Cult of the Cobra (1955)

Six army buddies decide to do some sight-seeing among a cult of shape-shifters when they should have stayed in the bar and had a few more beers.

The movie’s not as bad as the title suggests, thanks mainly to enthusiastic performances from Thompson, Kelly, and Long. You might expect them to walk through their parts in a low budgeter like this, but they don’t. Instead they inject needed vitality into the far-fetched premise. Now, if Domergue could just suggest some menace in an otherwise deadpan performance as the snake lady, we might get a hint of a coming shape-shift. No wonder director Lyon has to use a pin light on her expressionless face to indicate she’s no lady after all.

The bowling alley sequence is the movie’s only scary part. Too bad Lyon doesn’t play up the suspense in the other stalking sequences. Instead, we go from snake shadow to dead body, leaving out the scary part. Then too, I wish they had more than one staircase street set. If I catch this flick again, I’ll try counting the times they use and re-use it. In my book, the movie isn’t bad enough to make it as camp. Instead, it’s a not-very-good horror flick, mainly because of Domergue.