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Cobra

posted by Trevor on 1/16/03

Not so long ago, my girlfriend of three years told me this with solemn conviction while buying Rambo DVD's. Like finding an entire row of Insane Clown Posse albums in your significant other's cd rack, this is one of those jarring revelations in a relationship that sort of sticks with you and makes you question the sanity of your so-called "better half". Needless to say, I've been spending most of my free hours reevaluating the whole of our relationship to Seinfeld-ian minutiae as of late. I don't really find the "biggest" part of her statement to be that unsettling... just completely outdated and misinformed (Apparently, she's unaware of a certain hot up and coming superstar by the name of Charles Bronson). It's the "best" part that is completely bothersome to me (See: "Get Carter", "The Specialist", and so on). However, a lapse in good taste is something I'm terribly familiar with so it's completely forgivable.

What is unforgivable is that upon cross examination, out of nowhere, she told me that "Cobra" is probably her favorite movie of all-time. Read that again and then poke out your eyes. I want that to be the absolute last thing you ever see. The final, glorious contribution of the sense of vision in your life should be the knowledge that I'm fucking the only person in the world who considers "Cobra" to be the height of moviemaking. What that says about me, I don't care to ever know.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not any sort of elitist here, cinematic or otherwise. Growing up, I memorized "Home Alone" from beginning to end and could recite the endlessly humorous dialogue (John Hughes' best!... minus actual good movies) with the correct vocal inflections and facial gestures at the drop of a hat. After that, I went through a much darker stage and memorized "The Good Son" with an even greater enthusiasm than I ever showed towards the now cast away lightweight simplicity of "Home Alone". Have no worries though. Once "Getting Even With Dad" came out, I found my smile again... and it has never left me.

That being said, outside of the Rocky series (Rocky III is in my personal time capsule for future generations to discover... along with Hello Kitty stationary. *cough*), the name Sylvester Stallone has never exactly been a reliable stamp of quality. Maybe I have too many brain cells or too little testosterone to truly appreciate the majority of his body of work in anything heavier than an overly ironic sense. He's arm-wrestling in "Over The Top"! He's all sorts of gross butterfat in "Cop Land"! He's tweaking Estelle Getty's sweet little ass in "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot"! How can I express how all of this makes me feel without the perfect Hot Topic shirt to accompany it?

One word: Cobra.

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Inspirational Stallone Quote #1: "I think that gravity sets into everything, including careers, but pendulums do swing and mountains do become valleys after a while if you keep walking."
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View The Casting Gold:

1. Sylvester Stallone stars as matchstick-chewing, skintight blue jeans-wearing, thug-slaughtering, vigilante cop Lt. Marion Cobretti. We learn about 50 times in the film that the name "Marion Cobretti" is approximately a million times funnier than any video with a football in the groin. He's a member of his police department's "Zombie Squad", the final line in felon-blasting defense. His 1950 Mercury has the license plate "Awsum 50" but it's obvious there's nothing that isn't awesome about Cobra.

Signature quote: "You're the disease and I'm the cure."


This is what I see when I dream.

2. Brigitte Nielsen plays a model named Ingrid who somehow gets involved in the movie for a reason that is never quite understood. It is also never understood why she is a model because Brigitte looks a bit like me in drag... with chunkier legs. Luckily, she dances and cavorts with robots in her sole photoshoot in the movie.

3. Reni Santori (Seinfeld's ever-urinating Poppy) plays both the sidekick and comedic foil of Cobra as Sgt. Gonzales. The only definable character trait Sgt. Gonzales has is that he loves candy. This causes HYSTERICAL!!! HILARIOUS!!! FUNTACULAR!!! dialogue such as:

Sgt. Gonzales: I love candy bars and gummy bears. I want to buy some chocolate and soda!

Lt. Cobretti: Why don't you eat a prune? Don't you like health food? Eat an apple or something.

Sgt. Gonzales: You mean... like a caramel apple?

Lt. Cobretti: *Rolls eyes and kills three million bystanders accidentally when fiery barrels explode*

4. Andrew Robinson (the killer in Dirty Harry) plays the purposely dislikable Detective Monte. He's the guy who gets to utter lines like: "You've gone too far this time, Cobretti!", "You've cost the city 20 million dollars worth of damage, Cobretti!", and "Sex me up long time, Cobretti!". Of course, when life as we know it has been saved at the end of the movie, ol' Detective Monte gets punched out for hassling Cobra over property destruction to the cheers of the millions of filmgoers who didn't actually see the movie.

5. Brian Thompson (Buffalo Bob in Joe Dirt) plays the Night Slasher. He looks and talks a bit like Nicole Bass so, obviously, he's a great choice for the
film's vile antagonist. Let me tell you, no one has ever made making out with Val Venis look so goddamn fucking hot!

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Inspirational Stallone Quote #2: "I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going rather than retreat."
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Personal messages from Sylvester are yet another reason to join his fan club.

Elaborately explaining the plot of Cobra is a little like trying to explain the plot of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to someone who hasn't seen it before.
At every turn, it's so baffling and mind-crushing that it would require John Nash-style codebreaking to explain it in anything other than a broad, condensed manner. So the storyline is simply this: Intense, anti-authority, street-smart cop Marion Cobretti viciously tracks down a serial killer (by using "any means necessary") that has killed 16 innocent people throughout his fine city. Apparently, "any means necessary" involves firing around 25,000 bullets at anything that moves and killing approximately 100 times as many people as the serial killer he's trying to track down.

Along the way, people make fun of the name "Marion", Cobra punctuates every sentence with a hail of bullets aimed at random people walking down the street, and everything blows up (buildings, people, cats, soup cans, Death Stars) then miraculously blows up again for added emphasis!!!! (Like my exclamation points!!!!) in each and every scene.

