Movie Name: Cult of the Cobra
Studio: Universal International
Release Date(s): May 30, 1955
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
A group of officers visit India while on leave and buy their way into a secret ceremony of the Lamian worshippers who believe in the transformation from snakes into humans. When the men interrupt the ceremony, they are targeted for death. Returning to America, the officers begin to dying in strange and unusual ways. When Tom (Marshall Thompson) meets his mysterious new neighbor Lisa Moya (Faith Domergue), he finds himself in love…but Lisa has secrets of her own.
Directed by Francis D. Lyon, Cult of the Cobra is a horror B-Movie released in 1955. The movie was originally released as double feature with The Creature from the Black Lagoon sequel Revenge of the Creature.
Cult of the Cobra is a rather generic horror film. The movie was heavily played and gained fans through it. Having not seen it before, watching Cult of the Cobra free of any preconceived notions (aka seeing it as a kid), it feels like MST3K fodder.
The movie is one of those films based on the “strange Orient”. The American officers invade the beliefs of the Indian people and it comes back to bite them (literally). I don’t really feel too bad for the officers who see the Lamian ceremony as a sideshow. The movie then turns into a Cat People story with Lisa trapped between her emotions for Tom and her feelings as a cobra…but Cat People does it much better.
The heart of Cat People is Simone Simon who has a lot of sympathy as Irena in that movie. Faith Domergue doesn’t have Simone’s depth and it is harder to like her character. While she should have been the focus of the movie, it is the rather dull officers who are the leads…it just doesn’t do much.
The movie also isn’t very stylish. The movie looks cheap. I like the ceremony of the snake (though it is cheap looking too). If the visuals had been more stylish, the movie would have been more powerful.
Curse of the Cobra is a rather dull horror film. The whole movie could have been better with some tweaking to the script, a few more dollars thrown at it, and a better cast, but it still was probably ill conceived and dated by today’s standards. The movie feels like a long episode of Tales from the Darkside or even The Twilight Zone…which could have been told in a half-an-hour with more sympathy and style.