The tale of Cokey the Bear


Meme of Paddington the bear and Cocaine Bear. Photo via Twitter.

Audra Gullquist, Has altered her brain chemistry by watching this movie

The comedic horror movie, Cocaine Bear, was released on Feb 24 and is loosely inspired by the 1985 incident in which a black bear ingested a fatal amount of cocaine in Georgia. The dark comedy film was directed by Elizabeth Banks and showcases an odd group of characters all running into the murderous bear in the forest. 


In the film, numerous duffle bags full of cocaine are thrown out of an airplane by a drug dealer. The duffle bags land in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. The drugs are then discovered by a curious black bear who tears open the duffle bags and ingests the cocaine. The bear then goes on a drug-induced rampage through the woods. 


Although in the true story of cocaine bear, no humans were harmed, that is definitely not the case in the movie. The movie follows groups of kids, drug dealers, cops, and tourists who are all wandering through the woods for various reasons. Many of the groups cross paths with one another on their journeys. However, all of the groups encounter the bear who is severely high on cocaine. They all quickly realize that the drugs have turned the bear into a bloodthirsty monster. All of the characters then desperately do anything in attempt to survive, which led to some entertaining antics. 


The real story behind the Cocaine bear was not as laughable as the movie portrayed it. The real-life cocaine bear did in fact stumble upon cocaine that was thrown out of a plane by Southern man, Andrew Thornton Ⅱ, right before his plane crashed. Thornton attempted to jump out of the plane, however his parachute failed to open and he was found dead in Knoxville, Georgia with 70 pounds of cocaine strapped to his body. The Knoxville police failed to find the rest of Thornton’s stash, but cocaine bear succeeded. 


However, the bear did not go on a murderous rampage. Instead, the bear endured a cocaine overdose. It was later found dead by a hunter. The coroner who performed the autopsy on the bear reportedly had it taxidermied and donated to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. It later went missing and tossed away between local pawn shops. Cocaine bear then landed in the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky, where it is still displayed to this day. It can be seen in the mall wearing one of his various hats and with an opened bag laying on his feet, to represent his death. 

The film scored a six out of 10 stars on IMDb, a 69 percent on rotten tomatoes and a 54/100 on Metacritic. The overall assessment among viewers seems to be that the film is just mediocre. It is not bad, but did not live up to its fullest potential either. Viewer Bill Goodykoontz solidified this opinion in his review that stated “It’s stupid by design, but it’s not stupid enough. … It plays like an idea in search of a film. Desperately in search of, and never quite finding it.”

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