Crime is a disease. Meet the cure.
Crime is a disease. Meet the cure.

COBRA (18)

D: George Pan Cosmatos

Warner Bros/Cannon (Menahem Golan & Yoram Globus)

US 🇺🇸 1986

87 mins


W: Sylvester Stallone [based on the novel "Fair Game" by Paula Gosling]

DP: Ric Waite

Ed: James R. Symons & Don Zimmerman 

Mus: Sylvester Levay

Sylvester Stallone (Lt. Marion 'Cobra' Cobretti), Brigitte Nielsen (Ingrid Knudsen), Reni Santoni (Sgt. Tony Gonzales), Andrew Robinson (Det. Monte), Brian Thompson (The Night Slasher)

Loosely based on the novel 'Fair Game' by Paula Gosling, Sylvester Stallone penned the screenplay and merged it with a treatment he'd previously penned when he was still involved in the production of the 1984 action-comedy, Beverly Hills Cop. The overall result is a bit of a mess, and I'm really not sure if this can be considered an adaptation at all.

Stallone also takes the lead as strong-armed cop, Lt. Marion Cobretti, nicknamed Cobra for his shoot first, ask questions later approach to law enforcement, demonstrated in the film's opening where he stops a gunman from shooting product placement opportunities or even a hostage.

Cobra soon has to supervise the safety of Ingrid Knudsen, a woman who witnesses a murder at the hands of serial killer 'The Night Slasher', who is also the leader of a biker gang-cult.

The film is probably as you'd expect, brainless action hokum crammed with every genre trope and cliche you could think of, plus a romance that seems crammed in just because Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen were an item at the time. Unfortunately, the acting is quite horrendous, especially from Brian Thompson as the bad guy and Nielsen, who is woefully miscast as a damsel in distress (she's 6 foot tall, for god's sake!). Stallone does his usual, but this is more of an ego trip for him, released at a time when he and Arnold Schwarzenegger were vying to be the macho movie star of the decade.  It was probably a big mistake having an opening narration delivered by Stallone, who has never been known for graceful elocution.

Despite its many faults, it's a film that has gone on to be a cult favourite and is probably one of the more successful films to be released by Cannon Films, who became quite infamous for their terrible movies.

It's easy to be nostalgic about things, especially cheesy 80's movies that you might have grown up watching... but nostalgic value doesn't always equal good quality.


Sylvester Stallone in Cobra
Sylvester Stallone in Cobra