The first thing I noticed on rewatching Cobra for the first time since the late 80’s was that it’s a Cannon film. That instantly made me smile, obviously.
I loved Cobra. It’s a cartoonish action flick in which Sylvester Stallone grunts, mumbles and fires guns (no real stretch for him, I agree). Cobra is part Death Wish, Dirty Harry (Andrew Robinson and Reni Santoni from the original film co-star here), Visiting Hours (yes, really. There’s a terrific sequence that takes place involving a serial killer in a hospital) and the opening credits of The Equalizer (there are loads of women in peril in locales such as dark multi-storey car parks in Cobra).
With the film being cartoonish and like a comic strip come to life, the camp quotient is very high indeed. The sequence in which Brigitte Nielsen is being photographed as part of a photo session is camper than a row of pink tents. Sly is camp personified too. His character is supposed to be ultra-masculine but with this there is always the danger of tipping over into Village People territory. And he falls into this headfirst. With his shades, stubble and tight jeans he looks like he’s going to a dress code night at The Spike in West Hollywood rather than fighting crime. But this only makes Cobra even more entertaining and fun.
Cobra had a budget of $25m and took in $160m at the box office.
Of course, with a film that has the tagline of ‘Crime is a disease. Meet the cure’ there was bound to be someone who could use Photoshop to make a meme. And they did. And it’s a brilliant meme.
3.5 stars out of 5