Cocaine Bear – Maximum Rampage Edition (Blu-ray Review)

From the moment the marketing began with Cocaine Bear, the world was well aware of its presence. And rather than just being something goofy shared with friends and chuckled at on social media, people actually were curious and showed up to the movie. And, they also were plenty satisfied with what they saw. In addition to coming to Peacock this month, its also hitting Blu-ray on April 18th. Nope, no 4K Ultra-HD for the hit film, but maybe later on. The disc is pretty full of some solid extras, including a commentary, alternate ending and multiple featurettes. You can order yourself a copy using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.



Inspired by the 1985 true story of a drug runner’s plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it, this wild dark comedy finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow … and blood.

To be fair, Cocaine Bear delivers exactly what you’d be expecting in a film like that. Its a wild concept with silly characters, gory kills and some decent shock value elements. However, it can’t help but feel like its lack “something” to gel it all together better. Maybe its in the script, the editing or other elements, but between the crazy bear stuff or action things, a lot of stuff sort of plays a little flat. This movie certainly has the capable cast, so I really can’t lay that on them. After about the halfway point (Probably about where the EMT pair shows up, one played by comedian Scott Seiss), things do pick up considerably. Up until that, I was about to label the film “Cocaine Bore”.

Elizabeth Banks film does know how and when to hit with the deaths, attacks and gore elements. The computer effects hold up solid as does a nice mixing with stunts, practical and make-up work. These work on a core level, but one could help but think there’s a director out there who could have sold this even more effectively. However, there is an ambulance chase that’s done quite effectively that has a series of fun obstacles and humorous challenges that works and is a seminal highlight of the movie.

Cocaine Bear is a film that works pretty decently, but feels it could have maybe worked better and still played the laughs well had it just been done as a straight genre picture and not been so self aware. Alligator comes to mind as the pinnacle sterling B picture that hits all the notes and gets everything right. There’s self aware stuff there in subtle ways throughout that script, but the actors and crew shoot it like they are making Jaws with whatever quarters they found under the couch cushion. Cocaine Bear could have used some of that lo fi element, but as is, it still does well enough and serves as a solid time killer with friends.


Encoding: MPEG4-AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Cocaine Bear opts not for a 4K, but rather a standard Blu-ray release in its debut. And its about the best you could ask for here. Its a bright, vivid image that is sharp and able to showcase very fine details in any reasonable distance in the frame. Not saying it takes the format to its limits, but I’m not sure they could do a whole lot better than this.

Depth:  Depth of field is pretty rock solid. This transfer really captures some of the lens work here in showcasing both scope and some good pushback in many of the interior sequences. Movements are smooth and natural.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and inky. They are only ever so slightly on the grayer side. There’s good distinction of texture, pattern and fine details that still come cleanly through in even some of the darkest areas. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are a little bit more on the vivid side and the 80s fashion does get a bit of a pop. Keri Russell’s outfit for example as well as some nice blues and greens in this transfer.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and textures are razor sharp and easily discernible.

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean


Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 DTS, English Descriptive Video Service

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: So now 4K for the video and no Atmos here for the sound. This 7.1 mix is up to task, however and plenty good for the viewing. Its a balanced mix with good layering and depth. Most of the action is driven up front. Its a blend that engages quite well and should satisfy when partaking in the film.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer booms with the bear roar, stomping, crashing, glass shatter, engines roaring, guns blasting and the music bumping.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a mostly front heavy experience, though the mix does well with the travel around the room and tracking offscreen activity after an angle change. Rear and side channels provide good environment building and ambiance for a solid atmosphere.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


Cocaine Bear – Maximum Rampage Edition comes with the standard DVD edition and a redeemable digital code.

Audio Commentary

  • with Director/Producer Elizabeth Banks and Producer Max Handelman

Alternate Ending (HD, :48)

Gag Reel (HD, 1:54)

Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD, 4:33)

All Roads Lead to Cokey: The Making of COCAINE BEAR (HD, 9:14) – This swiftly goes through the genesis of the project, Elizabeth on what she brings with her direction, working with Elizabeth, the cast of the film and the bear performer,

UnBEARable Bloodbath: Dissecting the Kills (HD, 8:16) – This piece is a bout the stunts and special effects make-up in the film as well as the actors takes on doing these kills and attacks.

Doing Lines (HD, 4:00) – The cast reads the directions in the script dramatically as some classy orchestral music plays.


Cocaine Bear is a solid enough time for a trashy movie night with some select moments properly placed to make it worth the while and never dull. Despite a successful theatrical run, Universal only opts for it to be on standard Blu-ray. They present it with about the best you could ask for without a format jump and provide a rock solid wealth of extras to keep the fun going.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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