|Vintage Pulp||Jan 1 2009|
Night of the Cobra Woman, which opened in the U.S. today in 1972, wasn’t even remotely about top-billed actress Joy Bang getting it on with a snake, as the promo poster hints. No, the plot actually involves were-serpents—you know, people who turn into serpents. Seriously. And the lead is not Bang, but is actually African Amerian actress Marlene Clark, not deemed worthy of a place on the poster for reasons we can only guess. Meanwhile, a shoestring special effects budget denies us the thrill of believable snake transformations. But we do see a lot of Clark's flesh, and that, as they say, is at least something.
The film was shot in the Philippines, which gives it a gritty feel, but even though Philippine laws are notoriously lax concerning snake-on-girl action, it never actually occurs in the way implied on the promo. So basically, the filmmakers cruelly teased the snakes, then compounded this sin by violating truth-in-advertising laws. Had we been around in 1972, and had PETA been around, we’d have called them in, because it’s evil to give any creature blue balls, but particularly snakes, who have to slither around on them. Frankly, we expected more from an actress named Bang.