Stallone is 75 today? Dude’s in better shape than I’ve ever been in! At first I was gonna focus just on Cobra, but then I found out it’s also Burt Ward’s birthday too as well. He’s 76. So, yeah, “Holy double feature” right? I mean, seems only fair.
Burt Ward Featurette
Age before, as they say, beauty. Not sure why they say that, whoever they are. Even less sure why I said it. But still, let’s start with Burt Ward. I could only find a couple of horror movies for him, neither of which I’ve seen. He was in a direct-to-video flick called The Dwelling and had a brief appearance driving a dune buggy in Scream, Evelyn, Scream.
I was, however, an avid follower of Batman back in the day with him and Adam West, and there were a few legit creepy moments he got tangled up in. There was the potential attack by hungry tigers. I guess that’s not really so creepy, cuz awwww, tigers. But getting ripped asunder by a few, that might sting a bit. It’s also got that whole “The Lady, Or The Tiger” short story thing goin’ on.
Let’s see, there were also killer plants, a giant quicksand cake, and being turned into a Slurpee. But one cliffhanger that will be forever blazed into my memory was a Joker caper. “Has the giant clam really swallowed Robin?” I remember just his feet hangin’ out but still moving. For some reason, that just freaked me the hell out as a kid. These days, Ward maintains major involvement with large breed dog rescue with Gentle Giants Rescue And Adoption.
Main Feature: Cobra
This might be pushing the boundaries of conventional horror, but stay with me here. Stallone is Marion Cobretti, codename Cobra (duh), who is part of a special LAPD division called The Zombie Squad. Colorful names, yes? Of course that always makes me jump right to “Call me Snake,” but that’s quite another movie for another time. there’s a widespread murder cult involved. So there’s that.
Anyway, the cult is called The New World. Its adherents believe only the strong are fit for survival, so it’s their purpose in life to kill those who don’t measure up which is pretty much anyone who isn’t them. They meet in the eerie as hell empty swimming pool of the now gone Pacific Coast Club where everyone holds their weapons over their heads and goes clang-clang with them.
Speaking of Burt Ward as Robin, Brigitte Nielsen does a fine job getting hauled around from place to place as the sexy, mop-haired
taker up of space target/hostage. There is also much badassery to be had in the way of beat downs, shootouts, executions, laser-sighted guns, vicious-looking knives, car chases, explosions, and the hulking crag-faced menace that is Brian Earl Thompson.
And standing majestically atop all this wreckage, The King Cobra Of The Hill if you will, is Cobretti hisself. Let’s start with the car, one of Stallone’s very own vehicles, none other than the Lead Sled itself, a 1950 Mercury Monterey. Moving on, there’s his custom 9mm conversion Colt Gold Cup National Match (I wrote all that like I actually know what any of it means) complete with a cobra on the handle.
Finally, oh the one-liners:
“You’re the disease, and I’m the cure.”
Night Slasher: “We are the future!”
Cobra: “No, you’re history.”
“I don’t deal with psychos. I put them away.”
Killer In Supermarket: “I’ll blow this whole place up!”
Cobra: “Go ahead. I don’t shop here.”
Also worth mentioning is the varied career of director George P. Cosmatos who may be best known for Tombstone and is no stranger to action what with The Cassandra Crossing and First Blood Part II. Incidentally that’s where my “colorful names” crack came from. Soviet Lt. Col. Podovsky says it while torturing Rambo. Anyway, Cosmatos has turned his hand to horror before as well with Leviathan and the criminally underrated tale of Peter Weller vs. a rat in Of Unknown Origin.
Ultimately, then, I think it’s fair to give Cosmatos some credit where credit’s due for bringin’ a little zhuzh & sparkle to action/adventure by adding just a spritz of horror. Clang-clang.
BODIES- Again, didn’t count it myself. An AllOuttaBubbleGum.com video has 41 for Cobra. IMDB lists another 11 not by Cobra
Rent- Apple TV, Google Play, Prime, Vudu YouTube