Cobra 1986 Movie Scene Sylvester Stallone as Marion Cobretti wearing sunglasses and playing with a matchstick in the corner of his mouth

Cobra [1986]

Of course, why would I even think that Cobra is not a Cannon Production movie? Cheesy, over-the-top, and screaming bloody eighties, it’s one hell of a nostalgia ride. A ride that provided a template for a lot of B-action movies that followed it like Snake Eater and others. It’s loosely based on a novel adapted into a screenplay by the star of the movie Sylvester Stallone. Hence all the healthy eating references and focus on the action sequences. I mean, who could argue with lines like this:

“Do you have a lifejacket?”
“To save all the french fries that are drowning.”

Marion Cobretti to Ingrid about her eating habits

I remember watching Cobra as a kid and being blown away by a couple of things. Firstly, Night Slasher’s knife looked nasty as fuck. This comes as no surprise, because the designer of the knife, Herman Schneider, was working on Stallone’s instructions to make “a knife that audiences would never forget”. A knife that we will see again some ten years later, featured in Wes Craven’s Wishmaster. Secondly, Cobra’s car, 1950 Mercury was such an odd choice for this type of movie that it really stood out. Again, this was Sly’s personal car, which he decided to use during filming. And finally, there’s the iconic submachine gun with a red laser pointer. The gun in question is Jatimatic, a Finnish creation that first appeared on the scene in 1983.

After this personal stroll down memory lane, let’s dig in a little deeper into this gem. Cobra follows Marion Cobretti, a smooth but dangerous LAPD cop on a trail of a mysterious Night Slasher. This is an obvious reference to the Richard Ramirez AKA Night Stalker who terrorized the greater LA area just a couple of years earlier. The deadly band of killers seems to love just clanking their axes together in a rhythmic fashion. That’s how fucking dangerous they are.

If the poster showing our guy holding a submachine gun, sunglasses and a matchstick in the corner of his lips didn’t convey to you just how cheesy Cobra is, the opening scene sure did. This is one of those entertaining eighties action movies, perfect for having a beer and smoking something something. All the characters are one-dimensional, the action is oftentimes silly and the dialogue laughable. But you will be entertained throughout it all. The macho scenes and moves come off clumsy but at least you can see where they were going with them.

Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger came out in 1985 and quickly became the best action macho movie of the eighties. With a short running time of just over eighty minutes, Cobra may not be the best but it sure is a lot of fun. If for nothing else than the image of young Sly carrying a gun directly pointed at his dick. A gun with a Cobra sigil on its handle, to be more precise.

Director: George P. Cosmatos

Writers: Paula Gosling, Sylvester Stallone

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson, Lee Garlington

Fun Facts: None of the supporting cast or crew were allowed to talk to Sylvester Stallone during filming.


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