Movie: Cobra
Star: Stallone
Year: 1986
Director: George P. Costamos

There are some movies so manly that you need to watch them with caution. I say this because, as I watched Cobra, all the hair retreated from the top of my head and sprouted out of my chest, back, knuckles, eyelids and spit. So I say, watch this movie with caution or you could end up with super-extra-manly-body-hair, or your skin’s hue may change to the pattern of flannel, or you’ll build a tree-fort using only your face.

Cobra is the awesome tale of a rogue cop who plays by his own rules, but by God, he gets shit done. The brass is always on him for spilling too much blood, but never patting him on the back for getting people out alive. Just like the life of a writer. As it is, he IS the cure for crime. However, with every vaccine, there’s a new virus, and this new virus is known only as the Nightslashers, a breed of people hell-bent on murder and mayhem as part of a new way of life. Think Cobra’s gonna sit back and let this shit happen? Pssh.

We get our first taste of the ‘Slashers as one of them tries to hold up a grocery store. The police have tried nothing, and they’re all out of ideas. So what can they do? You got it. Cobra shows up in his bad-ass 1950 Mercury. I assume at first he just wants to blow the place up and get it over with so he can make it home in time to catch Death Wish on TV, but will the man allow that? No. So Cobra’s goin’ in. He receives 50 Man Points for cracking open a Coors while trying to talk with the baddie. And by the way, he rocks TWO, yes, count ’em TWO one-liners in a matter of seconds;

Nightslasher: Get back! I got a bomb here! I’ll blow this whole place up!

Cobra: Go ahead, I don’t shop here.

[Seconds later]
Cobra: Alright, just relax. You wanna talk? We’ll talk. I’m a sucker for great conversation.

The razor wit obviously distracts and subdues the scum, allowing Cobra to take him out. Later a model [Brigitte Nielsen] is driving around town,  ends up getting lost because she’s a woman, and sees the Nightslashers in action. She’s able to make one of ’em as she speeds off. This, along with family programing, pisses the ‘Slashers off, as they make it their job to see her dead. This won’t be so easy now that Cobra is on the case. To make matters just a little harder for our hero, the ‘Slashers got a girl on the inside of the law to get ’em info and other cool stuff. Like caution tape. But that’s all fine, Cobra likes things tough. He often tries succeeds to put out fires with gasoline.

So, the model is almost attacked and killed one night, leading her into the arms of the police. Cobra wants to stay and protect her, but they insist the little nerds fresh from the academy will do. Yeah, that ALWAYS works out well. So, Cobra doesn’t put up too much of a fight, he’s got pizza at home. Well, wouldn’t you know it? The Nightslashers almost get the girl at the hospital and try to get the jump on Cobra. All they get is the business end of just about everything in reach. He saves the girl, and BAM, it’s on to a safer location out in the sticks. But alas, they take the bad cop with ’em. So the Nightslashers know what’s up.

A small note: Perhaps the reason the main Nightslasher is so pissed is because the heater is broken in his secret hide-out. Seriously, every time we see him chilling there, he’s sweating like he just ran 2 miles in a parka. Even if he’s just sharpening his cool knife, he’s pouring sweat. So, I figure the heater is stuck on, and it’s making him crazy.

Anyway, back to the story….

As Cobra and the gang are held up in a motel, the model puts the moves on our hero, and he digs it. It’s probably been 3 minutes since a chick put the moves on Cobra, so it was due. The next morning, about 7,254 members of the Nightslashers show up, apparently the pledge drive offers free movie tickets or some crazy thing, because this is the largest gang I’ve ever seen. It’s great for Cobra, it’s been too long since he’s done some killing. He takes out the whole gang with this bad-ass sub-machine gun he has. All this leads to a final showdown between our man-hero and the leader of the Nightslashers, [super-manly, and under-appreciated, Brian Thompson] in a cool steel mill. After the fight, Cobra stays to work at the steel mill because he’s just that manly. I think it was in that very mill that he built the very act of sex, but that may just be rumor that I made up, although I doubt it.

Man-Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
Guys Beat Up: 2
Guys Killed: 29
Swear Words: 6
Boobs: None
Explosions: 2
Slow-Motion Scenes: None
Car Chases: 2
Chases on Foot: 1
Broken Bones: None
Fight at a Motel? Yes
Guy Get Girl? Yes
Guy Smoke Cigarettes? No

Bad Guy In Supermarket:
 Get back! I got a bomb here! I’ll blow this whole place up!
Cobra: Go ahead. I don’t shop here.

Cobra: Alright. Just relax. You wanna talk? We’ll talk. I’m a sucker for great conversation.

Cobra: You know that’s bad for your health
Thug: What?
Cobra: Me.

[some smug cop trying to cock-block Cobra asks something stupid of him]
Cobra: You didn’t say the magic word.

Head Nightslasher: The court is civilized, isn’t it, Pig!
Cobra: I’m not.

The movie is based on the novel Fair Game.

Our man Stallone was originally cast to play Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop, when it was more serious. Stallone wrote the script, but eventually it just didn’t work out. So he took the ideas he liked, and worked it into Cobra. I think all things worked out best the way they are.

Stallone and director George P. Costamos have also teamed up on another superb man-classic: Rambo: First Blood – Part II

Stallone owned the car used in this film.

Cobra had come along at the right time. It had been less than 10 years since Son of Sam, and people were still worked up about it. Few believed it was a lone gunman, they thought it was a cult of some sort. Kinda reversed from Cobra, where as people believed it was one, yet our boy Marion knew some shit. Also at this time, America was doing what it does best; scaring itself. What with the cold war and all, and the cops constantly letting people know that serial killings in the style of Ted Bundy and such could be “anyone you know”.

Box Office Business:
Created on a budget of $15 million dollars, distributed by Warner Brothers and released May 23rd, 1986 in 2,131 theaters. The first weekend it opened up at #1, bringing in $12,653,032.
It ended up bringing in $49 million, despite the idiots at the time panning it.

C’mon Bennet, Let’s Party!:
One of the coolest action films you’ll ever see. It’s got just about everything you could ask for. A twisted villain, a super-cool hero who doesn’t let a damn thing bother him and people dying left and right. To be honest, I’m shocked that this never got a sequel, as I believe Cobra could have very well been another staple character for Stallone. I could watch him putting down people with his rockin’ Jati-Matic sub-machine gun all freaking day. A hell of a movie that deserves to be in everyone’s collection.

4 & 3/4th Head-Butts out of 5