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Cobra (1986)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  23 May 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 45,436 users  
Reviews: 219 user | 68 critic

A tough-on-crime street cop must protect the only surviving witness to a strange murderous cult with far reaching plans.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Sears (as Art La Fleur)
Supermarket Killer (as Marco Rodriguez)
Ross St. Phillip ...
Chief Halliwell
John Hauk ...
Low Rider
Nick Angotti ...


A gang of neo-fascist thugs, led by the self-proclaimed 'Night Slasher', are breaking into people's homes & cars, then killing them at random. When of of these thugs holds up a food store & takes hostages, Lt. Marian Cobretti - an intense, take-no-prisoners cop, is brought onto the scene to end the hostage-taking. Ranting bizarrely about a 'New World', the man levels a sawed-off shotgun at Cobretti, who hits him with a knife, then guns him down when the man refuses to put down his weapon. Later that night, another murder occurs, attributed to the Night Slasher - and the next day, another one. This one is witnessed by a young woman, Ingrid Knutsen. She drives away before the thugs can kill her, but it isn't long before some creepy-looking people start making attempts on her life - and Cobretti's. Cobretti plans to move the only witness to the blood spree upstate, but with inside information, the thugs follow them. And a battle for survival rages between Cobretti and the thugs... Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime is the disease. Meet the Cure. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

23 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kobra  »

Box Office


$49,042,224 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (as Eagle Stereo)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Paula Gosling novel 'Fair Game' on which "Cobra" is based is also called 'A Running Duck'. When the movie came out Sylvester Stallone allegedly wanted the novel reissued with himself credited as the author. Ms. Gosling declined the offer. See more »


When Detective Monte and Captain Sears meet Cobra on the top of the parking garage, the lot is empty except for their cars. In the close-up, a silver car appears. Later when they leave the car is gone and the lot is empty again. See more »


Supermarket Killer: Get back! I got a bomb here! I'll blow this whole place up!
Marion Cobretti: Go ahead. I don't shop here.
Marion Cobretti: All right, just relax, Amigo. You wanna talk - we'll talk. I'm a sucker for great conversation.
Supermarket Killer: [shouting] I don't wanna talk to you! Now you bring in the television cameras in here now! C'mon, bring 'em in!
Marion Cobretti: Can't do that.
Supermarket Killer: Why?
Marion Cobretti: I don't deal with psychos. I put them away.
Supermarket Killer: I ain't no psycho, man! I'm a HERO! You're looking at a fuckin' hunter! I'm a hero of the New World!
Marion Cobretti: [shakes his head] You're a disease - ...
See more »


Referenced in Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy (2001) See more »


Feel the Heat
Produced, Arranged, Composed and Performed by Jean Beauvoir
Courtesy of Columbia Records and Virgin Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of my favorite movies
4 March 1999 | by (Turku, Finland) – See all my reviews

Let me start by saying that I fully understand all the people who hate this film. After all, it is a violent, often extremely stupid macho-actioner which falls apart if you start to think it's contents for a second. Its characters are one-dimensional and there's really not much plot or dialogue. But while many others think of the above as a bad thing, I think I've just described the recipe for a perfect action film.

I recently watched "Vampires" on DVD and listened to John Carpenter's commentary and one comment amused me. When James Woods and his crew were outside a building supposedly filled with vampires, everyone was wearing vests and neckpieces which protected them from being bitten except James Woods and Carpenter said about this something like "You can see how everyone is wearing vests except James Woods because he's so tough". Such is the case with Cobra also. All the other cops are dressed like...well, cops, but Stallone, he really stands out from the crowd in a positive way with his tight jeans, T-shirts, a pair of really cool (and very 80s) sunglasses and a match in his mouth (which I thought was a very nice touch). And why does he look like this? You guessed it - because he's so tough.

As I said before, there's not much plot and what there is, is pretty stupid and generic. We have seen it many times before and we will (I hope!) see it many times in the future but hey, if it ain't broken, why fix it? Of course there are several people who think it has always been broken.. There are some sequences and dialogue in Cobra which are almost embarrassingly stupid such as the opening shot where the team of killers are weaving axes to the air and then there are the legendary lines "The court is civilized, isn't it...pig?" "But I'm not.. This is where the law stops..and I start..sucker!" but I'm just so glad that they included these scenes (even though they probably knew that the critics wouldn't like them) because they are my favorite scenes in the movie.

This is a movie which has a very, very specific target audience and the reason for all the bad reviews is probably the fact that unlike other movies like this, this was for some reason targeted to a wider audience and of course, many people didn't like it. Not because Cobra is a bad movie but because they just don't like films like this. Surprisingly the other movie which was also based on Paula Gosling's novel, the William Baldwin-Cindy Crawford -actioner "Fair Game" suffered the same fate. Needless to say, I also liked that film a lot.

I know most people don't like the movies that I like and that's OK but I want others to know that I personally have seen probably over a thousand action movies and this is one of my all-time favorites and that there are many, many others who have truly enjoyed Cobra and it has become a cult classic to action fans worldwide. And when everyone starts to really think about it, Cobra may just be the perfect movie. There are so many films made in the 90s which are OK. They are not great but they don't suck either. Cobra, however, has all the ingredients that action fans love and others hate. It doesn't leave anyone cold, you either love it or you hate it. But I'll say this: If you like films like "Schindler's List" or "Shakespeare in Love" and you rent a film with a tagline "Crime is a disease. Meet the cure. COBRA", you truly deserve what you see!

Cobra is an excellent action movie because of a great macho performance (I loved the deep voice!) and screenplay from Stallone, a truly phenomenal score from my favorite composer Sylvester Levay, tight editing by Don Zimmerman and good cinematography by Ric Waite (who was also the director of photography in my other favorite, "Marked for Death" starring Steven Seagal). I also praise the director, George P. Cosmatos, although I haven't liked his other movies as much as this.

Anyway, the name and the tagline really says it all. You're either going to love or hate this and all I can say is, if you look for any intelligence in a movie, don't see it. I do, but not in an action movie. Actually, I don't even want action films to be smart or sophisticated. For me, Cobra delivers! I give it a full 10/10.

83 of 122 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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who saw this in 1986 jhtg
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Too much sauce! Sevi_Lwa
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