“The Cobra Goddess will avenge herself. One by one you will die!!”
No no, she’s not talking about you guys. You, please, keep reading…
The Metzingers over at the SILVER SCENES blog is holding their Universal Pictures blogathon. When I think of Universal Pictures, the first thing that comes to mind are those great monsters of the 1930’s and 40’s. I’m going to weigh in on two of them: “Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman” and this one here.
Call me crazy, call me silly, but I didn’t think “CULT OF THE COBRA” was half-bad. I enjoyed the film. No, it doesn’t have the likes of John Ashley or William Campbell in it, but it does have a plethora of good-looking, solid tv-actors. ( Hey, I even saw David Janssen smile in this! ) Look what director Francis D. Lyon has to work with: bodacious hunks of the 1950’s:
and all contemporaries of my dad. He should have considered being a movie star.
This all wouldn’t come together without the right actress to play the head cobra.
Doesn’t she look right for the part? Faith Domergue is cast as the cobra who turns into a woman. Or is that a woman who turns into a cobra? Whichever way the rattle shakes, somebody is going to get bitten. Sssssssss! The movie doesn’t have time to explain the hows and whys Domergue is imbued with this power of transformation, nor should you need it. I mean, who needs explanations when there is suspension of disbelief. And boy, does that suspension work overtime. Domergue does have a different kind of look than the average horror babe.
THE PLOT: ( Well…I have to call it something )
A couple of Airforce men spend a thoughtful last day of their leave, scoring some tickets to
watch a snake-y religious ceremony unfit for Western eyes. I’m guessing the budget was too low to depict a house of ill-repute. Of course you can’t take us anywhere, so like the
proverbial bull in a china shop, the soldiers disrupt the sacred ceremony. Before you can shout “THERE ARE MUTHA *&#!!#@!* SNAKES ON THIS MUTHA *#!@%! PLANE!” our U.S. servicemen are chased through the fake set of the Casbah by an angry mob of snake-worshippers. ( Uhhhh…you don’t want to see THEM pissed! ) A curse is laid upon these Infidels ( that’d be us ) that follows them back to the States and their un-enlisted lives. Anyone can outrun a Mummy but it’s tough to outrun a cobra that slithers up behind you.
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS: ( C’mon…you know you want to know )
Pay no attention to howling dogs, whinnying horses or shrieking cats who react when Domergue crosses their paths; their animal instincts are only infinitely more honed than mankind’s by eons of evolution. Alright alright, so the movie’s low budget prevents us from seeing how the cobra goes from crayons-to-perfume and we do it without Jack Pierce’s mastery. But I accept and believe her shadow on the wall changes from the female form divine to a handpuppet snake. One minute we have the snake’s p.o.v.:
…And the next minute, Faith Domergue is standing uncomfortably close to you staring you down with ‘…eyes, like a cobra’s eyes’:
Too close for comfort, but he doesn’t know that, yet…
That’s no one-armed man he sees. It’s the cobra woman sitting in the back seat of Janssen’s cab. That the cabbie would pick up a cobra woman before he’d pick up a person of color is political commentary best left for my FaceBook page. Suffice it to say, if she’s in the backseat of your cab…you only have moments to live:
This is going down like “And Then There Were None.” But Domergue is conflicted. ( NOW she’s conflicted? Oy! ) She has already killed three of Marshall Thompson’s buddies.
Ha! Doesn’t it look like Marshall’s suggesting Faith’s next victim? Oh loooook…
She now has developed
a taste for him, feelings for him. And he for her. Some pal!
Look, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. But you’ve seen classic films. You’ve seen schlock before…so you know what’s going to happen. Lets just say that a snake doesn’t have nine lives.
Say, I wonder what would happen if it were a bunch of Waves or WACs who witnessed the ceremony, and the snake was George Nader, Keith Andes, Rex Reason or Jeff Morrow slithering across the set? Preferably in 3-D.
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Join me for another Universal film, my entry: “FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN.” But if you’re done with my silly-ness, you’ve got some great topics covered in Silver Scenes’ blogathon. Just click on this banner. But be careful that it doesn’t turn into a snake!
( H O M E )