Cocaine Bear, directed by Elizabeth Banks, focuses on a black bear who ingests cocaine and goes on a rampage, continuing one strange February trend.
Despite its strance concept of a bear ingesting cocaine and going on a killing spree, Cocaine Bear actually continues a strange February trend. Written and directed by actress Elizabeth Banks, it’s loosely based on the true story of drug smuggler Andrew Thornton’s stash of 75 pounds of cocaine which, after dropping from a plane along the Georgia-Tennesse border, was partially consumed by a mountain bear. In that instance, the only person harmed was Thornton after parachuting into the forest, but Banks imagines the wild ride that might have happened if a 500-pound black bear got a hold of much of the merchandise and encountered hikers, campers, and park rangers.
Like an ode to the horror action comedies of the ’90s and early ’00s such as Lake Placid, Snakes on a Plane, and Sharknado, Cocaine Bear combines a strong cast with dark humor and an outrageous premise. Its trailer is already the best of 2023 thanks to all of these elements working so seamlessly with its graphic violence and gore, guaranteeing a wild and entertaining ride full of carnage. Even though it stands out quite a bit from the other releases in February, it still bears a resemblance to another film that features some of its more original elements.
February 2023’s Theater Releases Include 2 Killer Bear Movies
Cocaine Bear’s release in February 2023 means the month has not one, but two movies about killer bears. A week prior, the slasher film Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood & Honey depicted an anthropomorphic Winnie the Pooh who becomes feral after his friend Christopher Robin grows up and abandons him in the Hundred Acre Wood, taking on the hunting instincts of a carnivore. Along with Piglet and Eeyore, the movie turned beloved children’s characters into horror nightmares and its titular bear into a Michael Myers-like killer.
Bloody & Honey‘s bear can technically talk, while the black bear in Cocaine Bear is still very much a wild animal. Pooh takes out his revenge on Christopher Robin by methodically stalking and murdering anyone who comes to the Hundred Acre Wood, while the bear high on cocaine simply becomes a giant fluffy ball of absolute chaos. Thankfully, the two killer bear movies are different enough from one another to offer something entertaining for anyone intrigued enough to give either one of them a try.
How Winnie-The-Pooh & Cocaine Bear Have Already Become 2023 Highlights
Even with poor reviews Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood & Honey has already proven to be a box office success, and with the highly-anticipated Cocaine Bear, these two killer bear movies have become the highlights of 2023. Blood & Honey is already being treated as the first of a possible franchise, and Banks is already talking about how a Cocaine Bear sequel could work. January kicked off a new year with strong horror films like M3GAN, about an AI companion gone haywire, and continued with Infinity Pool, about a resort full of hedonistic murderers, indicating audiences will show up to get thrilled no matter how niche or surreal the storylines.
Early reviews for Cocaine Bear have been promising, with Jim Schembri calling it “a fun, self-consciously cheesy B-grade action comedy” and Doug Jamieson declaring it to be “a film that knows precisely what it is and gleefully serves up 95 minutes of pure unadulterated fun.” (via The Jam Report). It currently holds a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes from the reviews available, and seems fully capable of delivering all the carnal cleverness it’s advertised. The February trend of killer bears might pass, but ingenuity, whimsy, and a little bit of chaos will never go out of style as far as horror movies are concerned.