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Crime is the disease. Meet the Cure.

August 29, 2013

…things are heating up in the Big Apple as the summer cools down. Come on down to Lady Jays and give a kiss goodbye to the summer and say hello to old pals Nielsen, Stallone, and Thompson at Cine Meccanica on Wednesday September 4, 2013. It’s part of the new way, guey!

Cobra (1986)

Wednesday Sept. 4th

Film starts at 8pm
Lady Jay’s
633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

…the way of the new World

Like a Gyro King gyro or perfect wedge of Juniors cheesecake Cobra is a comfort food, a movie we can turn on to turn off, blasting at full volume while we throw beer bottles against the wall as the final scene, the one in which Cobretti impales the Night Slasher on a hook and then burns him alive, is played over and over and over again until the cops come knocking at the door.

cobra-originalIn a nod to America’s favorite bi-cowboy, Stallone is Marion Cobretti, a gruff L.A. Cop who cares not for the rules of the force, nor for the rules of man. Crime is the disease and he is cure This we read off the box cover propped next to the T.V. watching with one eye the opening salvo: a cobra begripped Colt 9mm slithering in and out frame.

In America…there’s a burglary every 11 seconds.

And we’re not waiting long before we see Cobretti in action icing some bad guy, a nutcase raving about the way of the new world while holding a sawed-off shotgun to some teen’s head in the supermarket. A media circus ensues and like clockwork Cobretti is dressed down by his superior, a threatened suspension from the force. Terrible cliche or brilliant satire? We remember the Stallone that brought us Rocky…and then Over the Top. Bah, it matters not because LA has gone to hell: a vicious cult of axe-wielding dirt bike-riding psychopaths is out on the loose, wantonly killing and spilling the blood of innocent civilians.

…an armed robbery every 65 seconds.

17058-3597The cult is led by a vicious sociopathic serial killer, dubbed the Night Slasher by the media and played brilliantly by the lantern jawed Brian Thompson. The Night Slasher always seems to be doing something weird, like dyeing his hair for no reason or sexualizing his knife. He acts like an aggressive autistic child and seems only to communicate by laconic and angry speech, grunts, and menacing stares. The tenets of Dale Carnegie are lost on this chap and one wonders how he could possibly be capable of charming anyone into his bloody cult, let alone convincing them to die and kill for it. Again it matters not for things were simpler back then in the 80′s, back when Brigitte Nielsen was hot and our only fears were of the nuclear winter, replete with tumescent mushroom cloud inching its way across the continent. Things have changed and the idea of two oiled up musclemen duking it out and battling to the death for simple aims, be they chivalrous or psychotic, seems so quaint now. Antiquated. A real throwback, Cobra seems to get all the little things right, the ones we don’t see anymore, like the way director Cosmatos lights up the eyes of his subjects like reverse raccoons or the fact that one of the robots in the Brigitte Nielsen modeling montage has a dick.

…a violent crime every 25 seconds.

i008701One of the more distinguishing features of Cobra, and an action move staple that again has failed to withstand the test of time, is the main character’s signature whip. Cobretti is seen blasting around the Los Angeles night in a 1950 Mercury, blown and equipped with nitrous. A heavy beast indeed, but one that Cobretti handles with ease, steering with one hand and firing a machine gun out the window with the other as he power slides around L.A. Legend has it that 3 identical Mercs were constructed for Cobra, each built for a specific action sequence and signature move, and then sacrificed to the Gods of film in various stunts. The Merc leaves us for good when it’s flipped and smashed to bits, as Stallone and Nielsen are run off the road by the Night Slasher and his goons. Vehicular mayhem ensues as we build up to the final scene as seemingly thousands of dirt biked cult members descend on the holed up Stallone and Nielsen, who finally punch through the gauntlet in a pickup on the way to make their last stand in a So-Cal spark factory.

Stallone-Cobra…a murder every 25 minutes.

Symbolizing the plight of the average blue-collar working man that action flicks like Cobra seemingly court and rely on for sustenance, the Night Slasher and Cobretti find themselves in a molten steel and spark factory, it’s sole reason for being to provide a glorious end to one or the other. Of course it is to the Night Slasher, and Cobretti, having already burned someone alive a few minutes earlier, gives no quarter as he hoists the Night Slasher up and impales him like a piece of meat on a passing steel hook on its way to the furnace . Cobretti then does nothing to stop him as his twisting, screaming frame slowly rides toward a certain and terrible end. The violence of the Night Slasher’s death is shocking, as he is burned alive and we are treated to his terrible screams. Cobretti of course is unfazed and a few minutes later he’s hamming it up for the chief and thundering away on a dead cult member’s Harley, Nielsen en tow. They thunder into the sun and the credits roll but as we tip back an ice cold King Cobra to the ghosts of action movies past, we wonder what could have been. What if the Night Slasher had been but a little quicker, a little stronger, and put Cobretti up on that hook and then burned him alive? Without Cobretti in the way the path would be clear to put the city under siege. And what next? The world? Part of the new way of the new world no doubt, to murder wantonly and clang axes until the dawn. If only Cobretti wasn’t such a damn good cop.

And 250 rapes a day.

– Pipe Adams

Manboy In The Promised Land

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