HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Captor, The
Hide in Plain Sight
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
   
 
Newest Articles
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
   
 
  Day of the Cobra He don't give a damnBuy this film here.
Year: 1980
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Stars: Franco Nero, Sybil Danning, Mario Maranzana, Licinia Lentini, Ennio Girolami, Mickey Knox, Massimo Vanni, Sasha D'Arc, Romano Puppo, Angelo Ragusa, Carlo Gabriel Nero, William Berger, Rocco Lerro, Franco Ukmar
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: New York-based private eye Larry Stanziani (Franco Nero) was once a top narcotics cop in Italy known as 'the Cobra.' Presumably on account of his lightning reflexes rather than a tendency to hiss at people. Now he makes a meager living trailing unfaithful spouses. But when another American narcotics agent is killed by a cane-sword-wielding mystery man in a black leather coat (who seems dressed for entirely the wrong Italian genre movie), bureau chief Jack Goldsmith (William Berger, uh-oh) offers Larry a chance to return to Genoa and finally nab Sergei Kandinsky, the drug-trafficking mastermind that got away. So Larry flies home where he reconnects with his little son. He then reconnects with wily old informant Davide (Mario Maranzana), romances frizzy-haired disco DJ Brenda (Sybil Danning) and basically punches, shoots and screws his way through the criminal underworld to unearth Kandinsky's whereabouts. With mob hit-men on his tail, Larry dogs Kandinsky relentlessly yet to his surprise, the faceless crime boss insists someone else was behind the murder.

Few actor-director teams can claim to have both sparked off an entire sub-genre and killed it stone dead but that is what Franco Nero and Enzo G. Castellari managed to do, albeit inadvertently. Their trail-blazing High Crime (1972) kick-started the 'poliziotteschi' genre that proliferated in Italian cinema throughout the Seventies until Day of the Cobra bombed big-time at the local box-office. It is hard to discern exactly why this of all Euro-crime thrillers failed to connect with the audience given it is far from the worst of its type. In fact, aside from Castellari ladling on the sentimentality extra thick with scenes of slow-motion bonding between Larry and his son played by Franco Nero's real-life offspring Carlo Gabriel Nero, and a few too many dull moments when Larry hangs around nightclubs watching frizzy-haired disco dollies in frightful fashions shuffle on the dance floor, Day of the Cobra is a fairly engrossing and entertaining action film.

The story was initially conceived by another cult Italian director, Aldo Lado. In his original vision Day of the Cobra took place in Trieste shortly after the Second World War. For whatever reason Lado dropped out whereupon Castellari relocated the action to a contemporary setting as something of a Raymond Chandler pastiche. Possibly inspired by Michael Winner's then-recent remake of The Big Sleep (1978). Which accounts for all the cutesy Humphrey Bogart references like having Larry dress like Philip Marlowe, hand out chewing gum to anyone he meets and trade would-be witticisms with B-movie femme fatale Sybil Danning. Sybil's heaving cleavage does not stop our hero smacking her in the chops when they meet. In all fairness she pulls a gun on him first. Nevertheless they end up in bed. Campy dialogue strains for the hard-boiled charm of vintage Hollywood crime thrillers but the twist-laden plot is pretty satisfying.

To Castellari's credit he opts for something different from the over-familiar vigilante antics of most poliziotteschi epics. Having said that, the film's most outrageous action sequence (a punch-up in a disco where Franco takes on a karate kicking disco queen/surprise transvestite named Lola!) recalls a similar scene in Alberto De Martino's even more unhinged Blazing Magnum (1977) and the twist ending is suspiciously similar to the one in Stelvio Masi's semi-comedic cop caper Fearless Fuzz (1978) only far better done. Fearless Fuzz had Maurizio Merli, Italy's other mighty mustached crime-fighting icon, in an atypically humorous role. In much the same vein Franco Nero essays a more louche and self-amused crusading cop, playing partly for laughs until the film's big melodramatic moment has him amp up the impassioned emoting with those blazing blue eyes. He is as charismatic as ever. Despite the odd wince-inducing moment (as when someone says of Kandinsky: "He is a homosexual. The worst kind. Violent.") accomplished action auteur Castellari stages a host of thrilling rooftop chases, warehouse punch-ups and street shootouts that more than compensate. Paolo Vasile supplies a funk-tastic score mixing reggae, disco, jazz and electronica into an unforgettable theme song: "Don't give a damn, I am the Cobra!" Damn right he is.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 871 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: