January 26th: Dark Serpent

36. The Black Cobra (Stelvio Massi, 1987)

I owe a great debt to the little black book 1000 Essential Movies on Video as published by Neon magazine way back in 1997. It’s introduced me to many films I wouldn’t have otherwise looked at. But occasionally it drops a bollock and in the case of The Black Cobra it’s a cheap withered bollock at that. It is a micro-budget remake of Sylvester Stallone’s terrible Cobra (George P. Cosmatos, 1986) except with cigar chomping blaxploitation star Fred Williamson in the lead role. He’s a maverick renegade Chicago cop with no time for bullshit law and order when he can exterminate the human scum of the criminal fraternity with his justice gun. Being an 80s film the final shootout takes place on the same industrial estate that every other film used and being an 80s action film the bad guy doesn’t really die first time around. Awful though it is The Black Cobra is unintentionally hilarious and even managed to spawn two sequels, both somehow set in the Phillipines.

Note: The Black Cobra is listed in the Neon book 1000 Essential Movies on Video under ‘Blaxploitation Movies’.