IMDb > Black Cobra (2012) (V)

Black Cobra (2012) (V) More at IMDbPro »When the Cobra Strikes (original title)

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Black Cobra -- One man travels across the country, smuggling illegal black diamonds to sell in order to pay for his father's pardon in South Africa. When he arrives in the United States to finalize what appeared to be a simple transaction, he is soon double-crossed and becomes caught up in a contraband operation forcing him to overcome an opponent far more lethal than any he has ever met.
Black Cobra -- Red Band Trailer for Black Cobra


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Scott Donovan
Lilly Melgar (co-director)
View company contact information for Black Cobra on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 May 2012 (USA) See more »
One man travels across country, smuggling illegal black diamonds to sell in order to pay for his father's pardon in South Africa. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
"If you don't temper your rage, you *will* make a mistake" See more (3 total) »



Directed by
Scott Donovan 
Lilly Melgar (co-director)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Scott Donovan 
Sebati Edward Mafate 

Produced by
Kami Asgar .... producer
Ricardo Barerra .... executive producer
Jana Barroga .... co-executive producer
Ricardo Cabrera .... co-executive producer
Stephanie Cheeva .... producer
Scott Donovan .... producer
Rosemary Gavidia .... co-executive producer
Mark Jacoby .... executive producer
Sebati Edward Mafate .... producer
Sean McCormack .... producer
Lilly Melgar .... producer
Tim Tuchrello .... producer
Maria Vaughn .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Ara Dabandjian 
Saro Koujakian 
Seto Tuncboyaciyan 
Aaron Wall 
Cinematography by
Ian Campbell 
Film Editing by
Yvan Gauthier 
James Kilton 
Tim Tuchrello 
Production Design by
Gladys Rodriguez 
Costume Design by
Ricky Lyle 
Makeup Department
Michelle Dallas .... assistant makeup artist: assistant hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sean Michael Hill .... second assistant director
Ken Ohara .... action sequence director
Ken Ohara .... second unit director
Susie Talebi .... second assistant director
Sound Department
Brian Armstrong .... sound re-recording mixer
Lateef Crowder .... stunt double
Zoli Dora .... stunts
Panuvat Anthony Nanakornpanom .... stunts
Chris Torres .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Timothy Patrick .... assistant camera (as Tim Barney)
Other crew
Rob Holmes .... technical consultant
Stephanie Lytle .... production assistant
Melody Djavadi .... special thanks
Sam Eigen .... special thanks
Brian Sweet .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"When the Cobra Strikes" - USA (original title)
See more »
Rated R for language, violence and brief drug use
89 min
Sound Mix:


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
"If you don't temper your rage, you *will* make a mistake", 12 May 2015
Author: The_Phantom_Projectionist from United States

T.J. Storm is sort of an oddity within martial arts cinema: despite rarely being cast as more than a minor supporting player in most movies (his biggest role to date was as a recurring sidekick on CONAN THE ADVENTURER), he's remained relevant and a minor fan favorite among the B-movie community for more than two decades. The fact that his very first solo vehicle here didn't come about until 21 years after his debut in the movie business is a shame, if only for the fact that he may no longer be in his physical prime, but the movie does nonetheless show that he can still be utilized in larger roles. BLACK COBRA is far from a perfect vehicle, but it is one of the better (very-)low budget vehicles I've seen in a while.

The story: On a quest to liberate his incarcerated father, a South African martial artist (Storm) travels to Los Angeles to secure the necessary legal funds, but runs into unexpected trouble in the form of the Japanese mafia...

The film's premise potentially sets the movie up as a derivative of RUMBLE IN THE BRONX, but this isn't really the case: the scope just isn't there, and even though Storm's character is a stranger to America, there are no awkward culture shock scenes to be had. Nevertheless, the movie isn't humorless, and this helps things immensely: after seeing some of the intro scenes' cheap camera-work, I expected the worst in the form of a cruddy backyard action flick that takes itself too seriously, but the script by Scott Donovan (adapted from Sebati Mefate's novel "When the Cobra Strikes") actually includes a couple laugh-out-loud moments - a rarity among these kinds of flicks. Also serving as co-director (and co-star), Donovan makes the absolute most of what must have been a limited budget, as he believably stages scenes taking place on two different continents and ensures relatively clean-looking production values.

At its worst, the movie's action content is serviceable, but on the downside, its quality never exceeds "kinda good." T.J. Storm is a legitimate practitioner of a plethora of fighting arts, and by default it's cool to watch an African character utilizing snake-style kung fu, but I think it's fair to say that, compared to a good deal of modern practitioners, he's a bit on the slow side, physically. Of course, this may just be the flawed pace of the choreography, but some of his opponents just plainly look quicker than him: Hong Kong veteran Jeff Wolfe and sometimes-heroine Stefanie Cheeva immediately come to mind. Conversely, stalwart villain Cary Tagawa - playing the Yakuza lord - is also kinda slow but looks relatively good when engaging T.J. with a katana; I really wasn't expecting anymore fight scenes out of him, so it's cool that we got this one.

The movie begins with investigating the inequality and racial hatred that still goes on in South Africa, but this ends up giving way to contrasting pictures of friendship and father-son relationships. Pleasingly, the film features sections of genuine Japanese and African dialect being spoken - always a nice thing, in these cheap movies. If BLACK COBRA here were judged simply on a ratio of what was attempted versus what ended up working, it'd get a higher rating, but there's really only so high a rating that I can give a film like this. Were the picture made with an actual budget and with maybe a slightly tighter storyline, not to mention swifter fights, this one would at least manage a 7. Nevertheless, if you're interested in T.J. Storm, this is definitely a place to start.

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