Long before DVD, BlueRay, Red Box or NetFlix, you used to be able to rent VHS at your local 7/11 for .99¢… does anyone else remember this? That was a typical Friday/Saturday night, and I saw many a movie this way. Most notably would be “Class of Nuke ’em High”…
Cobra is also one such movie. Sylvester Stallone plays Lieutenant Marion “Cobra” Cobretti. Unlike other action cop films from the 80’s, Cobra distinguishes itself through Stallone’s portrayal of a hard cop, on the edge, being pushed to his breaking point, no nonsense, not by the book, driving his superiors crazy, makes up his own rules, doesn’t work well with others, kind of loner cop! In fact, at one point, to let us know what a loner he truly is, another detective refers to Cobretti as a member of the “Zombie Squad”. Of course this is cop speak for, he’s a loner, and takes all the really difficult jobs, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets killed. You know, “Zombie Squad”.
In the opening scene Cobra rolls up to a crime scene in his vintage 1950 Mercury. The license plate reads… “AWSOM 50”. Cobra must go into a grocery store to rescue a group of innocents from a psychopath holding them at gun point. While assessing the situation, Cobra very casually helps himself to a can of Beer (COORS) and chugs it… in the middle of the inevitable shoot out! Perhaps this is product placement, or maybe Stallone is just that cool.
The real story here is Cobra’s hunt for the “Night Slasher” (Brian Thompson), a serial killer that has the city gripped in fear! Entrusted with protecting the only person to witness the “Night Slasher”, Cobra must keep Ingrid (Brigette Nielson) alive long enough to identify the “Night Slasher”. As it just so happens, the “Night Slasher” is just one cog of a giant fanatical army hell bent on taking over the world. Soon the “Night Slasher” and his loyal band of maniacs come for Ingrid and Cobra bringing with his fanatical cult. Or, as I like to call it, increasing the body count!
During an altercation with one of the disciples, Cobra explains, “You’re the disease and I’m the cure!” I’m hard pressed as to who actually started the whole hero chewing on a match stick movie trend quite honestly. The match thing is a trademark shared by Cobra, and Chow Yun-Fat in John Woo’s, A better Tomorrow (1986). I think it’s symbolic that things could ignite into explosive violence at any moment. Cobra helped to define the 80’s action film, filled with good ass kicking explosive entertainment!
Stallone would continue to do his work with the Rocky and Rambo franchises 2 more times… each. Stallone has also, added The Expendables II to his upcoming projects. Cobra’s directer George P. Cosmatos passed away on April 19th 2005. But not before bringing us 1993’s star studded western, Tombstone.
As I was researching this recommendation, I discovered there was a Cobra action figure, that believe it or not, is highly collectable and being sold on ebay for $350. bucks. Through further research, I found that you can also design your own action figure with your own likeness from $60. up to $400. for the prototype.