While stationed in Asia, six American G.I.'s witness the secret ritual of Lamians (worshipers of women who can change into serpents). When discovered by the cult, the High Lamian Priest vows that "the Cobra Goddess will avenge herself". Once back in the United States, a mysterious woman enters into their lives and accidents begin to happen. The shadow of a cobra is seen just before each death.Written by
What's the first behavior rule when you're visiting a faraway continent particularly Asia, Africa or South America that culturally speaking differs a lot from your own? Duh, don't interfere with local religious movements and/or voodoo cults, because they WILL come after you and they WILL find you, even when you consider yourself to be safe back home again. "Cult of the Cobra" is a charming and fairly entertaining 50's occult thriller, but it's certainly nothing special or unique. In fact, the plot is quite derivative of the Jacques Tourneur/Val Lewton classic "Cat People" (undeniably one of the greatest horror milestones ever made), since both stories revolve gorgeous women living with the ability or is it curse? to transform into a deadly animal. Six American members of the same Air Force unit spend a few touristy days in an Asian country (my best guess would be either India or Malaysia) and bluntly pay a snake charmer big money to secretly attend a gathering of the infamous Lamian cult, of which the members supposedly change themselves in snakes and back. Naturally they get caught, when the dumbest boy of them all takes a photograph, and only narrowly escape. Unaware they've been placed under a curse, the six friends start being killed off one by one when back in the United State. Moreover, the mysterious accidents began simultaneously with Tom acquaintance with an introvert exotic beauty living across the hall. "Cult of the Cobra" benefits the most from Faith Domergue's performance as the oddly seductive Lisa (she's a lot better here than she was in "This Island Earth" or "It Came from beneath the Sea") and a couple of imaginative camera gimmicks, like for example snake POV shots and nice use of shadow effects. Unfortunately, there are also several overlong and tedious scenes and not a single one of the male protagonists deserves any of your sympathy. Especially Tom is a pretty loathsome guy, since his behavior is obtrusive and aggressive towards women and jealous towards his own friends.
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