Netflix Adventures 04: Night of the Cobra Woman



Title: Night of the Cobra Woman

Genre: Horror

Subgenre: Erotic Supernatural Thriller

Vintage: 1973

Director: Andrew Meyer

Netflix’s Lying Description: “A scientist in the Philippines must tear her boyfriend away from the clutches of Lena, a seductive jungle priestess who feasts on snake venom and constant sex to remain young and to prevent herself from turning into a cobra.”

What I expected: A steamy, sensual horror flick with a sultry femme fatale in the lead and boatloads of nudity. It says it right there in the Netflix description: constant sex! Hurray!

What I got: A rather bland co-production published by Roger Corman’s company, New Concorde. The sex scenes were few and far between, and their staging was about as erotic as a trip to the county fair. The special effects make-up was primitive. The acting was limp and bloodless. The story wasn’t anything like what I anticipated: the victims of the transformative venom of the ‘firecrest cobra’ are treated sometimes like drug-addicts, sometimes like cancer patients. Ultimately, the Cobra Woman comes across not as a manipulative villainess, but as an unfortunate soul who is merely doing what she needs to do to in order to survive. The movie shifts perspectives in the middle and concludes with Joy Bang blithely munching on a poisoned mango. It’s a weird one.

What was the best part: This movie is largely terrible from start to finish, but there was one scene in which Lena, the titular Cobra Woman, sheds her skin after making love to an unsuspecting Phillipino fellow. The imagery of shucking off spent skin like so much dirty clothing was surprisingly effective, despite the overall cheapness of the special effects. I also liked the scene in which Lena offers a prayer to her patron snake-deity and explains that she doesn’t want to return to her human form and that she prefers to live as a reptile.

What I learned:

  • A shot from a Ruger pistol leaves no discernable bullet wound and as much blood as half a packet of ketchup.
  • Wandering through the jungles of the Phillipines requires bare legs and a fuzzy, yellow hat.
  • After being assaulted by the mentally handicapped, the best way to assuage your feelings of terror and confusion is to eat Cheerios straight from the box.
  • “Eagles don’t require too much attention.”
  • When making love with your lady-friend, the presence of creepy snakeskin is NOT a huge turn-off.
  • It wouldn’t be a Phillipino movie without at least one cockfight.
  • Joy Bang delivers every line like she’s trying to saw through a log with her voice.

What’s coming next: The gods of the random number generator decree that the next adventure shall be…


The Mighty Peking Man.

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