In 1985, a New York Times article reported that a 175-pound black bear had died of an overdose of cocaine “after discovering a batch of the drug”. Fast forward 30 years: Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear is based on that story. The brevity of the title combined with the preposterousness of the concept is already announcing itself as Snakes on a Plane for the TikTok generation.
It didn’t seem afraid of its own ridiculous premise
What do young cinemagoers want to see? Bears and cocaine – obviously. In a trailer that broke the internet, there was a feverish excitement for Banks’ horror camping trip: it promised chaos and pure nature in revolt. More importantly, it didn’t seem afraid of its own ridiculous premise: what would happen if the bear went on a killing spree… on cocaine!
Disappointingly, though, Cocaine Bear never delivers on the gore and the madness promised in the trailer and gets a bit muffled in an overplayed family subplot. What makes for interesting news, it seems, doesn’t necessarily work for a film. Nevertheless, Banks delivers a belting bit of fun and future cult classic of B-movie mayhem. ★ ★ ★
- Starts April 13, with Ray Liotta and Scott Seiss. D: Elizabeth Banks