Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Cocaine BearCocaine Bear is violent and incredibly gory, which means the deaths that transpire — all 11 of them — certainly live up to the film’s R rating. Directed by Elizabeth Banks from a screenplay by Jimmy Warden, Cocaine Bear is loosely based on the true events that transpired in 1985. The film released in theaters February 24 and received a mostly positive critical reception, with Warden stating he’s got several ideas for sequels should they be given the green light by Universal.
Cocaine Bear is focused on the eponymous character, but there are a plethora of humans involved in the story. While the action comedy has plenty of survivors, the amount of fatalities is great. The Cocaine Bear goes berserk at various points throughout the film, though it isn’t the cocaine-fueled black bear that winds up securing every kill. There is the occasion when the human characters — some of whom carry guns — are responsible for quite a few deaths. Paired with the Cocaine Bear’s merciless hunting, the film’s kill count continued to grow, saving one of the biggest character deaths to the end.
11 Andrew C. Thornton
Andrew C. Thornton, who is based on the real-life ex-narcotics officer and drug smuggler, gleefully tosses pounds of cocaine from his plane. But when he gets ready to jump, Thornton ends up hitting his head on the plane door, knocking himself out before he’s pulled from the plane to the ground below. The way Elizabeth Banks frames this particular death in Cocaine Bear is obviously meant for laughs, especially since Thornton head-bumping the plane door is so unexpected, abruptly ending his jubilation. In reality, Thornton’s parachute was faulty, which ultimately led to his death.
10 Elsa the Tourist
Not long after Thornton is found dead, a pair of tourists, Elsa and her husband Olaf (a couple of names that recall Disney’s animated Frozen), are hiking Blood Mountain. They’re happy together, discussing their future child when they spot a bear. They make the mistake of thinking the Cocaine Bear is cute before she notices them. Elsa and Olaf make a run for it, but Cocaine Bear drags Elsa away, brutally slicing her open and cutting off her limbs with claws and mouth alike. Elsa’s death is the first casualty of Cocaine Bear, and it sets the stage for just how dangerous and lethal the black bear is.
9 Peter the Wildlife Inspector
Peter is the wildlife inspector of the park where the Cocaine Bear stalks her prey. Peter is visiting, and being flirted with by Liz, the park ranger, when they’re both called away by Keri Russell’s Sari to help her find her daughter Dee Dee. The trio is discovered by Cocaine Bear and Peter has the bad idea of hiding in a tree, his position made more obvious by the fact that he’d fallen on top of some cocaine, which alerts the wild animal to his presence. Peter doesn’t stand a chance against the Cocaine Bear, and is viciously torn apart, his limbs sliced right off his body in a bloody heap.
Ponytail is the second of the three teenagers to kick the bucket in Cocaine Bear. While trapped inside the park ranger’s office, they’re attacked by the bear, but it’s while Liz is attempting to get a shot at the bear that she winds up killing Ponytail instead. He was, she claims, standing in her way of a clear shot. It’s one of the deaths that isn’t Cocaine Bear’s fault, though there’s no doubt she would have killed him first if given the chance. The teenager dies right in front of the door to the office, initially preventing the paramedics from entering.
Vest is one of three teenagers who have been stealing from the park, even threatening O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s Daveed with a knife (until he beats them up). Vest is attacked by the Cocaine Bear while inside Ranger Liz’s office. He and his friend have just stolen once again when Cocaine Bear’s eponymous character pops in through the chimney, lashing out and slaughtering Vest. The teenager never really stood a chance against the cocaine-loving black bear.
6 Liz the Park Ranger
Liz the park ranger is a memorable character in Cocaine Bear. She doesn’t like when people think she isn’t cut out for her job, and has a crush on Peter the wildlife inspector. Unfortunately, her tough attitude isn’t enough to keep her alive. Liz survives her first encounter with the Cocaine Bear, though she’s deeply injured. After the paramedics get her into the ambulance, however, the Cocaine Bear comes after them and the fight for survival ultimately sends her flying out of the ambulance, face scraping the ground, still tied to the gurney. The consequences of trying to get away from the Cocaine Bear definitely caught up to her.
5 Tom the Paramedic
Tom the EMT was only trying to help when he walked into the chaos of Elizabeth Banks’ movie. He and his coworker, Beth, managed to rescue Liz, but they didn’t expect the Cocaine Bear to come after them. Tom does his best to stop the feral creature from killing him while in a moving vehicle, but the black bear eventually wins out, and Tom is torn to shreds. With the Cocaine Bear having made it inside the ambulance, Tom never really stood a chance in such a small space. Trying to save Liz and himself at the same time didn’t work out.
4 Beth the Paramedic
Like Tom, Beth, a paramedic, was panicked that the Cocaine Bear would hurt them. Beth was in charge of driving the ambulance, so she couldn’t exactly defend herself from the rampaging bear, but she did the best she could to get herself, Tom, and Liz out of the park and to safety. Unfortunately, the Cocaine Bear was relentless in her attack. Between the terror, the grizzly attacks, and the pressure to get to safety, Beth drove the ambulance straight into a tree. The paramedic was thrown from the vehicle, dying instantly from the impact.
3 Detective Bob
Detective Bob was immediately on the case to find the cocaine, and potentially find the men after it. Unfortunately, this puts him in direct contact with Eddie and Daveed, who is keen on grabbing the duffel bag Bob managed to get to first. While they have a stand-off that lasts quite a bit, they decide to call a truce to deal with the Cocaine Bear. What ultimately kills Bob isn’t the violent bear, who goes after the bag of cocaine Bob throws, but Syd, who arrives on the scene and immediately shoots Bob. The detective stays alive for a bit, long enough to realize Reba’s betrayed him, but he dies soon after.
2 Olaf the Tourist
After Elsa’s death, it was assumed Olaf (whom his wife called Kristoffer) had also been killed by the Cocaine Bear. However, the tourist managed to survive somehow. Olaf ultimately helped Sari find her daughter Dee Dee, and it looked like he was going to make it, after all. Unfortunately for him, Olaf was killed by the Cocaine Bear. His death likely happened at some point after leaving the cave, perhaps on the trek back to his previous location. Eddie, Daveed, and Syd find his body outside the cave, his guts hanging out of his body. It was surely a gruesome death.
1 Syd Dentwood
Syd was adamant about retrieving the duffel bags of cocaine, no matter the cost. This endeavor put Eddie, Daveed, and Reba’s lives on the line, but Syd didn’t care. Syd’s stubborn quest didn’t end well. Not only did he end up in a stand-off with the wild animal at the end of Cocaine Bear, but he was also attacked by her bear cubs, both of which had the same hungry eyes as their mother. Syd was so afraid that his crime bosses would threaten his life if he didn’t return with the cocaine, but it ended up costing the drug smuggler his life.
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