September 21, 2023

COCAINE BEAR 4K: Better Late Than Never?

2023 / 95 min
Available at
Review by Tiger the Terrible😼

The title alone made Cocaine Bear a viral sensation before it was even released. As further testament to its brief but significant cultural impact, we’ve already gotten a slew of drug addled movie critters in its wake, from meth-gators to cocaine crabs (which I kinda doubt will ever see a 4K release).

But do we really need Cocaine Bear in 4K? That’s a rhetorical question, of course. A lot of us need Cocaine Bear in 4K…because it’s Cocaine Bear in 4K. However, it would’ve been nice if this was released at the same time as the Blu-ray in April. Videophiles who already bought the Blu-ray (their only choice at the time), might be just a tad peeved.

Unlike the Sharknados of the world, Cocaine Bear isn’t a one-joke movie, nor does it wallow in smug self-awareness. Sure, the wild premise drives the plot, which gets an additional boost from being somewhat inspired by a true story (highly touted in the ad campaign). In 1985, a black bear did indeed ingest a buttload of blow that was dropped from an airplane by a smuggler. Sadly, the real bear overdosed and died, which would make for a damn depressing movie. 

Cocaine Bear necessities.
But here, the titular critter goes on a coked-up rampage, her new habit fueled by kilos dropped all over the Georgia hills. Those unfortunate enough to come across her usually end up dying in scenes that are both gory and hilarious. The ambulance sequence, in particular, is a delirious highlight. But while the bear is the unequivocal star - and often the protagonist - the film doesn’t simply coast on the novelty of its concept. Cocaine Bear features a lot of genuinely funny characters (including the so-called 'bad guys') and witty dialogue, along with a few amusing subplots and running gags unrelated to the bear.

Though unapologetically gory, Cocaine Bear isn't a horror movie, nor does it really try to be. It’s mostly comic in tone and very funny, earning laughs while resisting the urge to descend into pure camp. Nobody’s ever gonna mistake it for high art, but it’s a hell of a good time. At the very least, there’s more to the film than just a great title.

Again, the film was released on Blu-ray and DVD back in April, cheekily subtitled “Maximum Rampage Edition.” For some reason, we’re just now getting a 4K release. No maximum rampage this time around, but it certainly features maximum picture quality (the upgrade is definitely noticeable). There are also additional sound options, including a Dolby Atmos track for the 4K disc. The accompanying Blu-ray is the exact same as the one previously released, as are the bonus features. If coked-out clarity is your thing, this is the version to pick up. For everyone else, especially those who already grabbed the Blu-ray, it's probably not worth the added expense.



FEATURETTES - “All Roads Lead to Cokey: The Making of Cocaine Bear”; “UnBEARable Bloodbath: Dissecting the Kills”; “Doing Lines.”

AUDIO COMMENTARY - By director Elizabeth Banks and producer Max Handelman.



GAG REEL - Of course.

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