Saturday, October 19, 2013

Horror Thoughts ‘13—Night of the Cobra Woman (1972) *

R, 85 min.
Director: Andrew Meyer
Writers: Kerry Magness, Andrew Meyer
Starring: Joy Bang, Marlene Clark, Roger Garrett, Vic Diaz, Rosemarie Gil, Slash Marks, Vic Silayan

The logic of how the cobra woman and her powers work in “Night of the Cobra Woman” are about as solid as the dialogue and the acting. Not a compliment.

I have to admit, I’m not really sure of the purpose of this movie. It’s not really scary. It’s not really sexy. It’s not really campy. It’s not really good. I thought at first that the “horror” of the story was just an excuse for the director to show some boobies. While the naked female breast is featured prominently in several scenes, little attempt is made to present them as sexy and appealing.

The plot is about a woman researching snake anti-venom in the Philippians. She hears of a rare snake and woman in the mountains that keeps them.  Upon her first visit to the woman, she’s scared away by a deformed man. She never attempts to contact the woman again; but her boyfriend flies in to visit, and he goes to find the woman. After being bitten by her cobra, the boyfriend falls under the cobra woman’s spell. The rest of the movie involves he and her trying to find young men with whom she can have sex in order to retain her youth. Her venom will allow him to stave off a rapid aging process brought on by the snake’s venom. You see what I mean about the logic of it? 

Although I’d lose all my credibility as a critic if I even considered recommending this sad excuse for a film, I couldn’t help enjoying the awfulness of it all. Certainly a movie like this is ripe for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment. Just coming up with reasons for the boyfriend’s constant dumbfounded expression would make such an endeavor worthwhile. But it is important to note that sometimes the availability of all these forgotten films made possible by the invention of instant streaming is often a dangerous thing indeed.

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