Cocaine Bear's 'Fun, Gory Scares' Were Inspired By Quentin Tarantino, Sam Raimi, And Coen Brothers Films

Are you ready for "Cocaine Bear," which is set to hit theaters next month? Can anyone truly be ready for "Cocaine Bear"? Probably not, but we're getting more and more excited by the day with all of the fun details director Elizabeth Banks has let slip about the upcoming comedic thriller.

The film is supposed to be a bloody good time, and Banks revealed in the latest issue of Empire Magazine that her inspiration for those gory moments — "fun, gory scares," as she called them — came from the works of Sam Raimi, Quentin Tarantino, and the Coen Brothers. Naturally, my brain goes to "The Evil Dead," "Reservoir Dogs," and the "Kill Bill" duo — with a side of "Death Proof," of course — and some "Fargo" and "No Country For Old Men" on top. You know, with a very high bear in it, too.

Banks also revealed that despite the blood and fun, the bear had to be convincing for the movie to work. "I realized if there was one frame in the movie where you didn't believe the bear was real, the audience wasn't gonna go on the journey with us," she told Empire. "Our mantra was to create a bear that was a great lead character, but still feel like a real bear. Well, mostly. There's a little movie magic in there, because he is super-high on cocaine." Don't forget that part!

More than meets the cocaine

Believe it or not, Banks has larger concept ideas for this story past the gore and snowy powder I'm sure the high-octane thriller is riddled with. She told Empire that the film is touching on a major turning point in society and the way we interact with each other some 40-plus years ago.

"In the mid-'80s, there was this big reaction to the crack epidemic in American society that actually created so many other monsters. There's a bit of an allegory in here, as well as true chaos," she explained to the outlet before calling the film "a reflection of humanity's arrogance over the natural world." Banks added, "Until we learn how to honor nature more thoughtfully, bad things are going to happen."

I'm excited to see how those three filmmakers visually influence the film, and maybe if there will be some Easter eggs or homages throughout. Plus, Banks' thoughtful connection to the effects of the "War of Drugs" ramp-up of the '80s. Weirdly, I think this film may end up being an unexpected hit not just for being a mindless and bloody good time, but also for being a smart cultural commentary that says a lot about the inconsistent and bizarre world we live in.

The film, which was written by "The Babysitter" writer Jimmy Warden, stars Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., Christian Convery, Alden Ehrenreich, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Brooklynn Prince, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Kristofer Hivju, Hannah Hoekstra, Aaron Holliday, Margo Martindale, and the late Ray Liotta.

"Cocaine Bear" will premiere in theaters in the United States on February 24, 2023.