Day two of my VHS action and hero January take over. Today is Cobra from 1986
Tagline – “Society is breeding a new kind of Criminal. It’s also breeding a new kind of cop.“
Who’s our hero today?
That Italian Stallion, Sylvester Stallone plays Lieutenant Marion “Cobra” Cobretti.
Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
Yeah this was a great one to rent. After watching Rocky VI in the cinema the year before, more Sly was very anticipated.
Quick plot run down.
Los Angeles is plagued by a horrific series of brutal murders across the city. Each one random and featuring the same sickening style knife wounds. The serial killer is on a murder spree and no one knows when or why.
Does the hero have a day job?
Lieutenant Cobretti is part of the LAPD but works on the fringe of the division as part of the “Zombie Squad”. The nickname for the more lone wolf style mavericks within the force.
What’s our heroes special skills?
Just all round badass with some mean driving skills to boot. Also is so cool he chews on a match stick for the whole film. What a guy!
Heroes weapon of choice?
Cobra comes fully prepared for anything. Automatic Colt pistol, grenades, a knife, his shades and machine gun with a laser sighter.
Heroes drink of choice?
He gets to drink a can of “product placement alert” refreshing Coors beer before he goes kick ass crazy in the supermarket. Actually that’s weird for some reason I fancy a Pepsi?
Does hero have a sidekick?
His side kick is Sergeant Tony Gonzales “I could die for some…… gummy bears” played by Reni Santoni who will be known to many as Chico from the first Dirty Harry film with Clint Eastwood.
Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
Sly’s wife at the time, Brigitte Nielsen steps up to play Ingrid the model. After getting singled out and obsessively tracked down by the serial killer it’s Cobra and Gonzales duty to protect her.
Who’s the main baddie?
Brian Thompson is the crazed and fearsome psychopath going by the name The Night Slasher. He at times wears a pair of woman’s tights on his head and bizarrely looks better looking than his real freaky face. You will, like me, best remember Brian Thompson for when he played the Alien Bounty Hunter in The X-Files.
Baddies special skills?
He’s called The Night Slasher for a reason. He has a horrifying blade filled with spikes. His other special skill is as a cult leader. Somehow turning everyday people into axe-wielding murdering scumbags. All willing, for some reason, to die for the cause.
Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 10/10
This guy and his army are relentless and will never stop.
Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 10/10
Lucky Cobra’s balls have been injected with pure testosterone titanium steel.
Surely it features a classic montage scene?
Yes this one does. A weird searching downtown montage asking hookers, pimps and drug dealers questions. All set to the mega cheesy Robert Tepper track Angel In The City soundtrack. Pass the puke bag, quick!
Does it feature an impossible mission?
We have total faith in zombie squad, Cobra to get things sorted but we don’t know at what cost!
Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
Surprisingly for a change our Sly keeps his pecs covered up. No flexing his bulging muscles in this one. I bet they were having a rest after the raging steroids vein machines in Rocky VI.
Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
No but you do get Brigitte modeling a, right up the crack, tight as can be, bikini with a bunch of robots!
Not shown. Though slightly implied Cobra and Ingrid may of got jiggy with it.
Any good totally random surprise scenes?
The whole Brigitte Nielsen modeling scene as she’s surrounded by robots is pretty random but apart from that, nothing too bonkers. Oh and her tsunami of tomato ketchup scene with a bewildered looking Cobra is random?
Films body count? Low/Medium/High?
Reaches the high quota scale. Innocent and baddie bodies everywhere.
Innocent baddie death rate?
No innocent baddie deaths in this film. All the evil fucks deserved what came to them.
Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
For a moment I thought this was gonna be low BUT then BOOM. Everything started blowing up in the last part of the film.
How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
Can imagine broken bones, few burns, scrapped knees and elbows with stuntmen flying off motorbikes but I think everyone walked away limping but alive?
Any cool car chases?
Yes a few awesome ones too. Watching Cobra’s 1950 Mercury racing through the streets of LA is incredible to see. Especially as they hit those crazy humps. It’s sad to see that beautiful machine with those Ava Gardner style gorgeous curves get smashed to pieces. Hats off to the production team, amazingly there were no water melon stands or random guys walking across the road with panes of glass during the chase! Oh there’s another cool chase as Cobra stands on the back of a truck firing his machine gun at pursuing lunatic motorcyclists.
Lieutenant Cobretti drops this classic line on us and let be honest here, it’s perfection. “Crime is the disease. Meet the Cure”
Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
There’s quite a few familiar faces. Art LaFleur played The Babe in the ace family baseball drama The Sandlot (1993). The main face though is Andrew Robinson. You’ll most probably know him from Hellraiser (1987) The psycho in Dirty Harry (1971) and the one that really made me smile having never realised it was him that played the (no relation to Kim) Cardassian spy called Garak in Star Trek – Deep Space Nine.
Cobra is directed by George P Cosmatos however there are rumors that Sly Stallone’s ego might of taken over a big portion of the directing or at least had a big hand in it’s overall edited form. Many scenes are said to have been cut out, sub plots and stories. From what I’ve read Sly managed to get the film more focused around him and removed a lot of more gruesome death scenes. You can see a lot of the cut scenes here on YT. To be honest I’m happy with the 87 minute cut, it’s punchy and gets to the point. The film is a Warner Bros and Cannon Films joint production.
Cheese-O-Meter – Low/Medium/High?
Yeah of course this has cheesy elements, it’s got sly chewing on a match stick etc however the psychotic darkness brings it down. The cop bits are pretty gritty too. Resulting in our cheese-o-meter leveling out smack in the middle of low and medium.
IMDB score rating – 5.8/10
Wolfman ACTION, FUN & EXCITEMENT rating – 8/10
Wolfman over all film rating – 6.5/10
This was a pleasant surprise. I had thought I’d of remembered lots of it but in reality all I recalled was the 1950 Mercury motor, the baddies face and Sly’s shades. Even forgot Brigitte was in it! So yeah I enjoyed watching Sly bring the pain and smashing up the place all over again.
Feel free to let me know your memories on any of this months action goodies. Enjoy the movie rewinds. All the best…. Mikey Wolf