Director: George P Cosmatos
An army of axe wielding serial killers led by the “Nightslasher” (Thompson) terrorize the LA nights. When a fashion model (Nielsen) with ludicrously long legs happens to see the face of the cult’s leader; she becomes a target with the nutsos stopping at nothing to waste her. But fear not, a man among men has been assigned to protect the dame; Marion Cobretti i.e. Cobra (SLY!!!!!) that is. Armed with his trench coat, a match stick in his mouth, macho one liners, a hot car and myriad of firearms, crime is a disease and he’s the “will f*ck you up” cure. Let the body count begin!
"In America… there’s a burglary every 11
seconds... an armed robbery every 65 seconds... a violent crime every 25
seconds... a murder every 24 minutes... and 250 rapes a day."
COBRA (which King Stallone also wrote) was and will always be one of my top cinematic
exploitation delights. No matter how many times I war-party with it, I always derive total gratification. They definitely don’t make gritty, politically-incorrect and no hold barred action/thriller/slasher hybrids like this rolling “death toll” anymore, that’s for damn sure! They should’ve called this one “100 ways to kill a psycho”!
The first potent bullet in COBRA’S canon was without a doubt the character of COBRA himself who was an amalgam of everything that is badass. I’m talking muscled up, tanned like a mofo, short on words and big on cracking skulls. The dude was clearly a take on
but taken much further in terms of having no boundaries as to what he will or can do; think a semi right-wing super hero
with a no-bull attitude. In this world of human induced atrocities; I personally
get off on the fantasy that an entity out there is doing what I wish I could do; take out the freaking human trash. How many times have I watched the news and yearned to have the culprit alone in a room for an hour with a blow torch?
Many o times! COBRA taps into that dark side of me; that side that demands some good old fashioned rectitude.
And boy do we get it in this body count heavy flick! No “Country Club” prison cells for these clowns! It doesn’t get more fast and furious in terms of severe brutality and bad guys hitting the
gravel hard than COBRA. All of the flavors were covered! If it wasn’t the rough and tumble fight sequences whooping me into a smile frenzy, it was that insane car chase kicking my ass (all about that 180 degree turn
and shoot bit...nice), the lengthy shootouts, the various “kill” methods or the sight of COBRA in the back of a pick up truck mowing down ALL KINDS of varmints with his nifty automatic weapon (the rare Jati-Matic
submachine gun). Whenever I see the latter scene I say to myself: “Life
doesn’t get much better than this a-hole!”
The fact that action maestro
George P Cosmatos (who also helmed the classic
Rambo First Blood Part 2
) was the man behind the pow-wow
surely helped jack-up the "f*ck yeah" factor. He gave the affair a breath neck tight pace, abundant “noir” mood,
random horror tones (all about that hospital stalk sequence) and expertly choreographed/executed action sequences. Want an “Apple Pie” with that? Didn't think so!
The final notches on COBRA’s too kool for kill-school belt were its unintentional/intentional laughs, its engaging score and its priceless macho dialogue. Doozies like:
"This is where the law stops, and I start...sucker."
and of course "You’re a disease and I’m the cure."
(which is also the film’s tagline) are PRICELESS in every sense of the word. All in all COBRA is maybe not perfect on paper (minor plot holes) but it always pushes
my right detonation buttons; resulting in one hell of a sit down when I groove
with it. That’s all that matters to me man! Slam that clip in, aim and OPEN FIRE!
Carnage is a treat and COBRA is its peddler. The death-count here put Jason Voorhees to shame! We get blood, self mutilation, stabbings, Brigitte Nielsen’s hair, ENDLESS bullet hits, a human torch and a highly memorable impaling.
Sylvester Stallone (Cobra) was at his macho, mono syllable best while in moments, letting his good hearted sense of humor shine through. It should be said that Stallone is an iunderrated physical actor; so much is said through his body language and the thought pattern behind his eyes. He was BANG ON here! Brigitte Nielsen (Ingrid) did what she had to do well and was only upstaged by her almost lifelike, out of control hair style. Reni Santoni (Gonzales) was perfect as the “partner” with a junk food belly. His chemistry with Sly was on the ball! Andrew Robinson (Monte) was quite effective as the tight assed cop; I loved to hate him. Brian Thompson (Nightslasher) was chilling as the lead psycho; to this day his performance has been engraved into my mind. Lee Garlington (Stalk) was one ugly, creepy, man voiced broad. She worked!
T & A
We get Brigitte Nielsen in that deliciously skimpy white outfit during the fashion shoot while the ladies get a tanned Sly Stallone in tighter than tight Jeans & shirt.
Cosmatos was really big on: close ups on eyes (very spaghetti western), stylish angles, red filters, slow motion and a film noir feel. I lapped it all up along with his taut stalk and action sequences
The score by Sylvester Levay was astounding; especially when backing up the “horror” (the ditty "Cobra") and the action ("Chase" owned!). I also have a soft spot for the film’s 80’s tracks with “Angel of the City” (Robert Tepper) and “Feel the Heat” (by Jean Beauvoir) being my favs.
I saw COBRA three times on the big screen upon its initial release (May 23 1986) and have viewed it numerously ever since. I know the damn thing by heart, right down to its musical cues. YES, I LOVE COBRA THAT MUCH! This adrenaline shot had my entire “what I love about violent, testosterone heavy films checklist” checked: Stallone at his best, a relentless pace, excessive/inventive bloodshed galore, varied action bits up the ying-yang, scary villains, glossy images, a gripping score, razor charm and a sense of humor. The critics killed this greaser when it was released and even today people still revile it but in my book of “bad to the core of the bone” COBRA takes the high octane entertainment cake! GET ME THE COBRA!
When Stallone was attached to Beverly Hills Cop, he toyed with the screenplay and at the ned the Studios didn't go with it. Stallone took all of his ideas and wrote COBRA with them.
COBRA was nominated for 6 Razzies but didn’t win any of them. That means that I either love BAD MOVIES or people have bad taste; either way, I win!
COBRA Andrew Robinson (who plays Monte here) played the serial killer in Dirty Harry and Reni Santoni (Gonzales) played another Gonzalez in Dirty Harry.
COBRA was loosely based on the novel “Fair Game” by Paula Gosling which was adapated again in 1995 as “Fair Game” starring William Baldwin and Cindy Crawford.
The Nightslasher's nifty knife was ironically a "Kobra" knife.
The slick Merc driven by Cobra in the film was actually one of Sylvester Stallone’s cars.
VISIT THE OFFICIAL SYLVESTER STALLONE SITE HERE