Imagine a 175-pound black mass of death; now imagine it on cocaine. Black bears are one of nature’s apex predators and need no introduction to their aggressiveness. Give it a sniff of drugs, and you have a perfect horror movie plot on your hands.
Cocaine Bear, the 2023 horror comedy film, approaches this bizarre topic where a drugged bear goes on a killing spree. However, the movie’s concept is inspired by an actual drugged bear found dead in 1985. Did this bear go on a killing spree like its on-screen representative, though? Not at all.
Check out the juicy details behind the real-life ‘Cocaine Bear’ and how its story made it into Hollywood.
Is Cocaine Bear a Comedy Movie?
Yes, the Cocaine Bear movie has comedy mixed in with horror elements. Is it a good comedy? I can’t assure you that. The movie has plenty of jumpscares as the stoned bear loves sneaking up on people and dragging them into the bushes in true Jurassic Park style. However, the resemblance ends there.
While plenty of quips are in the film, most of them are cut short by the bear’s relentless attacks. What the movie does focus on is a proper amount of gore.
The bear decides that the best way to utilize her dope is not by becoming a chill mom at honey-gathering parties but by mauling humans left and right. Thus, you can expect legs and heads to get bitten off without pauses in between.
Is the Cocaine Bear Movie Inspired by a True Story?
The Cocaine Bear movie is loosely inspired by the events surrounding an American black bear that ingested a duffel bag full of cocaine in December 1985. In this case, ‘loosely inspired’ means making an entire movie on the actions that never happened. In fact, the real one died without attacking anybody.
Andrew C Thornton II, a convicted drug smuggler, dropped a bag of cocaine out of a plane and then jumped after it with a faulty parachute. Thornton died, but his bag was found by a bear that died after eating its contents. Its body was found after three months in northern Georgia along with 40 opened plastic containers of cocaine.
But, Why would a bear turn to cocaine instead of food?
Cocaine is often cut with flour or baking soda. To the bear’s keen nose, it might have smelled sweet. The bear succumbed to cocaine intoxication, and after its body was examined, the medical examiner reported that the bear’s stomach was packed full of cocaine resulting in cerebral hemorrhaging, respiratory failure, hyperthermia, renal failure, heart failure, and stroke.
The eponymous ‘cocaine bear’ is currently displayed in Lexington, Kentucky. The bear received its name in 2015.
How Many People Died from Cocaine Bear?
The black bear that originally inspired the movie never killed anybody after ingesting the cocaine. In fact, the bear died 45 minutes after consuming it. It was a typical aftermath considering the number of drugs it had eaten.
However, in the 2023 film ‘Cocaine Bear,’ the drugged mama bear goes on a rampage and kills eight people. The kills were ruthless, and the rampage was purely drug-induced in the film. Banks stated in an interview that “this movie could be seen as that bear’s revenge story.”
Where to Stream Cocaine Bear?
After its release in February 2023, Cocaine Bear recently made its way to streaming websites as well. The movie can be streamed on Prime Video and Peacock.
The movie’s production budget was $30-35 million, and a large portion was devoted to creating the bear with CGI. It made $64.3 million in the United States and Canada, with another $21 million in other territories.
While the movie’s performance was underwhelming, critics have tagged it as a film fit for action junkies who thrive on gore.