The addicting narrative of “Cocaine Bear”


Universal Pictures

“Cocaine Bear” brings a quick hyperbolic story to theaters keeping the outrageous nature of the name for the duration of the film. The film serves as an action-thriller as a Georgia black bear terrorizes the locals and outsiders of Blood Mountain, Georgia. With an apex predator under the influence of highly-illegal cocaine for the duration of the movie, the bear became the top apex predator in the world..

Emilio Medina, Reporter

A film that explains itself just by its name, “Cocaine Bear” maintains outrageous vibrations throughout the film. Directed by actress and filmmaker Elizabeth Banks, the movie breaks current norms with a simplified plot to portray the bear as the star of the show. “Cocaine Bear” takes a huge risk with a blunt story, but their method pays off with an overall enjoyable experience that audiences will not forget.

The film takes inspiration from a true story from 1985. September 11, 1985, police discovered the dead body of paratrooper Andrew Carter Thorton with 77 pounds of cocaine, thousands of dollars in cash and a bulletproof vest. He died after his parachute failed to open after jumping out of a plane. Before his death, he dropped 75 pounds of cocaine to relieve weight from his aircraft. A 175-pound black bear then discovered the collection, indulged in the pile of cocaine and died from an overdose shortly after. The stuffed body now resides in a mall in Kansas now named Pablo Eskobear. The film then immortalized the bear’s story on the big screen.

“I thought it was gonna be more of a comedy horror movie and I honestly thought it was gonna be more gruesome. That’s what I thought about it beforehand. After watching the movie I thought it was one of my favorite films of 2023 so far. It’s one of those movies where you just shut off your brain and you just look at everything happening,” junior Fabio Luis Martinez said.

The film begins with Thorton throwing cocaine out of his airplane before falling to his death. After using real news footage covering the death of Thorton, the movie transitions between various stories. All the stories meet up at Blood Mountain, Georgia while the real story took place in Chattahoochee National Park.  

Crime drama, family film and gore-fest best describe this movie with an anecdote for each genre. One story follows a single mom chasing her rambunctious 13-year-old daughter, played by Brooklyn Prince, with her friend after they skip school to hike up the mountain, representing the family genre. After the drug traffickers’ cargo dropped into the forest, his boss, Syd, dispatches his son and henchman to recover the millions of dollars of cocaine. That story represents the crime drama with a detective following them into the forest. The last genre, gore-fest, represents the bear itself with gruesome deaths at the hands of a coked-up momma black bear. The movie introduced a couple of characters to kill them off not even 10 minutes later simply. At the end of the film, all three stories and genres combine to create a satisfying ending with the credits showing the aftermath of the traumatic experience.

Unlike other pieces of media that stay in the audience’s minds long after leaving the theater, audiences tend to forget about them due to their lack of deep meaning. The comedy comes from the outrageous situation of a bear under the influence of cocaine. In one scene of the movie, the bear sniffs cocaine off of a dismembered leg similar to the way people would sniff lines of cocaine.

 “It wasn’t really a comedy horror, it was more like a comedy, I mean it’s a bear on cocaine. I think cocaine bear did best at making a movie that you don’t really have to think about. I mean, it was a bear on cocaine. Honestly, the CGI was better than ant man. The fact that I really didn’t care for any of the characters made it more fun. The plot was just there but truly the star of the show was the bear,” Martinez said.

The Chant’s Rating: B