In this post I am taking a look at the cult movie, Cobra (1986). The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen, and is a violent action flick about a tough cop – Lieutenant Marion ‘Cobra’ Cobretti – tasked with bringing down a gruesome gang.
Directed by George P. Cosmatos, from a screenplay by Stallone, Cobra was produced by The Cannon Group and is part Dirty Harry, part Punisher, part OTT ’80s action-fest. The picture is high on guns, explosions, and blood; features numerous cheesy moments; and includes various scenes of Stallone looking stoic while kicking ass… in leather gloves.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Heck, yes! And if you want to know a little more about Cobra, you have come to the right place.
Below are nine facts about Cobra. Each fact will give you an additional insight into the movie, filling you in on details you might not be aware of… or you may have simply forgotten.
Cobra is loosely based on Paula Gosling’s 1974 novel, A Running Duck. Stallone used Gosling’s book as the basis of his screenplay, then made changes.
To date, A Running Duck has been adapted twice for film, with Cobra providing the initial adaptation and the 1995 William Baldwin/Cindy Crawford film, Fair Game, providing the second adaptation.
The Night Slasher
Actor Brian Thompson plays the role of chief villain, the Night Slasher in Cobra. Although Thompson had appeared in multiple television shows and movies prior to his involvement with this film (including a small part in Terminator (1984)), it was Cobra that gave him his first major role.
At various points in the movie, the Night Slasher wields a very distinctive knife. The knife – designed by Herman Schneider – was made to look unusual, so that audiences would not forget it in a hurry.
One thing that many people forget is the setting of Cobra. The events of the film take place during the Christmas period.
Does this make Cobra a Christmas movie? Well, that’s up to you to decide.
Cobra has never really entered into the same debates that Die Hard has, about its place as a Christmas movie, but if you want to claim it as a festive film there’s no reason not to.
The Dirty Harry connection
As well as taking some tonal inspiration from Dirty Harry, Cobra borrows two actors from the 1971 action classic too. Reni Santoni and Andrew Robinson, who both featured in Dirty Harry, appear in Cobra as Sergeant Tony Gonzales and Detective Monte, respectively.
The Transformers connection
If you are a fan of the 1986 animated film, Transformers: The Movie, then you will be more than familiar with the now legendary rock song, The Touch from singer-songwriter, Stan Bush. But did you know, The Touch was originally written for Cobra?
The song was initially set for inclusion in the Stallone picture, but was offered to the Transformers film instead.
Cobra: The alternate cut
If you are a Cobra fan, then you might be interested to know that more than one cut of the film exists. In addition to the theatrical cut, a slightly lengthier cut of the movie has also aired on television.
The TV cut of Cobra includes additional material, as well as extended scenes. The film is approximately six-and-a-half minutes longer than the theatrical cut, but unfortunately it is not available on home video. Sorry.
Critics vs. audiences
When Cobra opened in theatres it was not well received by movie critics. Reviews were poor and the film was soon nominated for six Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture and Worst Actor for Sylvester Stallone.
But despite the critical mauling, Cobra was a commercial hit. Audiences flocked to see the movie and Cobra earned over $160 million (from a budget of $25 million).
And finally, to accompany the release of Cobra, Ocean Software published a tie-in game. The single-player platform game – also titled Cobra – was released in 1986 for Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Cobra on It’s A Stampede!. For more movie-related content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.