Riding the Storm Out with “Cocaine Bear”

Last week, Michigan was hit by a monstrous ice storm. Hundreds of thousands of residents were left without electricity, our home included. Area hotels were quickly running out of available rooms, but my wife and I decided to ride out the storm and power outages—for a bit, anyway. 

After passing a chilly night in our heatless abode, we ventured forth to seek the basic human needs of warmth, illumination, caffeine, and an internet connection. We sojourned through sundry cafes and shopping venues, spending little and shivering less. Yet, despite the arduous and dangerous efforts of utility work crews to restore our power in the face of plummeting temperatures and the leaden ice menacingly reforming on sagging tree limbs, our power remained out as the hours slipped past. Where could we continue our quest for suitable shelter?

At this critical juncture in our struggle for convenience, I was compelled to suffer for my articles. My wife suggested we go to the movies and see “Cocaine Bear,” the trailer of which I had written about for American Greatness. I countered that the article had been a tongue in cheek review of only the trailer which, I noted, was free on the internet. She pointedly reminded me that we had no power and, ergo, no internet and no trailer. She reiterated her desire to see “Cocaine Bear.” 

On the drive to the multi-screen theater, I pondered the availability of tickets. Not only was it a Friday night, but there was a possibility the usual crowd of moviegoers would be swelled by other residents who, like ourselves, opted for the cineplex to pass the time until the work crews could restore their power. Plus, it was opening night for “Cocaine Bear.” Would the odds of purchasing two seats be slim to none?

The cineplex was a ghost town. Buying two tickets proved easy, if you consider paying over 20 dollars for two tickets easy. Still, it was a tad easier than paying over 10 dollars for a bucket of popcorn. At least there was no line. And the theater did have heat and occasional light. Heck, maybe “Cocaine Bear” would exceed my expectations? Could it prove a campy send up of the human versus animal like “Jaws”? Could the film evoke a bit of nostalgia for a once precocious 11-year-old who experienced that Tinseltown extravaganza of exploitation, “Grizzly”? (“18 feet of towering fury. The most dangerous jaws in the land.” And it may even have been in Sensurround!) Perhaps, throughout the years my expectations for Hollywood’s dream making magicians had, cynically, sunk too low? We entered Theater 5 and hoped.

. . . And we waited through an interminable parade of ads, public announcements, and previews in varying degrees of wokeness, puerile humor(lessness), and gore. The 10-dollar bucket of popcorn was long gone before the curtain rose on “Cocaine Bear.” Bloated, and inured to the Left’s pervasive preening hypocrisy, far from being “triggered” I nearly drifted off to sleep. It wasn’t to be, thanks to the rancid stench of the discount ragweed being vaped by one of the half-dozen other audience members who had resorted to his own means of nodding off.

Prior to turning off my phone to promote the collective viewing experience as “suggested” by a disembodied, officious voice, I texted American Greatness’ managing editor, Ben Boychuk. Boychuk had once casually suggested I might follow up my review of the “Cocaine Bear” trailer with a full movie review when it hit theaters. I demurred. Now, in my text I opined to Boychuk how it is unfortunate that the movie industry has blacklisted conservatives and populists, because the people who write for the Babylon Bee could certainly make movie magic. Indeed, if they had scripted this film, the cocaine bear’s name would have been “Hunter.” 

But my insolence in texting Boychuk proved karma is, among other things, sadistic. In his neck of the woods, Boychuk was experiencing his own storm-related challenges, such as being snowed in. In no mood for jocularity or mercy, Boychuk stressed that since only one of us could travel to the movies or anywhere else, he would be awaiting my full review of “Cocaine Bear.” Pitying a cornered animal—me—I acquiesced.  

My full movie review of “Cocaine Bear”: it sucked.

That’s unfair. 

“Cocaine Bear” totally, utterly, and completely sucked. 

My faith in Hollywood is literally shaking right now. So, too, is my faith in the sanity of the wags at the Babylon Bee, who conjured this nightmare scenario: “Sequel ‘Rehab Bear’ Green-Lit By Producers.” Their bemusing conclusion was [Spoiler Alert!]: 

At publishing time, creators of the film were already brainstorming potential future installments of the franchise, including ‘Relapse Bear,’ ‘Cocaine Bear Hits Rock Bottom,’ and the natural conclusion of the series—‘Cocaine Bear Runs for Congress.’

Being eaten by an “apex predator, high on cocaine” would be too good for Congress. Really, how long does it take to be munched by a drug addled ursine? Better to punish them by forcing them to view “Cocaine Bear,” which will scar their sociopathic psyches for a lifetime.

Merciful God, please, no sequels. Once I believed the Babylon Bee was “fake news you can trust,” but not after their opining about potential installments of the cinematic excrement that is “Cocaine Bear.” It is the height of satirical journalistic irresponsibility to raise that possibility and risk it becoming reality.

Emerging from the theater, my wife asked, “How could you ever suggest seeing that?” My mind raced, but luckily my lips didn’t. Back in our car, we turned the corner onto our block. We were greeted by the welcome sight of a well-lit street. Our neighborhood’s power had been restored. Unlike the tony Hollywood denizens who produced “Cocaine Bear,” the utility company’s blue collar work crews had worked their magic and restored people’s power. 

To them, a grateful “Bravo!”   

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

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