Classic Cannon: Cobra (1986)

From the vaults of Cannon, comes Cobra. We review it, Zombie Squad style. 

I'm leaving my shirt
on for this movie!
Hot off First Blood II, Stallone and Cosmatos teamed up for a gradient, protect the girl, shooter flick called Cobra. 

Much like most of Cannon's other releases, the film integrated numerous types of movies into this low budget feature. Like a cross breed of Dirty Harry, Death Wish, and other deeply attitudinal cops of the time, Marion 'Cobra' Cobretti could have been a franchise contender. For some reason, (probably financial) Cobra never got the sequel it deserved. Instead, we got way more Rambo and Rocky. It's too bad because a movie about the Zombie Squad could have been sweet. 

Using the action backbone of Stallone's thriving career combined with slasher themes and a prevailing amount of '80 cheese, Cobra was a slight miss for the Cosmatos/Stallone pairing. At the time of its release, audiences blew this off as another retread for an actor riding his own coat tails of box office success. However, Cobra has some distinct underpinnings that nearly separated it from the pack of Sly's hits and misses. Slow motion car chases, some relatively cool cinematography, an influx of typical police station melodramatics, vehicular mayhem, explosive gunplay, a strangely placed rock and roll soundtrack, and a really pretty girl, make this a prime caricature of a that decade. Remaining a way better actor than Arnold or Norris could ever be, Stallone was at least believable in this role. 

In a story that transcends time, Cobra is focused on an evil group of new world fetishists, hell bent on using scare tactics and murders to deliver their message of doom. The overall tale of terror is one that still fits right at home with current affairs and news headlines. With guns blazing and knives slashing innocent citizens, Cobra has a sweaty and dingy feel reminiscent of earlier vengeance tales like the Charles Bronson revenge movies of that decade. Cobra turns Stallone into a walking bringer of death replete with sickeningly bad one liners and a totally rad laser sight. Brian Thompson plays the bloodthirsty slayer of women, the highly original Night Slasher (ahem). And Brigitte Nielsen stars as the terribly acted damsel in distress, Ingrid. Other than that, the cast of Cobra is a who's who of '80s character actors doing their damndest to out act the bad scripting. 

Nobody better touch my robots!
Strangely enough, some people claim that Cobra is Stallone's best action film. I'm not here to argue with them. That's their opinion and I respect it. It's definitely way better than his other Cannon movie, Over The Top. The original RockyFirst Blood and the final Rambo still remain his best work to date. Cobra is a time capsule look at how Cannon treated their action fare. It's hardcore. It's brutal. It's slimy.It's weirdly paced. And it's kinda wonderful. It played perfectly to the crowd that loved these movies. Although it's not the best of Stallone's epically long time in the spotlight, it's a blast to watch again for various reasons. If you've never seen it, do it. Cobra is still cool. 

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