Although a major selling point for this cocaine bear was country music legend Waylon Jennings once being said to have been an owner of the taxidermy bear, his son Shooter Jennings has vehemently denied that widely spread rumor.

On top of that, the existence of an actual taxidermy cocaine bear is in question because it’s said to have been so decomposed by the time it was found that there is no possible way to have preserved it.

The supposed “cocaine bear” is now on display at the Kentucky for Kentucky fun mall in Lexington.

In comparison to the movie, a pilot dropped the duffle bags full of cocaine over the Chattahoochee forest in a last-ditch effort to avoid the closing in authorities. He expected to retrieve the bags later, but the drugs were never fully recovered.

Although this was a last-ditch effort to toss the drugs and retrieve them later since authorities were closing in on the plane, it did not go as planned.

The movie took me on a wild ride of realistic visual representations of the huge bear and the all-too-realistic gore, which was a lot more graphic than I was expecting.

The story line was borderline ridiculous, but it did flow well and gave explanations for why each character was in the forest.

Considering that this movie is an exaggerated take on the legend behind “cocaine bear” it’s all that can be expected from such a haphazard tale.

I think the “R” rating in this film is accurate because this is not a film you want to take your grandparents or children to. I barely made it through the film due to the intense scenes of the bear ripping people apart while high on cocaine.

Based on the advertisements, like the trailer and social media buzz, I thought it was going to be more of a comedy.

There is something to be liked about this movie which can best be described as a campy B-movie. It might be just the right movie for a night out with friends or date night if you’re looking for something obviously aimed towards entertainment and silly but with elevated visual dynamics.

Just know what you’re getting into and have low expectations.

Feature image by Lauren Wong. 

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