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SYFY WIRE Cocaine Bear

Best ‘Cocaine Bear’ characters that aren’t the bear - all ranked by their crazy deaths

Yikes, those are some grizzly kills ... 

By Tara Bennett
Cocaine Bear (2023)

All hail the mighty Cocaine Bear, who wrangled up a hefty $23 million over its opening weekend and delivered on the carnage implied by its insane title. With audiences applauding director Elizabeth Banks' over-the-top set pieces and horror beats, SYFY WIRE figured we should honor the film's very deep list of kills by acknowledging our favorites.

And in case you were wondering how deadly the movie gets, Cocaine Bear features a cast list of 18 main characters, with 10 of them not making it to the end credits. That's some brutal thinning of the herd, right there.

And so we present to you, SYFY WIRE's ranking of all the kills in Cocaine Bear, from the perfunctory all the way to the grossest of them all. 

10. Andrew C. Thornton II (Matthew Rhys)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

Technically, the first death of the movie,  Andrew C. Thornton II, is the instigator of the mayhem in the film but his death via broken parachute is an off-screen affair. The most audiences get to see of his fate is the area roped off by police around his remains in suburban Georgia.

He gets off pretty easy in comparison to others in the film, but we can still throw shade at him for not being able to get Jefferson Starship's "Jane" out of our heads.

9. Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

Poor Bob. A dedicated cop who was just trying to go above and beyond in trying to bring St. Louis drug kingpin Syd White (Ray Liotta) to justice, he takes a bullet to the gut for his good intentions. Sadly, this fancy dog dad in the making meets his end on the roof of a pavilion like structure.

A relatively calm death when it comes to this film.

8. Elsa (Hannah Hoekstra)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

Elsa the hiker basically jinxes herself when she tells her fiancé Olaf (Kristofer Hivju) that they have a lot of luck seeing nature out in the wild. Then she dooms herself by responding to the advancing tweaker bear by running in panic. That move ensures her fate as the bear's first victim when it drags her into the shrubbery as her boyfriend remains frozen in fear.

We don't get to see much aside from rustling foliage but her screams confirm the worst outcome.

7. Peter (Jesse Tyler Ferguson)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

Peter is a naturalist and wild animal expert who has caught the eye of park ranger Liz (Margo Martindale). He's pretty clueless about her flirting, but has pretty solid knowledge regarding normal bear behavior, including their tree climbing prowess. Unfortunately for him, none of that intel helps him much because he's covered in residual cocaine.

Like roasted marshmallows on a campfire, the smell beckons the Cocaine Bear itching for his next fix. And thus, Peter gets plucked out of the tree via the bear's claws and teeth, which means we get to see what's left of him on the forest floor. Ew.

6. Vest (J.B Moore)

The first member of the Duchamps gang the audience meets in park ranger Liz's main station office, Vest is the skinny thief who steals candy and cash from the ranger's money box. Nosy and a lingerer, Vest hangs out at the station longer than he should and ends up meeting the claws of Cocaine Bear.

The EMTs discover him decapitated by the bear in the back room. Guess that's some extreme karma.

5. Ranger Liz (Margo Martindale)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

Ranger Liz has her very worst day ever as a ranger when Cocaine Bear gets wild in her national park. First, she's slashed in the thigh by the bear when she's thrown around by it on the trail to the waterfall. Then she loses her crush when Peter is slice and diced by the angry bear. Chased back to the station, she gets trigger happy and causes some of her own bloody chaos that rivals the bear's.

Her luck gets better when she finally makes it into the back of an ambulance, but then Cocaine Bear goes feral, chasing them. Liz is eventually ejected to her death riding the stretcher holding her. One of the most creative deaths in the film, it earned a collective, "Ooooooh!" of sympathy/pain from the audience.

4. Paramedic Tom (Scott Weiss)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

EMT Tom was just doing his job and responding to the call that Ranger Liz was injured. He and his EMT partner Beth arrive to a gory scene with the bodies of Vest (Moore) and Ponytail (Leo Hanna) littered around the cabin. Cocaine Bear then appears out of the back room and tries to smoosh Tom to death under a door.

He escapes with Beth and Liz in the ambulance, which ends up not being fast enough to out race a tweaked out black bear. Tom gets thrown around in the van, ending with a nasty snapped arm before he dies on impact.

3. Ambulance Driver Beth (Kahyun Kim)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

Maybe if Beth had better driving skills, she might have made it. She does her best to swerve and outrun Cocaine Bear in her ambulance but that bear sure can run! Her reckless driving ends up getting Tom and Liz killed. And then she seals her own fate when she crashes into a tree and is ejected through the windshield to her own death.

Let's just say everyone in the audiences feel it when she lands. Oooof. 

2. Ponytail (Leo Hanna)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

The Duchamps gang member Ponytail gets his rump handed to him in a lot of ways. He gets beat to a pulp by Daveen in the ranger bathroom. Knocked senseless, he wakes up bruised but still full of too much bravado for his own good. He's at the ranger office when Liz returns and grabs her gun to try and stop the rampaging bear.

Not the greatest shot in a panic, Liz ends up shooting Ponytail in the head and it's gross. What's worse is that his corpse gets to just lay there in pieces as more chaos ensues. 

1. Syd (Ray Liotta)

A still from the trailer for Cocaine Bear (2023)

Cautionary tale time: we're pretty certain if Syd White just stayed in St. Louis, the gross mayhem that happens in this movie would not have gotten so bad. But the terrible dad, ambivalent grandpa and panicked drug dealer just had to show up in the Georgian woods to get his kilos back. He's unsympathetic to everyone who doesn't hand him a duffel bag full of retrieved cocaine.

And then Syd goes full villain in the last act, trying to kill Cocaine Bear's two cubs and equally protective mom, Sari (Keri Russell), and kids, Henry (Christian Convery) and Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince). Having lost all sympathy from his right hand man, Daveed, his own son, Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) and the audience, Syd gets his comeuppance when Cocaine Bear and her cubs disembowel the drug dealer while he's still alive. Yikes! Appropriate but still nasty.

Cocaine Bear is exclusively in theaters now. Purchase tickets here!

Looking for more creature-based horror to watch? Peacock has you covered with horrors like Ben, Bigfoot, Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and Bad Moon.