Cult of the Cobra


Francis D. Lyon
Universal Pictures

Group of GIs stationed in India at the end of World War II search for local color, and find it when they visit the temple of a snake worshipping cult. Unfortunately one of them is dumb enough to take a flash camera into the temple, bringing a death curse down upon the whole group.

After the war, the members of the group start dying in accidents, while one of them meets a mysterious woman, who doesn't drink or smoke, and whom animals are deathly afraid of. Coincidence? Of course not. . .

Decent little thriller is slightly too slow-moving, but benefits from some moody, noirish photography that creates a Lewtonesque atmosphere, as well as a fine conflicted performance from Domergue, who for once gets to do more than make coffee for the scientists. The five main leads (Long, Thompson, Reynolds, Kelly & Janssen) all had leading roles in TV shows of the 60s (Big Valley, Daktari, The F.B.I., Maverick and The Fugitive, respectively), which may account for some of its appeal today. The filmmakers and cast do deserve some credit for sketching the cursed group as likable enough guys, because honestly they rather deserve what they get for being ignorant "Ugly American" type tourists.

-Dave W.

30th May 1955

82 mins

Faith Domergue
Lisa Moya
Richard Long
Paul Able
Marshall Thompson
Tom Markel
Kathleen Hughes
Julia Thompson
William Reynolds
Pete Norton
Jack Kelly
Carl Turner
Myrna Hansen
Marian Sheehan
David Janssen
Rico Nardi
Leonard Strong
James Dobson
Nick Hommel
Walter Coy
Police Inspector
The Carlssons
Native Dancers
Olan Soule
Major Martin Fielding
Helen Wallace
Mrs. Webber
Mary Alan Hokanson
Army Nurse
(as Mary Ann Hokanson)
John Halloran
Lamian High Priest
Alan Reynolds
Captain Steve Williams
Ben Frommer
Hotdog Stand Proprietor
Edward Platt
Lamian Threatening Death
Bing Russell
Laundry Man
Jack Rutherford
William Vedder
Stage Door Watchman
Jarl Victor
Laboratory Worker
Larry Williams
David Armstrong
Party Guest
Rama Bai
Woman in Asian Market Square
George Calliga
Cafe Patron
Dick Cherney
Cafe Patron
Paul Cristo
George DeNormand
Observer at Scene
Don Dillaway
Onlooker at Carl's Death
George Ford
Chuck Hamilton
Tourist in Asian Market Square
Sam Harris
Officer in Asian Market Square
Chester Hayes
Shep Houghton
Party Guest
Walter Lawrence
Charles Morton
Observer at Scene
Jack Perry
Observer at Scene
Murray Pollack
Party Guest
Paul Power
Show Spectator
John Roy
George Sowards
Man Calming Horse
Lawrence A. Williams

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes

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