One Of Cocaine Bear's Deaths Went Too Far, Could Return In A Director's Cut

This post contains spoilers for "Cocaine Bear."

"Cocaine Bear" is a bit of a strange movie, but you probably expected that going in. The film certainly does get gleefully violent at times, something that arguably gets hampered due to its usage of CGI in combination with practical effects. But whether you love Cokey the bear or not, you can still walk away appreciating how a mid-budget studio feature can get away with the types of kills featured here.

One of the most intriguing was the sudden and off-screen death of Olaf (Kristofer Hivju), a tourist who loses his fiancée, Elsa (Hannah Hoekstra) to the bear at the start of the movie, and returns at the end only to be killed off himself. Towards the end of the film, we hear Olaf scream, and find out a few minutes later that he was mauled to death. It's hard to make out any details since the cutaway is very quick and obscured in darkness, and according to director Elizabeth Banks, that's for a good reason — Olaf's death was apparently a little too gruesome.

"We had some incredible prosthetics of him, they ripped off his whole face, and we had a close-up of it that is no longer in the movie," Banks told Entertainment Weekly. "Maybe in the director's cut we'll get some of that back in."

No longer high on life

While it's unclear whether an unrated cut of "Cocaine Bear" will ever surface, you can see some of the extreme gore that Banks teased. Fangoria included an uncensored photo of the Olaf prosthetics on the cover of their latest issue, Vol. 2 Issue #18. Though it doesn't get center stage on the cover, we get to see just what the bear did to that poor hiker, and man, is it gnarly. How do we know for certain that this is the corpse that was cut from the movie? The answer is Olaf's red bandana, which the hiker sports throughout the film.

Surprisingly, Olaf's mauling might not have been cut due to studio or MPAA interference. As Banks suggests in the Entertainment Weekly interview, these cuts may have been made to simply improve the story.

"At the very end of the process, we ended up cutting back on a few shots of gore in the third act of the film," she explained. "I just felt at that point the audience was on more of an emotional journey and I didn't want to distract from it."

That's not to say that "Cocaine Bear" is free of gory deaths; there are plenty that were left in. Esteemed character actress Margo Martindale gets mauled a couple of times by the bear, before finally coming to a brutal end when she's thrown out of the back of an ambulance while strapped to a gurney and hits the road face-first. Meanwhile, the late, great Ray Liotta plays a drug dealer called Syd who gets disembowelled and dies watching some coked-up bear cubs eating his intestines. The scene is both disgusting and oddly adorable.

Tormund Giantsbane's luck with bears runs out

Kristofer Hivju is best known for his role as Tormund Giantsbane in "Game of Thrones," who had considerably better luck than Olaf — both in general, and specifically with bears. In season 4, Tormund brags that he once made love to a female bear called Sheila, and he has fond memories of their encounter. "I'd had a good bit to drink," he recalls. "Her fangs were sharp, but she knew how to use them." 

There are no other witnesses to this supposed event (besides Sheila, of course) and Ygritte dismisses Tormund as a liar. But the tale of the Bear and the Wildling Fair made a comeback when the cast were filming the season 7 episode "Beyond the Wall," in which Tormund and a group of other heroes run into a polar bear that's been raised from the dead by the White Walkers.

"When we shot it, we joked a lot that Sheila had turned," Hivju revealed. "There was a line that was cut, when they first see the bear, Tormund says, 'I've danced with plenty of bears.'"

Tormund survived his encounter with the undead flaming polar bear, so he probably wouldn't have had any trouble with a cocaine bear. Like Sheila, Cokey is a she-bear, so he could have just used his powers of seduction again. Unfortunately, while Olaf is definitely a nature-loving character, nature doesn't seem to love him back.