Monday, January 28, 2008

Black Cobra 2 Review - Margheriti Takes The Snake

Black Cobra 2

1988-L’Immagine S.r.l.

Directed by Edoardo Margheriti (Dan Edwards)

With Fred Williamson, Nicholas Hammond, Emma Hoagland and Mike Monty

Review by David Zuzelo

“Bullshit, I’m not going to no goddammed Philippines!”

Detective Malone is back and his head cracking antics will get him in trouble all over again in this follow up to the popular Stelvio Massi film. Now he faces the ultimate action hero nightmare…a mission in Manila! The Philippines are the home to the big bang blow ‘em up flicks where both life and land are cheap, and the movies are cheaper.

Opening with Fred Williamson appearing on top of a super cool logo, some truly stupid drug dealers decide to make a transaction right in front of Malone and his crew. This leads to a long motorcycle and foot chase and culminates in a hostage situation with a massive gore splattered headshot finale that only Williamson could unleash. Of course that isn’t police standard procedure and as a punishment for his ballistic balls out attitude our man Malone gets traded to the Philippines.

Upon arrival, Malone gets taken by a low conman who also snaps up a briefcase from some tough types during his escape. The Wallet of Williamson may be important, but the briefcase gets the thief killed. Luckily, he mailed the key to find the briefcase off to his daughter…and she (luckily) is attractive. And she likes Malone…lucky again! But will the bad guys use her to find the briefcase? Can his new pal and partner McCall (Nicholas Hammond) be tough like The Hammer and fight back when his son is taken hostage? Will Fred Williamson have a heart attack trying to run up all those flights of stairs?? After gunplay, FredFu, boat ballistics and head smashing all come off the screen everything comes down to a commando raid end sequence that feels so intricate that it could be another film entirely!

Directed by Edoardo Margheriti, his first feature after many years of working with his father Antonio--the Maestro of Mini and Two Fisted Action--this is a very solid effort. Hindered by a teensy budget even by 80’s action standards, Edoardo (as Dan Edwards) swings for the fences when he gets the chance and does his best. Ample slow motion explosions of shotgun gore and some cool shattering glass certainly bear the family trademark well. There is even a mini-car chase, though perhaps more obvious than the ones familiar from his father’s work. When the time comes for the finale, it’s very assured and well designed, exciting even. The cast put forth their best efforts, and TV Spider-Man Nicholas Hammond goes berserk well enough. The Hammer…Fred Williamson is always reliable and he even gets to do some dancing with leading lady Emma Hoagland. Don’t miss friendly action face Mike Monty in a role as well.

Scored with great electronic aplomb and propelled forward even during it’s slower moments by a score from Aldo Salvi, there is a lot to enjoy in Black Cobra 2. At the least, Fred Williamson fans should not miss it, and there are moments for the gore hounds amongst us that will be pleased as well. Made in Manila, where celluloid is cheap and so are the thrills!

2.5 Exploding Huts

Japanese VHS Cover

Australian VHS Cover


Buckaroobanzai said...

Fred Williamson pushes the Action envelope in Manila ;) . Gotta love the Fred Fu. Paul

Jeremy Richey said...

I dig this one as well although I agree that it isn't the kick ass romp the first one is.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the budget as it the lack of funds really hurt the picture.
Still it's fun and nicely done...great post and terrific pics...

Anonymous said...