The core concept of Cocaine Bear is that of a bear high on cocaine.
A number of well-known actors, including Ray Liotta, Kerri Russell, Margo Martindale, Alden Ehrenreich, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and O’Shea Jackson Jr., are featured in this film. It is the final film that Ray Liotta worked on before his passing. The story begins with two paramedics who have been sent to a rural cabin and are confronted by a bear (yes, another pun) scenario when they arrive there. When one of the paramedics opens the door to a room in the cabin, he is immediately attacked by a bear that is covered in blood. This is how the paramedic learns that people have either been injured or killed.
Things go even farther off the rails as we find out that the bear has consumed what seems to be a kilogram of cocaine and is now on the quest for more drugs, killing everybody who is in his way. If you can image that, things go even further off the rails. It’s a comedy with a focus on the dark side, but the most important issue is: Where did the bear acquire the cocaine? This is when some additional “true occurrences” enter the picture.
There is such a thing as the Cocaine Bear.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a 175-pound black bear apparently died of an overdose of cocaine after discovering a batch of the drug. This information was included in a brief blurb that appeared in the December 1985 edition of The New York Times. The passage was written in a casual tone and did not generate much excitement. It goes on to say the cocaine was “dropped from a plane piloted by Andrew Thornton, a convicted drug smuggler who died Sept. 11 in Knoxville, Tenn., because he was carrying too heavy a load while parachuting.”
Thornton was described as a “former narcotics officer and suspended lawyer who plunged to his death from a plane holding cocaine with a street value of $14 million who had a history of drug and arms involvement across the nation” in a report that appeared in the Los Angeles Times two months prior to his passing. The article stated that Thornton had a “history of drug and arms involvement across the nation.”
The authorities in Tennessee had the suspicion that Thornton had made arrangements to meet someone in order to deliver the cocaine once he arrived in their state. Even though a bear was responsible for finding some of it, it is unlikely that the person in question was a bear.