Take the unabashed violence of the eighties action films where all that stood between peace and war was one guy with a gun, throw in a slasher film, and you have what is one of my absolute childhood favorites. “Cobra” brings me back to a time where I’d watch Marion Cobretti bring down a thug with the cold hard steel of his Colt .45 and still have time to go home and unwind with some left over pizza. Thankfully “Cobra” still pretty much holds up today as a mixing of two very popular genres from the decade, and it works for the most part.
Sylvester Stallone plays Marion Cobretti, a member of a group of officers that do things the other police can’t. When women around the city are ritualistically murdered by a cult of serial killers known as “New Order,” Cobra and his partner Tony Gonzales try to figure out what’s happening. Led by the enigmatic murderer “The Night Slasher,” they’re spotted by a young nurse named Ingrid after murdering one of their sacrifices. Now a target for the cult, Ingrid goes under the protection of Cobra and Tony. But things go wrong when they realize someone within the department is informing the Night Slasher about Ingrid’s whereabouts.
“Cobra” is prime eighties entertainment that successfully blends action, horror, and a dose of the supernatural. While it’s just downright goofy at times, part of the charm is the straight faced performance by Stallone who is one part Rambo, one part Dirty Harry, and two parts the Punisher. One of my all time favorite scenes is the depiction of how Cobra winds down after a hard day, which includes cutting left over pizza with scissors and cleaning his gun while watching the news for updates. No biting in to the slice for Cobra, bitch. Brigitte Nielsen is very good in the role of Ingrid, playing a reluctant pawn in the war between Cobra and the “Night Slasher.” Brian Thompson is also great in one of his many villain roles, taking on the persona of a cartoonish but brutally menacing slasher.
Think Jason but alive with a lot more self awareness. Director George P. Cosmatos’s film still watches like a pulpish comic book with fun pitch black villains and clear cut heroes. There are some beautifully staged action scenes, and moments focusing on the villains that look ripped right out of a horror film. There’s even a weird scene of the cult members banging their axes and weapons while chanting. What are they worshipping? Who cares? “Cobra” even has his own Cobra-mobile and insignia that flashes what kind of a bad ass he is. I dare you not to enjoy the Brigitte Nielsen modeling sequence where she’s inexplicably surrounded by robots. I poke fun, but “Cobra” is a great and unique genre entry from the decade, and it never fails to grab a giddy smile out of me.
Featured in the Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory, there’s the new “Stalking and Slashing” an interview with actor and stuntman Brian Thompson, who plays the villain “Night Slasher.” He discusses working on The Terminator, his love for “Rocky,” and working with Stallone. There’s the new “Meet the Disease” an interview with actor Marco Rodriguez, who discusses working on the film and how he originally auditioned for Brian Thompson’s role. The new “Feel the Heat,” an interview with actor Andrew Robinson, who discusses the film’s original ending, and how a passing observation he made inspired Stallone to change it on the spot; as well he discusses not liking the movie while filming it, and the craft he specializes in as an actor.
There’s the brand new “Double Crossed” an interview with actor Lee Garlington, who explains how Stallone didn’t know what to do with her character, and how he and co-star Brigitte Nielsen married while shooting the film. The brand new “A Work of Art,” an interview with actor Art LaFleur who discusses how he felt Stallone directed a lot of the movie himself, and how he didn’t get to interact with Nielsen much due to she and Stallone “getting it on with her” while filming. Sadly, there aren’t interviews with Brigitte Nielsen or Stallone. Next there’s an audio commentary with Director George P. Cosmatos, as well as a vintage featurette from past releases. There’s the original teaser trailer, the original theatrical trailer, and finally still galleries, a movie poster gallery, and a lobby card gallery.