Of course, the movie ends in a steel factory because 75% of all action movies need a scene where the hero's head is almost dunked in molten metal (Action movie definition of "almost": within a twenty foot radius). After an epic battle where the Night Slasher and Cobra try to hit each other with chains and lumber about almost punching each other, the Night Slasher is impaled on a hook and sent screaming into a handy incinerator where he rapidly burns like a pile of oily rags. In triumph, Cobra ties on his red bandanna and starts yelling while blowing up the factory with his crossbow. The movie closes with Stallone telling the world: "I AM THE LAW!" while Rob Schneider giggles nearby.

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Inspirational Stallone Quote #3: "The Bible is action-packed. The Koran is action-packed. Even Buddha had a few moments of suspense in his life."
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Key Scenes And/Or Reason To Own Cobra:

1. The unsettling home life of Marion Cobretti: Cobra walks into his home after a hard day of blowing up civilian homes and pulls out a pizza box and an egg carton from his refrigerator. By all appearances it'd seem as if he's going to have a semi-conventional meal of some sort, however looks can be deceiving (Other bumper sticker phrases that could've been used there are: "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover" and "Honk If You're Horny!"). We see a solitary slice of cold pizza as Cobra opens the pizza box. He grabs the slice and proceeds to cut off the tip of it with a pair of scissors. He then begins eating the little scrap of Italian goodness and tosses the rest of it away. While eating away like a mongoloid on his little nib of food, he begins to open the egg carton to presumably make a killer pizza tip omelet. Inside the egg carton, however, is where Cobra keeps all of his gun paraphernalia.

I really don't know what was going on here. Every action in this scene looked well-rehearsed and planned but it's like looking into the bizarre mind of a mental patient. If the scene would have held a bit longer, I'm sure we would've seen Marion smearing feces on himself while masturbating into a rusty bucket filled with his own ejaculate... and, of course, being that this is Cobra, the bucket would've suddenly exploded killing everyone and everything within a three block radius.

So why the scissors, Cobra? Couldn't you have pulled a knife out of an egg carton? Also, wouldn't you need a thousand egg cartons to hold all of the weaponry you use in the film? I'm scratching my head so hard in confusion that I'm scraping my brain pan clean, Cobra.


Cutting, topical humor is exactly where Ziggy shines.

2. How Marion Cobretti Parks A Car: Cobra arrives at his house to find a car already parked in his parking space. Do you think a man who kills thousands
of innocent women and babies everyday is going to take that offense lying down? Of course not! He backs up and proceeds to push the offending car out of the way with his beloved "Awsum 50". This causes the Hispanic owner of the car being rammed to come running out while yelling assorted curses at Cobra in Spanish. Now, since I visited Cozumel in Mexico for upwards of an entire day a while back, I can obviously consider myself an expert in matters like these. The correct way to react for me would've been to throw my wallet at the car's Hispanic owner and then run away screaming in terror. I must've went through 30 to 40 wallets that way in Mexico. I mean it's obvious this guy is in a gang because he has a blue bandanna on his head. What more do you need to know?

So there's the correct way and then there's the crazy way. Which one do you think Marion chose?

Cobra walks up to the guy and says:

Lt. Cobretti: It's bad for your health, you know?

Hispanic Guy I Would've Thrown My Wallet At takes a long drag on his
cigarette.

Hispanic Guy: What is, pinche?

Lt. Cobretti: ME!

At this point, Cobra violently grabs the cigarette out of the Hispanic Guy's mouth while ripping his shirt with his other hand. I don't mean a little tear. I mean he's giving something back to all of the Hulkamaniacs out there that have stuck with him through thick and thin all of these years. He was a second away from waving his hand around his ear to see which section of the crowd could scream the loudest. After this amazingly odd moment, Cobra tops himself by spanking his own ass with a newspaper in victory while walking away.

Read that again: Cobra walks away spanking his own ass in victory with a newspaper.

Seeing this, I proceeded to open my own egg carton up and throw ballistic chicken ovum missiles of mass destruction at the television. Surprisingly in real life, some things don't automatically explode upon a small amount of collision impact.

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Stallone Fun Fact #1: Stallone was named worst actor of the last century by the Razzie Awards in 2000. Thus far, he has been nominated for 29 different awards (in categories such as worst screenplay, worst actor, etc.) and somehow snagged nine wins for his wonderous contributions to the art of motion pictures.

Stallone Fun Fact #2: Sylvester Stallone used to be a lion cage cleaner. From beginning to end, it's strange when a life's work can be summed up by one word... "shit".

Stallone Fun Fact #3: Birth complications, caused by forceps, resulted in the paralysis of the lower left side of his face. In other news, a doctor's misuse of forceps has also been blamed for Stallone's screenplay for Driven.

Stallone Fun Fact #4: At fifteen, his classmates voted him the one "most likely to end up in the electric chair". Obviously, their childhood attempts at soothsaying have proven about as fruitful as Stallone's recent attempts at career resuscitation.

Stallone Fun Fact #5: Sylvester Stallone was originally supposed to play the role of Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. I'd like to stick a banana in his tailpipe for this movie... AND ALSO BECUZ I'M THE GAY!!! FREE BLOWJOBS!
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All in all, I must say that this movie really explains a lot about my girlfriend. I now understand the "Awsum 98" license plate. I understand why she uses scissors to cut her food at the dinner table. I even understand why she ducks and covers anytime I lightly bump into something.

What I'll never get my mind around is why she yells out Marion over and over again when she's about to orgasm... Oh wait...

Trevor
trevor@whatever-dude.com

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