Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Random Pick: Hunters of the Golden Cobra

Hey gang. Sorry about the week. Been caught up in writing that short story and well I really didn't want to stop. So I was looking up cheeseball action movie titles and well this seemed like complete dog flop. With the capable hands of one Antonio Margheriti (Horror Castle, Flesh for Frankenstein, Cannibal Apocalypse, Yor, Hunter from the Future, The Last Blood, The Ark of the Sun God, Jungle Raiders, Kommando Leopard and Alien from the Deep) this could go either way. This is The Hunters of the Golden Cobra a.k.a. Golden Cobra, Hunters of the Golden Cobra, Jungle Hunt.

I say old sport, this is a spot of bother, ah wot?

For more than 40 years, many a household plans a bad movie night for riffing, mockery or just flat out having plenty of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moments. Today's film is no exception. Fimed in Italy, the taglines alone are worth the viewing.  The Mission: Recover the World's Most Priceless Treasure. The Odds: Impossible! No we are not chasing after the Ark of the Covenant nor the Holy Grail. Instead the Golden Cobra is besought and coveted for its supernatural powers. Not sure if it has anything to do with a ruthless terrorist organization bent on ruling the world.

New Wave Sheena of the Jungle.

Towards the end of WWII, American Green Beret Bob Jackson (David Warbeck of Duck, You Sucker, The Beyond, The Last Hunter, The Black Cat, Karate Warrior 4, Karate Warrior 5 and Mean Tricks) and British Intelligence Officer (MI-6 I guess and possibly SAS trained) Captain David Franks (John Steiner of Beyond the Door II, A Man Called Blade, Question of Love, Caligula, The Last Hunter, Tenebre, Yor, the Hunter from the Future, The Ark of the Sun God and Cut and Run) get separated from each other during their mission to eliminate a lunatic Japanese general. With bit of assistance of stock footage, pyrotechnics at work for flame pots, the fortified region is no more and our boys slip in. The action feels a bit Guns of the Navarone meets Raiders of the Lost Ark. Franks gives of the stereotypical appearance of an Englishman unflappable in the path of danger while Jackson is mildly whimsical.

Several small scale model explosions but well matched to the existing footage so planes, fuel trucks and junglescape getting blown up left and right. Jackson witnesses the fleeing major taken down by poisonous blow darts propelled by the cannibal cast of Zombie Holocaust. One year later, Franks and Jackson catch up as both men beat the crap out of each other morphing a wonderful day for cockfighting into a full donnybrook. Franks offers a fair degree of cash not mention both their governments want to know the location of the Golden Cobra. Believed to have belonged to ancient Asian people the Amox, this relic could insight holy wars, mystical powers and possibly leave the governments of Asia toppled due superstitious fear.

Pantless cocktail hour? Count me in.

And once again a familiar character actor playing Greenwater looking far more reputable than ever , an American archeologist searching for his lost niece (Luciano Pigozzi of General Della Rovere, Two Women, Blood and Black Lace, Werewolf in a Girl's Domitory, Castle of the Living Dead and Yor, Hunter of the Future) once again voiced in dub by the one and only Edward Mannix.

Most of our jungle war scenes, yup you guessed it we are back in the Philippines because Vietnam just doesn't care for film crews at all. Something about a police action in the 60s and 70s. I dunno. Wasn't paying attention. A lot of the soundtrack sounds lifted from Man From U.N.C.L.E. All the incidental music screams, "I belong on the set of Gunsmoke," but I could be wrong. Coming at you with an hour and 35 minutes, this is well paced, tries to be original in spite of the source materials it is clearly lifting and is actually engaging. 

Hmm Roger Moore or Jonny Lee Miller?