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With films like “Snakes on a Plane” and “Sharknado,” it’s not a stretch that moviegoers are now getting a “Cocaine Bear.” The title itself harkens back to such sleazy ’80s flicks as “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama” and “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” And the trailer does not disappoint. A shipment of cocaine gets airdropped from an airplane, a bear eats it, and it goes on a drug-induced murder spree. Sounds like a blast, right?
“Cocaine Bear” is loosely based on real events (emphasis on loosely). In the true story, a drug smuggler tossed kilos of cocaine out of an airplane, a bear ate it, and it died. There was no rampage, no dead bodies, no nothing. (Except for the drug trafficker, Andrew Carter Thornton II, who did end up dying after falling from the plane.) It’s just weird enough to turn into a dark comedy, and all but guaranteed for box office success.
Judging by the trailer, writer Jimmy Warden, whose notable credits include “The Babysitter” and “The Roommate,” clearly gets the humor right, perfectly balanced with grisly depictions of mauling and other acts of violence. Cokey the Cocaine Bear also has a few moments to shine, mostly as it feels the effects of cocaine coursing in its bloodstream. With director Elizabeth Banks at the helm, the pressure is on to deliver, especially after her last two directorial features, “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Charlie’s Angels.” “Cocaine Bear” gets high on February 24.
If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).