Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Cult of the Cobra (1955)

Poster for Cult of the Cobra (1965)Cult of the Cobra (1955) by #FrancisDLyon

w/ #FaithDomergue #RichardLong #MarshallThompson #KathleenHughes

Ex-G.I.s are hunted down by a woman who can transform herself into a cobra.

“The fangs of the Snake Goddess will PIERCE YOUR FLESH!”

#Horror #Fantasy

Cult of the Cobra (1955) is another one of those movies that may well have been shown on Not Quite Classic Theatre back in the 1980s. I don’t recall seeing it back then, but it could have been part of a triple feature I experienced one late Saturday night. It certainly fits in with movies I do remember like  Monster on the Campus (1958) and The Monolith Monsters (1957). 

Cult of the Cobra is kind of like a werewolf movie, but about a woman who turns into a snake. I suppose the other obvious comparison might be to Cat People (1942). And I always used to lament the fact that Cat People didn’t spawn a whole sub-genre of movies about cat people (sort of like the over-crowded werewolf genre, for instance). Yes, there was one sequel and a remake. And I used to imagine that The Leopard Man (1943) might be some sort of not-too-distant cousin. But, basically, cat people did not become one of the three or four big movie monsters. 

Cult of the Cobra gives me the same feeling. The “it’s too bad this movie didn’t spawn a whole series of movies”, feeling. It’s really quite a great idea. A woman who becomes a deadly cobra monster. She even experiences some of the same doubts and guilt that Larry Talbot (The Wolfman (1941)) does. It had a lot of potential, I think.

There were a couple of other human-beings-turning-into-snakes-movies over the years, but none of them sparked a whole sub-genre of copycats. Sssssss (1973) is a prime example (and it’s a movie that should be featured in this very blog sometime in the future). I suppose  The Lair of the White Worm (1988) is also related in it’s own way. It’s a very good movie that should be better known that it is.

But Cult of the Cobra is what I’m here to talk about… and unfortunately my time is as scarce as it’s been for the past couple of weeks. So, I’ll have to get right to the point:

I liked Cult of the Cobra (1955) very much. I’m sure there are some outdated, politically incorrect moments in it (as there are in many older movies), but overall I found it to be charming and delightful. It’s exactly the sort of movie that could have inspired me when I was a teenager. It’s #NotQuiteClassicCinema of a type that they just don’t make anymore. Classy and tasteful, and yet somehow edgy and provocative at the same time – or perhaps I should say, for it’s time. I don’t know how I’ve missed it up until now, but I intend to make sure that I revisit it many times in the future. And I can say without a doubt that at least one them will be on a #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.