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SYFY WIRE Cocaine Bear

Universal made an 8-bit 'Cocaine Bear' video game that's R-rated murder bear 'Pac-Man' - play it now!

Think you can get the high score?

By Josh Weiss
Cocaine Bear (2023)

Snorting cocaine and munching on human flesh are often frowned upon in civilized society. The good news is that you can now do both without the looming threat of a life sentence.

How, you ask? Simple! Boot up your computer and try to get the high score on Universal Pictures' 8-bit video game inspired by the Cocaine Bear blockbuster film (out in theaters everywhere next week). Essentially a gorier version of Pac-Man, the game — appropriately subtitled The Rise of Pablo Escobear — allows the player to control the titular predator, who must eat as many people as possible while on a bloody rampage fueled by the powdery nose candy.

RELATED: Elizabeth Banks wanted 'Cocaine Bear' to feel like a 'NatGeo documentary about a bear that did cocaine'

The retro 8-bit aesthetic is a direct homage to the film's mid-1980s setting. Indeed, the screenplay penned by Jimmy Warden (The Babysitter) was inspired by the 1985 incident where an American black bear overdosed on cocaine when a shipment was dropped over Georgia.

"l knew I wasn’t just going to have the bear die of a drug overdose. That’d be kind of a downer," Warden explains in the official production notes. "So, I thought it could kill a lot of people instead. Building this script was such an insane journey. The instant I came across the story of the cocaine bear, I knew I had to write it. How could I not? Dreaming up different ways for a bear on cocaine to kill people in the woods is the most fun I’ve ever had writing a script."

Cocaine Bear producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller — who originally brought the project to Universal — were genuinely curious to see if they could actually get away with making a film this crazy. "We always say that we think of the movies we work on as pranks, and we thought the ultimate prank would be to make a really good movie called Cocaine Bear," Lord admits in the aforementioned production notes. 

Miller continues: "Jimmy is very thoughtful in what he does. So what’s crazy about this movie is that it has a really sweet heart, even though it has a, uh, lot of bear murder."

Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Cocaine Bear arrives on the big screen next Friday — Feb. 24. Click here to purchase tickets.

Looking for more creature-based thrills? Jordan Peele's Nope is currently streaming on Peacock.