Cobra is a delightfully 80’s movie in nearly every aspect. Cobra is a tough as nails bad ass who doesn’t play by your fucking rules…or any rules really because Cobra does his own thang. I mean, technically, he should be following some rules because this is his job. I feel like I’m overthinking this.
Cobra follows bad ass Los Angeles Lieutenant Marion “Cobra” Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone). The movie wastes no time showcasing what an alpha male Cobra is by having him diffuse a hostage situation in a grocery store. The entire police department and the SWAT team are on site but they can’t get a handle on one dude with a shotgun. This leaves the police captain no choice but to say “Call the Cobra”. And just like the summoning of a long slumbering Eldritch Horror, Cobra appears in spectacular fashion.
I’m not 100% sure how they called Cobra because this is way before cell phones and Cobra doesn’t even have a police radio in his car. Maybe they have their own version of the Bat Signal where they just shine a big swinging dick in the sky and Cobra saunters on in.
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It’s a good thing they called in a specialist like Cobra to handle things because he basically just walks in the front door and shoots the guy. I mean, granted, it’s effective but I imagine a lot of the other cops were like “Well shit, I could’ve done that!” But ya didn’t, did ya? That’s why Cobra will always be better than you in every way.
Um…I hope those scissors are used exclusively
for cutting pizza otherwise that’s just gross.
Cobra’s next case involves a serial killer known as the Night Slasher who has already murdered 16 people. A news report tells us that the Night Slasher is known to sneak into people’s windows and murder them at night in their sleep. That information is important because the Night Slasher never kills anyone in that manner for the rest of the movie. We quickly learn that the Night Slasher is made up of multiple people driving around in a van and murdering people in their cars like an alternate universe version of The Partridge Family.
During one of these late night stab-a-thons, the Night Slasher(s) are “witnessed” by Ingrid Knudsen (Brigitte Nielsen) while she is driving by. She doesn’t actually see anything and definitely wouldn’t have had any reason to remember the encounter except that the main Night Slasher (Brian Thompson) stands in the middle of the road and creepily stares her down.
Nothing to see here
Somehow the police are convinced that these new murders are connected to the Night Slasher even though it doesn’t match the killers M.O. at all. This is Los Angeles in the 80’s, how can you link any murders together? There were probably 20 other stabbings that same night. But in light of the recent murders Detective Monte (Andrew Robinson) and Captain Sears (Art LaFleur) reluctantly let Cobra loose to catch this son of a bitch his way.
“And try not to waste the wrong guy, but then again what do you care, right?” – POS Detective Monte. Is he suggesting that Cobra has killed the wrong person before? That is a very serious accusation.
And we can’t have a 1980’s Stallone movie without a montage. It’s interspersed with scenes of the Night Slasher, photo shoots, robots and Cobra running down all his contacts on the streets. There is no dialogue in those scenes because what the hell could Cobra possibly be asking them: Where’s the Night Slasher? You don’t know? Ok, sorry to bother you.”
We learn that one of the Night Slashers is Officer Stalk (Lee Garlington) who uses her position in the police department to track down Ingrid so they can kill her. And in true Night Slasher stealth fashion they wage an all out assault on Ingrid in a parking garage.
It really is shocking that they haven’t been caught because they seem fucking terrible at this.
Ingrid gets away and immediately goes to the police where she provides a sketch of the Night Slasher.
It’s important to note that the sketch she provided is the extent of her usefulness in this case. She can literally provide no more information that is of any value. So naturally, the Night Slasher perform a daring assault on the hospital where Ingrid is at in order to try to murder her again. Since the Night Slasher knows that the cops have a sketch of his face, he goes full chameleon and completely transforms.
Killing Ingrid should be pretty straight forward but the Night Slasher is bound and determined to constantly make the audience question how he has evaded the police for so long. He murders three people before he even gets to Ingrid and when he does finally make it to her room, she locks herself in the bathroom and screams bloody murder while he tries to murder the door. Through the magic of movies, nobody in this hospital hears shit. She even manages to escape and is running down the hallway of what I can only assume is an abandoned hospital.
Ingrid then pulls the fire alarm / people materializer and viola.
After numerous fuck ups, the Night Slasher(s) catch a lucky break when Officer Stalk is assigned to protect Ingrid. All they have to do now is wait until Ingrid and Stalk are alone, kill her quietly and go back to whatever the hell it is that the Night Slashers are doing.
Remember folks: The Night Slasher is known for sneaking
into his victim’s houses and murdering them quietly.
The Night Slashers fail yet again to kill Ingrid and at this point it’s just getting embarrassing. I think the main reason that they haven’t been caught yet isn’t because they are good at what they do but the fact that both the Night Slashers and the cops are equally shitty at their jobs. And poor Officer Stalk sucks at both jobs.
So the Night Slashers are making it plainly obvious that there is more than one and they’re leaving more and more physical evidence behind every time they try to kill this chick. Once again, my question is: What the shit for? There is nothing that this woman can do to stop them. Stalk should know all of this. Killing Ingrid won’t make the police stop looking for them. Plus, the sketch she provided can only be one of two people anyway: Brian Thompson or 1970’s David Bowie.
So, after sending three cops to take Ingrid to a safe house didn’t work, they decide to change tactics by sending the same three cops to take Ingrid to a different safe house upstate. Cobra, you are one crafty son of a bitch.
Stalk calls the rest of the Night Slashers to let them know where the safe house is located. A freaking army of Night Slashers descend upon this little town in order to kill one freaking person. In the process Stalk blows her cover by pointing out where Ingrid is even though that is information they should already have. Remember, they are trying to kill Ingrid so that she can’t identify them….they are doing a shitty job.
Cobra and Ingrid manage to escape to a nearby factory that produces active volcanoes I think.
Cobra single-handedly murders about 20 of this gang and even burns one guy alive before a final showdown with the Night Slasher.
…Good God, Cobra.
We finally get the epic final showdown between Cobra and the Night Slasher but not before the Night Slasher shows an extreme lack of awareness.
“You won’t shoot. Murder is against the law. You have to take me in. Even I have rights.” – The Night Slasher
Have you not done any research on Marion “Cobra” Cobretti. He kills people every single day. How has Cobra given you the impression that he won’t kill you? What the hell are you basing that on?
Jesus Christ, Cobra! Ok, I know that the Night Slasher is a monster but shit, man.
That is the 3rd person you’ve burned alive just this afternoon.
In the aftermath, Captain Sears and Detective Monte tell Cobra that he did a hell of a job. What?! He destroyed a small town, murdered dozens of people and left no one alive to interrogate. This is exactly the kind of shit that you’ve hated him for except on a ridiculously larger scale. This case has actually just started because the single serial killer turned out to be an army of individuals (one of whom was a police officer) and you can’t possibly know how deep this conspiracy goes. I think we need a sequel for this. Cobra 2: He Rips Off A Guys Face In This One. Summer 2019.
Cobra is a classic example of a movie studio sabotaging their own movie and creating an incomprehensible mess. They cut over a half hour of footage in order to have more screenings and thus make more money but in the process they made the movie not make any damn sense. The footage they cut also saved the movie from having an X rating. X!? The edited footage apparently shows graphic murders, extreme violence and a 5 minute lingering shot of Stallone’s dong.