Cult Of The Cobra (1955)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/19/15
Cast: Faith Domergue, Richard Long, Marshall Thompson, Kathleen Hughes, William Reynolds

"Truth is in the mind and the mind of Man varies with time and place. The time is 1945. The place is Asia."

Six American soldiers are playing tourist in an Asian market where they stumble upon a snake charmer. Desperate for cash, the man offers to smuggle the soldiers into a forbidden Lamian ritual, where women can turn into snakes. One of the drunk and impossibly stupid Americans blows his cover by taking a photograph of the secret ceremony, and they barely escape with their lives. Unfortunately, they've also been cursed by the Lamian priest to die one by one at the hands (fangs?) of the snake goddess. When the boys make it back to New York, a mysterious woman (Faith Domergue) enters their lives and people start dying in freak accidents.

It starts out promising and the premise makes for an interesting story, but the film's pacing is horribly sluggish and none of the characters are remotely likable. It becomes even more unbearable when an awkward romance blooms between Domergue and Marshall Thompson. The film features no visual effects, apart from a first-person "snake vision" gimmick that's used when the snake goddess strikes. It feels like a missed opportunity more than anything else, as an occult based horror film gives way to a boring and tragic romance story.