Dir: Dustin Ferguson
Release Date: 2023
“A black cougar high on cocaine escapes an animal testing facility and wreaks havoc on Los Angeles"
You may be the same as me, where your first interest in a film is peaked by the title itself. I've already covered examples of this in 'Llamageddon', 'Killer Piñata', 'CarousHell' and 'Bunny the Killer Thing', to name a few. Check those reviews out here on this very website.
You'll also get the Mockbusters where the titles are similar to a 'Proper' film and they try to cash in on a far lower budget. Asylum are incredibly adept at churning these out.
Choosing one of these films is a Russian Roulette challenge I take at least weekly and this was no exception.
Sometimes you'll strike gold and sometimes you'll strike the shit-pipe. (slogan on a T-shirt asap).
Check out the trailer!
So, which did I strike with this one? Let's find out.
Obviously, this is riding the coat tails of Cocaine Bear, a surprisingly well received and entertaining movie with a far higher budget.
That one was based on a true event of a bear once eating some cocaine (nothing else, just enough to use that claim). This one also claims to be based on true events but I assume it refers to stupid cocaine and cougars both being things that exist.
The movie starts with 2 minutes of woodland scenery and some animal noises before the title screen and a full Death Metal track to take us through the numerous credits (mostly featuring Dustin Ferguson) and some scenes of animals, including a panther, in cages.
Fun Fact: Dustin Ferguson's name appears 8 times in the opening credits. My favourite? 'Special Appearance by Dustin Ferguson'. I appreciated that. Good work.
(Cocaine) Bear in mind, this film is only 50 minutes long in its entirety and we are 6 minutes in when the movie finally begins.
Saying that, it begins with a caption of '12 Hours Earlier'.
12 hours earlier than what?
Nothing has fucking happened!
We have an incredibly brief Breaking News report from 2 guys sitting far too close to each other, which simply states the plot - escaped Cougar from a nearby laboratory.
Not entirely sure why it took 2 of them for that
We join an 'Influencer' couple now wandering the mountains as they film a new video about being a 'Breathatarian', (not eating food, but eating air), which sounds exactly the kind of mental idea that would be a thing.
Fun Fact: I looked it up and it IS an actual thing. Breatharianism exists. What the Hell is wrong with people? Anyway, check it out if that's your bag - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inedia
Well, after hearing a growl and, naturally attributing it to a squirrel, both of them are killed off screen in a kind of found footage style.
10AM says the caption - these captions are totally irrelevant by the way but they persevere with them throughout.
If, like me, the title of the movie made you hilariously think it could have been some kind of Desperate Housewives reboot, you are not alone. That same kind of joke is used in this film many, many times.
We get a Cop who just sits at his desk and somehow deduces that the Cougar is addicted to cocaine.
We also get a drug dealer and his delivery guy up to no good and organising some nefarious stupid cocaine distribution.
We get some more shit, 'man growling and hoping he sounds like a wild animal' ,sound effects and we learn that cougars see in red (they don't) and are all made of terrible CGI (no) as the drug guy gets killed in the woods. .
Somehow, the news duo know about it this death immediately and report on it while still sitting too close to each other.
Ferguson then plays his trademark (I've seen one other from him - 'The Clown Chainsaw Massacre' and he does it then as well) move of a far too long montage of people just going about their day.
2 people at a fairground wastes our time in this one, (shopping at Spirit Halloween in Clown), though we do get a shot of a ride called The Octotron which I thought was a Chuck Norris movie.
Some more growling and red vision shit gives us more awful CGI and 2 caricature gay guys we don't know or care about are killed.
Thankfully, we then cut back to the couple from the fairground who are now on a beach and still doing literally fuck all.
4Ppm news report to tell us that apparently Ferguson Labs (yes, the director named them after himself) were apparently and inexplicably experimenting on animals by feeding them cocaine.
Hardly a worthwhile experiment and a waste of both animals and cocaine.
Thankfully, we get an irrelevant model shoot montage now featuring the beautiful Melissa Brasselle.
Fun Fact: Melissa Brasselle (as Raquel DeMarco) made her Playboy modelling debut in the same edition as Erika Eleniak - Feb 1989 for the collectors.....
Sadly, later, she is killed by a terrible CGI abomination but we now move back to the couple who are now going their separate ways after a boring day together and are walking home.
Fuck knows or cares where he goes but she has to walk through the woods for some reason which thankfully results in her death, albeit off screen again.
The 6pm news report brings the revolutionary suggestion that a cougar high on cocaine should be considered dangerous, should not be approached and, if seen, people should call 911. The Emergency services I presume and not the boyband.
People can't believe it. And nor will you when you see the CGI of it walking towards the city.
A guy takes out the trash, sees the terrible CGI and reports back to his wife so she can give us the cougar joke again about the woman who lives down the hall.
Some guy we saw earlier name checks, 'Cocaine Bear' before being attacked and hopefully killed - offscreen of course with blood splatter.
The cougar joke keeps on reappearing and thankfully ends with the death of all 3 involved. All 3 are off screen again and no blood at all.
It's 8pm and model, Melissa Brasselle, finishes her shoot and goes outside to be killed instantly by the CGI nonsense.
Another random death of a guy who is unable to see cougars until they are actually attacking him even though he is approached from the front and is looking straight at them. A sad affliction I bet he didn't even know he had until it was too late.
We are now treated to the 'Special Appearance by Dustin Ferguson' who totally owns the role of a man on the phone who gets in his car and drives off.
Sadly, he is chased by a CGI cougar running at car speed and understandably drives straight into a brick wall so he can explode rather than be eaten.
Finally, at 10pm, the Sherriff declares he will find the cougar and kill it. The drug dealer does the same and we call it a day there. The movie ends.
Fun Fact: Dustin Ferguson's name appears 9 times in the end credits!
In summary, this is not a very good film at all and I'm not sure why it exists other than to make a bit of money off the back of Cocaine Bear.
Credit where it is due, Dustin Ferguson has got a lot of titles to his name and I readily admit they are all pretty appealing to me. In fact, I worry that this guy's films will become a side quest in my life.
Seriously, check out the titles in his portfolio. Amazing stuff.
I watched this on Prime Video in the UK and I'm almost certain it will be on Tubi for the USA viewers to eagerly seek out.
In lieu of any likable characters it will be the model
Favourite moment was counting the times Dustin Ferguson put his own name in his own credits.
Entire news report: "Disturbing is an understatement. A black cougar escaped from a Los Angeles county lab and is still on the loose. Be careful out there people."
The director ploughing his car into a wall and exploding?