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Il Giorno del Cobra

Day of the Cobra
Der Tag der Cobra / Cobra Day

Italy 1980
produced by
Turi Vasile, Fabrizio De Angelis (executive) for Laser Film/Dina Film
directed by Enzo G. Castellari
starring Franco Nero, Sybil Danning, Mario Maranzana, Licinia Lentini, Ennio Girolami, Mickey Knox, Massimo Vanni, Romano Puppo, Angelo Ragusa, Sasha D'Arc, Carlo Gabriel Sparanero, William Berger, Rocco Lerro, Michele Soavi, Enzo G. Castellari, Stefania Girolami Goodwin, Claudio Pacifico
written by Tito Carpi, Fabio Carpi, Aldo Lado, music by Paolo Vasile

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Cobra (Franco Nero) was once the top FBI agent, but then he was framed by a drug kingpin called Kandinsky (Michele Soavi), was dropped by his superiors, and was sent to jail for three years. Nowadays he runs a private investigations agency in San Francisco and is trying to leave the past behind ... until his former boss Goldsmith (William Berger) shows up at his office with a new assignement that would send him to Italy to work on a case that would allow him to finally have his revenge on Kandinsky.

However, the case is much more complex than Cobra would have thought at first, as it does not only involve Kandinsky - who ever so often refrains from killing Cobra and insists he is not the culprit in the whole affair, but also Kandinsky's transvestite boyfriend Ivan/Lola (Licinia Lentini), a beautiful blonde named Brenda (Sybil Danning) Cobra even falls in love with, Papasian (Mickey Knox), Cobra's Italian contact who eventually turns out to be a drug kingpin, and Papasian's bodyguard Martino (Ennio Girolami), and nobody in the whole game seems to be who he is, and everybody is trying to track down two keys that seem to present the riddle's solution. After much to and fro, Kandinsky is pronounced dead but is actually only using his death as a cover-up, Brenda kills Ivan/Lola, Cobra's own son (Carlo Gabriel Sparanero, Franco Nero's real life son) is killed in a kidnapping attempt, Papasian is killed, even Kandinsky turns up dead (for real), and ultimately, it seems that Martino is the one who pulls the strings in the background ... but ultimately, Cobra takes care of him, only to fing out that Brenda has turned on him as well, and ultimately he has to shoot her in self defense. But even Brenda is not the mastermind behind the whole scheme, the real baddie is actually Cobra's own superior Goldsmith - whom cobra shoots in cold blood in the final scene thinking about all the people who had to lose their lives because of his little game, including his son and Brenda.

 


Il Giorno del Cobra is not Enzo G.Castellari's best film, it is just a tad too unreflected in its presentation of Franco Nero as the supercop who's always right, and it by and large lacks Castellari's speciality, elaborate action setpieces. But that said, Il Giorno del Cobra is still pretty good, sure it's a rather mindless action flick with a script that manages to be over-convoluted and overly straightforward at the same time, but Castellari's directorial effort is incredibly competent and compact, he manages to get the best out of even run-of-the-mill action scenes, manages to create suspense aplenty and manages to keep things moving at a steady pace. And of course, Franco Nero's performance as Cobra, two-dimensional as the character might be, is flawless.

Recommended.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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