In Cocaine Bear, as the titular bear devours a ton of coke, it becomes a killing machine. It’s why Keri Russell’s Sari is trying to find young Dee Dee and Henry, getting the kids out of its warpath. However, things become complicated when Eddie, Daveed and Ray Liotta’s Syd come for their drugs, knowing his superiors will seek reprisal for losing all the cocaine.
This turns out to be a gift for the bear because, with drugs littered all over, it keeps powering up and looking for fresh blood. It’s like a video game in the way it keeps leveling up and finding new victims. With that in mind, let’s break down some of the goriest kills, which admittedly do have humor mixed in.
Cocaine Bear proves how outlandish it is when, in the first act, the bear scales a tree in a ridiculous manner, attacking Peter, the wildlife inspector. As it smells cocaine on him, it rushes up and devours his mid-section. It then continues consuming him as he hangs from a branch, eventually severing his leg and dropping him to the dirt in a squeamish scene.
In this park, there’s a gang running around robbing tourists. However, a couple of the members, Vest and Ponytail, hole up at the Ranger’s cabin. There, a wounded Ranger, Liz, tries to use her pistol to fire on the bear when it comes to finish her off after the Peter skirmish. Unfortunately, she’s a terrible shot and accidentally blows Ponytail’s brains out. It’s a graphic scene as splatter and goo end up all over Vest.
Cocaine Bear’s opening scene has Elsa and her beloved Olaf taking pics of nature, not realizing the bear is hostile. It eventually attacks, grabbing Elsa and taking her into the bushes. It claws her up à la The Revenant before ripping her leg off. It’s a brutal scene that leaves Olaf distraught, showing fans off the cuff how scary the bear will be.
Cocaine Bear has an iconic ambulance chase where paramedics, Tom and Beth, sneak into the cabin to rescue Liz. Vest is ripped up off-screen, but they’re able to extract the Ranger. Sadly, the bear chases their ambulance at high-speed, leaps into the hold and rips Tom apart. It’s another sequence that doesn’t hold back, with Tom being gutted mercilessly.
Now, this is a two-for because the bear doesn’t directly kill them. As the ambulance speeds off, the stretcher carrying Liz is chucked out the back, leading to her body smacking the road and having her face grated off. It’s a Mortal Kombat-like fatality, which Cocaine Bear doubles down on as Beth crashes the ambulance into a tree. She’s flung out through the windshield, with viewers getting a full view of her body hitting the ground, leaving it broken and mangled.
The finale has the unhinged Syd getting tangled up with a duffel bag of coke in a cave. He’s left hanging and swinging, encouraging the bear to crawl up and slice his stomach apart. Her cubs then playfully feed off his innards, which does feel like dark karma since he wanted to slaughter the entire furry family to get his drugs back.
“Cocaine Bears Takes a Shot at Competing Movie Scream VI”
Cocaine Bear may not yet be in theaters but the movie has already taken to calling out its rivals in the horror genre, including Scream VI’s infamous Ghostface.
On Feb. 15, film enthusiast and social media influencer Erick Weber polled their followers, asking them to select which film they would choose to watch if they could only pick one: Cocaine Bear, or Scream VI. Four days later, the official Cocaine Bear account replied to the post, writing, “i’m a bear on cocaine. he’s just a guy with a mask.” Ghostface, via the official Scream Twitter account, responded to the provocative statement himself, writing, “I’ll spoil your product with [blood],” using a blood drop emoji. Cocaine Bear won Weber’s poll by a blowout, accumulating about 78.4% of the vote with over 1,200 votes cast.
While Scream VI is the latest film in the iconic franchise, Cocaine Bear is the first of its kind and is a dark comedy-action film loosely based on real events. Directed by Elizabeth Banks and featuring an ensemble cast including the likes of Keri Russell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ray Liotta in one of his final film roles, Cocaine Bear is based on the real bear which, in 1985, ingested about 75 pounds of cocaine before dying shortly afterward. The cocaine, which had been worth about $2 million, had been dropped by drug smugglers in rural Tennessee. Unlike in the film, however, the real Cocaine Bear did not go on a killing rampage; It is unknown what happened between the creature ingesting the cocaine and his death shortly thereafter.
Scream VI, meanwhile, will be the first film in the series not to feature David Arquette as Dewey Riley or Neve Campbell as protagonist Sidney Prescott. While Arquette’s character was killed off in Scream V, Campbell’s absence owes to disputes she had with Paramount Pictures over her contract and salary. Other actors from previous films will be returning however, including Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers, and Roger L. Jackson as the iconic Ghostface voice. Scream VI is co-directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, both of whom also directed the fifth movie in 2022.