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...
In the mid-1980s Marion Cobretti, nicknamed Cobra, is a ruthless LAPD lieutenant whose leather-jacketed garb and souped-up early-50s car make him "a reject from the 1950s," as his partner Sergeant Reni Gonzalez puts it. Cobretti and Gonzalez are part of the LAPD's Zombie Squad, officers tasked with criminals considered too violent or unpredictable for regular police; the Zombie Squad, however, is also considered a "dumping ground" for officers considered too extreme for a department increasingly besieged by politics, shown in Cobretti's running clashes with Detective Andrew Monte, an officer who despises Cobretti's methods (the two officers nearly come to blows when Monte accuses Cobretti of using a terrified witness solely as expendable bait), and also in a confrontation between Cobretti and a TV journalist after a gun-wielding psychopath opens fire in a supermarket and is dispatched with ruthless panache by Cobretti. The supermarket showdown comes amid a wave of knife killings by a man known as The Night Slasher, and Detective Monte stubbornly refuses to heed Cobretti's warning that the Night Slasher killings are the work of a criminal anomaly - an organized army of psychopaths. Cobretti's theory proves accurate when Ingrid Knudson, a model, accidentally witnesses a Night Slasher killing and is pursued by the gang, and is placed under the protective wing of Cobretti and Gonzalez. Tragedy nearly strikes, however, when a message from police HQ separates Cobretti and Gonzalez from Ingrid Knudson, and simultaneous attempts are made on the lives of Cobretti and Knudson that both barely escape. Furious that a mole in the department is working for Night Slasher, Cobretti and Gonzalez must take Knudson out of the city, unaware that the department is quietly hoping this will draw Night Slasher's gang away, which leaves the two officers and their scared witness in a wild flight for their lives in upstate California.
A tough-on-crime street cop must protect the only surviving witness to a strange murderous cult with far reaching plans.
- "Crime is a disease. Meet the cure." Lt. Marion Cobretti, nicknamed Cobra, is a sunglass wearing, tooth pick chewing cop who is all about getting the criminal and breaking
the rules. He has the entire department on his back all the time about his very violent
and forceful way of getting the bad guys, normally making the punks end up in a body
bag loaded with lead issued from his trusty pearl handled Colt .45.
But Cobra is set a real challenge when a killer cult is spreading rapidly in the city. The cult kills innocent people, seeming to pick random victims and slaying them with jagged knifes and getting off on the hunted's fear. But they make a huge mistake when they kill a woman at an bus stop and a young model sees them. She doesn't exactly know that they've killed someone, but is extremely scared when one of the killers, a muscle bound and rather deformed looking man, gives her a spine chilling look. Soon the killers are after her! And they kill her photographer, a security guard and very nearly make her meet their sadistic style of murder. Cobra is soon on the seen, with his partner the junk food loving, Sergeant Gonzales. They ask the young model, whose name turns out to be Ingrid, if she saw the killers. She says she only saw some people at the bus stop acting very odd and a man who scared her badly.
But Cobra's progress into solving the case is halted by the pencil pushing, fat headed Detective Monte, who is always on his case about too much force. He tells Cobra that he's on the Zombie squad for a reason, he's too violent and doesn't please the press.
Much too Monte's disgust, the Chief and Captain Sears decided to let Cobra use his street wise talk to fight the killer. Cobra goes through the entire population of the nocturnal seediness of downtown, where all the prostitutes, pimps, bar flies and cons of the city hang out. But he doesn't find any kind of help from these people, they have no idea who the killers are.
Cobra soon connects a supermarket killing, that involved a physco who claimed that he was part of "the new order" who would wipe out the weak and make the strong survive, to the mass murders ripping at the soft under belly of the capital. But Detective Monte's smart mouth antics and somewhat spineless Captain Sears try to stop him from using agressive force, not caring that Ingrid almost got killed by one of the cult followers, Night Slasher and that numerous other people where slayed in the hospital at night. The Captain agrees to let Cobra take Ingrid to the countryside with Gonzales and a female cop named Nancy Stalk. Little does he know that the heat is going to be turned up instead of cooled off when they leave the city. Nancy is infact a cult member and leading the Night Slasher and his cronies right to where Cobra is taking Ingrid.
While in a motel that's off the beaten track, Ingrid and Cobra realise their attraction to one another. The romantic mood is short lived however, and the cult is back on Cobra's trail. They burn down the motel and almost kill Gonzales. Cobra and Ingrid ride off in a pick up truck and almost meet their end by crashing into a burning car that's blocking the road. Cobra still manages to take some punks down though, with a very nice piece of weaponary called the laser mount submachine gun.
They end up in a chemical factory and finally Night Slasher and Cobra come face to face. In a very phycotic speech Night Slasher says that Cobra's law is weak and that their cult will always survive. This sends Cobra off the deep end and Slasher onto a huge metal hook, that rips through his back and sends him off into a molten vat of metal. Nancy however is still alive and tries to kill Cobra, but she is also killed.
After all the bloodshed, Cobra and Ingrid emerged slightly bruised and dirty, from the factory. The Captain congratulates Cobra, but Monte is too proud to actually admit that Cobra one the fight. He picks up his bit about too much excessive force, but earns himself a good punch from Cobra, sending him to the ground stone cold. Ingrid and Cobra ride off on a motorbike into the sunset to Kiss singing "Can you get enough me baby, I can't get enough of you." In true Stallone/ Cobra style, the day is saved and the conveniantly pretty chic is too!