“Cocaine Bear”: a new cult classic

“Cocaine Bear” resides in the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall. It has been the mall’s mascot since 2015. Though the inciting incident of “Cocaine Bear” occured in Georgia, the bear was found dead in Kentucky. “Cocaine Bear, Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall” by Ferrett333 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

A new cult-classic creature-feature has hit the theaters — from the moment the trailer first came out, people were raving about “Cocaine Bear,” which was finally released in late February. Google reviewer LAND ROVER wrote, “I saw a trailer for this movie and seeing the poster and thinking it sounded like it’d be a laugh I gave it a go … absolutely best decision I could have made!”

The trailer spoke for itself: the film is about a bear on cocaine going on a murderous, gory yet still humorous rampage. For the viewers looking for a horror-comedy-creature-feature, you will not be disappointed. The trailer did not attempt to subvert expectations or hide an underlying plot. It is about a bear. On cocaine. Murdering people. And, in my humble opinion, it might be the best creature-feature to ever come to fruition.

The idea for the movie was not made up. Director Elizabeth Banks based the movie on a true story, although the source material was more tragic than funny. In 1985, a copious amount of drugs was lost in the wilderness of Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Park, and a bear did consume it. However, instead of going on a murderous rampage, the bear met its demise from a heart attack.

The idea of a bear doing cocaine, though — that can leave a lot up to the imagination. Yes, “Cocaine Bear” is incredibly goofy and rather unrealistic — obviously — but that is the appeal. Not only are half of the characters set up so that you want them dead, but the bear truly is the star of the show, regardless of the unnecessary, emotional B-plot that involves character development.

When it came to the acting, everyone did a surprisingly great job at being absolutely ridiculous yet realistic. But I must admit that throughout the movie, there was a little more character-building than necessary. And, honestly, who watches a movie about a bear on cocaine and cares about the sappy character development and drama on the side?

The movie was filmed decently. The shots were clean, the lighting set up nicely, and — although some scenes could drag on for too long — the cuts were well-done. For those who care about cinematography, there are no complaints in that sector.

However, it is not for the faint of heart. If gore is not your thing, I would not recommend it. If you are looking for a PG-rated movie to watch with the family, I would not recommend it. But for those that get a kick out of horror-comedy and the idea of a bear on cocaine, it is quite possibly the best movie.

It is universally known that, sometimes, the trailer is far superior to the movie itself. But I disagree in this case. Although the trailer consisted of mostly funny moments of the film, it was even funnier to see them in their full glory with context and set-up. For example, the part in the trailer where the nurse opens the door to find Cocaine Bear lurking in a dark corner is far more comedic and less suspenseful. Because, yes, a movie like this will be filled with cliches. But that is also part of its charm.

And that is what the official movie critics and some of the audience do not grasp: that the movie is not made to be deep and dramatic with interesting and profound characters. The movie is objectively stupid, and that is what makes it so good. However, the ratings made by Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB did not quite get that.

Hernán Ferreirós, a critic on Rotten Tomatoes, stated, “The problem with high-concept movies — which premise you can explain in a single tweet — is that once you present the concept on-screen, the only place to go is down.”

I disagree with that review. Just because it was high-concept does not remove the magic from the premise. Yes, the viewer can tell what the plot is from the trailer, but it certainly does not spoil the jokes, scenes, or plot points. All the trailer displayed was that it was about a bear on cocaine committing murder in a comedic fashion. The entire movie was just dumb fun and a good time, and there are several shockers in the film. The movie was goofy intentionally, and the jokes throughout did not fall short of amusing the intended audience.

So, move out of the way, “Jaws” and “Godzilla” — there is a new cult classic in town. After all, no matter how good or bad you might think the movie is, it is creative and will not be forgotten any time soon.