The Cosmic Monster in the Woods: The Mixmaster Trailer for the 2017 Salt Lake City Film Festival, Vol. 3: The Cat Person
Cocaine Bear then cuts to an amorous pair of hikers in the woods below. They are deeply in love, harping on about their wedding and their oneness with the natural world, and therefore destined for a foul end. Sure enough, they spot and begin to take pictures of a bear, and the audience gets its first glimpse of the bristling CGI beast, coked up to its eyeballs, gyrating against a pine. Bloody limbs are soon flying through the trees. You have been warned that Cocaine Bear is brutal. In the heat of the maulings, the film shifts from comic to disturbing: Intestines are exposed; heads roll.
Coming a few weeks before Cocaine Bear’s February 24 release is M3GAN. This column has already touched on the doll dance moves that the film trailer inspired, and there’s no need to re-read them. It was hard to not see the irony of a movie about artificial intelligence being promoted with a marketing campaign designed for peak virality, as if the same algorithms were responsible for both its script.
The lineup for the Salt Lake City film festival was announced this week. The Cat Person is among the most eye-catching entries. While it’s based on the New Yorker short story of the same name, there’s no word yet on whether the film will follow that story’s narrative completely, but if it does it will be interesting to see if it generates the same level of attention and discussion.
Originally published in 2017, “Cat Person” landed amidst a flurry of conversations around #MeToo and, as a story about a college sophomore’s complicated relationship with an older man, found itself at the center of the zeitgeist. It was credited with sending the internet into ameltdown, and is still mentioned in almost every reference to it. A retelling may have different results than before, but it looks like it might ride a similar wave. (Side note: The author of “Cat Person,” Kristen Roupenian, wrote the story on which Bodies Bodies Bodies—another film for the extremely online—was based.)
The bear is a lot funnier than lake Placid: Finding a missing cocaine shipment in the Chattahoochee woods
Although “Snakes” comes to mind among killer-animal comedies, the more germane comparison might be “Lake Placid,” which found laughs and scares in the rampage of a giant alligator. “Bear” doesn’t achieve that level of wit, but it does ratchet up the gore factor with limbs occasionally flying in all directions, those body parts looking a whole lot more realistic than the bear itself.
The movie is very much inspired by true events, including the shipment of cocaine that went missing in the Georgia woods in the 1980’s, and it does something you might see in a David. At times, it feels like a hat and love for picnic baskets is all that is missing.
Creative liberties were taken for the film. This bear has a lot more fun. The movie opens on a plane zooming over the forests of Chattahoochee, Georgia, with an aviator-clad guy who cannot be anything other than an ’80s drug dealer disco dancing and hurling red duffle bags out of the emergency door. He meets the same end as his real life counterpart, banging his head and falling unconscious after the bags.
Jimmy Warden wrote a comedy about a bunch of actors in smallish roles that make everyone expendable.
There is a drug dealer and his employees, who were dispatched to locate the missing coke, and a mom trying to find her hooky-playing child, played by OShea Jackson, Jr.
“Cocaine Bear” is not a Bad Idea: A Bad Idea for a Great Picture, despite Its Failures With Coke
The problem with that template is nobody really registers until they become potential bear food. Already an apex predator, this genetically enhanced bear has special abilities and appetites, with the only way to escape those slavering jaws being to distract the addicted beast with more cocaine.
Exploitation fare has its place, and nobody can accuse “Cocaine Bear” of taking itself too seriously. The movie can still be viewed in the coming attractions, with a scene where the star chases an ambulance and thelevator pitch still fresh in the mind.
The genre does reflect an expansion of Banks’ directing resume after “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Charlie’s Angels,” and the film only runs about 95 minutes, so the filmmakers were wise enough not to overly stretch an already-thin premise beyond its limitations.
Then again, Universal, which is releasing the movie, recently enjoyed another low-budget horror hit with the meme-worthy “M3GAN,” which has already spawned plans for a sequel. It does not cost much to be menaced by a bear in the woods, even if you have a modicum of success.
It would be beneficial to give more thanks to the concept than the movie, which shows that things do not always go better with coke.
Blood Mountain: The Adventures of a Wacky Bard – The Wire’s Isiah Willlock Jr.
The stage is set, then, for a cast of wacky characters to descend on Blood Mountain to retrieve the gear. You have Syd White, arch-drug dealer (played by the late Ray Liotta); his wimpy son with a penchant for plain penne pasta (played by Solo’s Alden Ehrenreich); and Syd’s deputy, Daveed, played by O’Shea Jackson Jr. The Wire’s Isiah willlock Jr. plays a police detective who’s worried about his “fancy dog”, Rosette, and is on their trail. There are other tempting death-by-drug-bears: a pair of kids cutting school and a concerned mother in pursuit, a park ranger and a Smokey Bear-loving wildlife man who patrol the woods stabbing people for loot, and a gang of colorfully dressed hoodlums who Some are savage and some aren’t. Then the film ends.