Starring: Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. and Ray Liotta
Directed by: Elizabeth Banks
Running time: 95 minutes
Normally when a film is advertised as “based/inspired by a true story,” you think to yourself, cool. However, when I first heard this comment used about “Cocaine Bear” I had to chuckle. Really? A beat that goes on a cocaine bender? Yeah, right. Then I spoke with a friend of mine who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. She knew all about the story BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!
It’s sometime in the 1980s. America is in the middle of a huge drug epidemic. “Just say no,” is the message related by everyone from Nancy Reagan to Pee Wee Herman. Sadly there are no television in the woods.
A plane flies overhead in the darkness. Aboard is a man packaging up bundles of cocaine to drop into the woods below for his associates to recover and put on the street. An onboard mishap causes the plane to crash, with the wreckage (and drugs’) strewn all over. Anyone could come along and find the illicit cargo. Hikers. Kids. A bear.
A film that mixes dark humor and horror perfectly is indeed a rarity, but “Cocaine Bear” pulls this mixture off almost seamlessly. Director Banks and screenwriter Jimmy Warden have woven together a film that is both funny and terrifying.
The cast is full of colorful characters, ranging from Russell’s frantic mom searching for her daughter to Jackson’s almost too responsible drug runner to Margo Martindale as a park ranger with romance on her mind. Throw in recent Tony award winner Jesse Tyler Ferguson as a local wildlife expert and the late Ray Liotta in one of his final performances and you have a group of actors who, instead of going for camp, play the situations straight. And don’t forget the bear, who shows an amazing range of emotions. Add a soundtrack consisting of some of the era’s greatest hits and you have the formula for an entertaining night at the movies.
It is now available to own on digital, Blu-ray and DVD.
The ‘MAXIMUM RAMPAGE EDITION’ has the following features:
Deleted & Extended Scenes
All Roads Lead to Cokey: The Making of COCAINE BEAR – Meet the hilarious ensemble brought together to bring the movie of what is soon to be the world’s most famous bear to life.
UnBEARable Bloodbath: Dissecting the Kills – From rigging to special effects makeup, to some of the actors doing their own stunts, we’ll get a bears-eye view into some of COCAINE BEAR’s hilarious and gory kill scenes.
Doing Lines – Cast and filmmakers read lines from the script to COCAINE BEAR, which was a work of art unto itself.
Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Elizabeth Banks and Producer Max Handelman