Cocaine Bear

This movie looks like rollicking good fun.

Cocaine Bear is an upcoming American dark comedy action film directed and co-produced by Elizabeth Banks and written by Jimmy Warden. It is inspired by the true story of the “Cocaine Bear”, an American black bear that ingested a duffel bag full of cocaine in 1985. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery, Alden Ehrenreich, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Brooklynn Prince, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Kristofer Hivju, Hannah Hoekstra, Margo Martindale, and Ray Liotta in one of his final performances before his death.

Cocaine Bear is scheduled to be released in the United States on February 24, 2023, by Universal Pictures.

After ingesting a duffel bag full of cocaine, a 500 lb (230 kg) American black bear goes on a killing rampage in a small Georgia town where a group of locals and tourists must join forces to survive the attack.

The real Cocaine Bear:

The Cocaine Bear, also known as Pablo Eskobear (sometimes spelled Escobear), was a 175-pound (79-kilogram) American black bear that overdosed on cocaine in 1985. The cocaine had been dropped by drug smugglers in the wilderness in Tennessee, United States. The bear was found dead in northern Georgia and was stuffed and displayed at a mall in Kentucky. It inspired the 2023 action-comedy film, Cocaine Bear.

Cocaine Bear taxidermied in Lexington, Kentucky.

On September 11, 1985, former American narcotics officer and Kentucky-based drug smuggler Andrew C. Thornton II was trafficking cocaine from Colombia into the United States. After dropping off a shipment in Blairsville, Georgia, Thornton and an accomplice departed in an auto-piloted Cessna 404 Titan. En route, the duo dropped a load of 40 plastic containers of cocaine into the wilderness before abandoning the plane above Knoxville, Tennessee. Thornton was instantly killed in the evacuation when his parachute failed to open. According to the FBI, Thornton dumped their cargo due to the weight being too heavy in-flight.

On December 23, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported finding a dead black bear that had eaten the cocaine from the containers. The total amount of cocaine eaten was 75 pounds (34 kilograms), valued at 2 million dollars. The chief medical examiner from the Georgia State Crime Lab, Dr. Kenneth Alonso, stated that its stomach was “literally packed to the brim with cocaine”,though he estimated the bear had absorbed only 3 to 4 grams into its bloodstream at the time of its death.

Dr. Alonso did not want to waste the body of the bear, so he had it taxidermied and gave it to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. However, the bear was lost until it emerged again in a pawn shop. Country singer Waylon Jennings bought it, and eventually it made its way to the “Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall” in Lexington, Kentucky where it remains to this day.

Move Over Godzilla, Here Comes Gorgo!

Two Godzilla movies had been made before the Brits got monster fever and unleashed the Beast Gorgo!

Gorgo is a 1961 science fiction giant monster film directed by Eugène Lourié, an international co-production of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Ireland. The story is about a ship’s captain and his pearl diving crew who, with other fishermen on an island and an orphaned boy, discover and capture a gigantic amphibious sea creature and take it to London for public exhibition. This results in the creature’s much larger mother invading London in search of her offspring, causing catastrophic destruction across the city.

The film was originally intended to be set in Japan as an homage to Godzilla; the setting was then changed to France, and then finally to the British Isles. According to Bill Warren’s film book Keep Watching the Skies, southern Australia was also considered for a locale, but the producers supposedly decided that audiences “wouldn’t care” if a monster attacked Australia; its alleged lack of worldwide recognisable landmarks for Gorgo to destroy was also cited as a consideration.

The location where Gorgo first appears, the fictional Nara Island, is an anagram of the Aran Islands, off Ireland’s west coast. The exterior scenes set in Ireland were filmed at Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbour, both near the County Dublin town of Dalkey. Other scenes were filmed at the MGM-British Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

Scenes where Gorgo is driven through the streets of London were shot on a Sunday morning, when there was little other traffic. The film studio wanted Gorgo to fight the military, despite director Eugène Lourié’s objections.

Gorgo’s special effects were achieved by suitmation and miniaturisation, a technique pioneered in the Godzilla films. The younger Gorgo was smaller than most giant monsters, so the sets around him were built to a larger scale, leading to an enhanced sense of realism. The creatures were also shot with then-pricey slow-motion cameras to create a sense of scale. The effects were complex and are well respected by special effects artists and fans. The film is also sometimes praised for its innovative ending, in which, unusually for such films, the monsters survive and prevail.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a 1964 American science fiction comedy film directed by Nicholas Webster, produced and written by Paul L. Jacobson, based on a story by Glenville Mareth, that stars John Call as Santa Claus. It also features an eleven-year-old Pia Zadora as Girmar, one of the Martian children.

The film also marks the first documented appearance of Mrs. Claus in a motion picture (Doris Rich plays the role), coming three weeks before the television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which also featured Mrs. Claus.

The film regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made, is regularly featured in the “bottom 100” list on the Internet Movie Database and was featured in an episode of the syndicated series of the Canned Film Festival of 1986. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians took on newfound fame in the 1990s after being featured on an episode of the comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000.

That episode became a holiday staple on the Comedy Central cable channel in the years following its premiere in 1991. It has since found new life again, as it has been the subject of new riffing by Cinematic Titanic and RiffTrax, both productions of former MST3K writers and performers. The film was also featured on Elvira’s Movie Macabre.

Sasquatch Horror Movies 

I never realized there was such a plethora of Sasquatch horror movies.  I thought all Squatches were benevolent, gentle giants like Harry in Harry and the Henderson’s.  But I guess if one of these big furry behemoths ever contracted rabies or some other evil bug it could really wreak havoc.  Imagine a 900 pound 9 foot tall bipedal berserk gorilla busting through your front door looking for blood.  Time to run to the concrete tornado shelter and lock up the steel door.  Oh God, I forgot the wife and kids!

Some of the movies: