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Universal Horror Collection Vol 6 Main

Universal Horror Collection: Volume 6 - Cult of the Cobra Blu-ray Review

Written by Robert Gold

Blu-ray released by Scream Factory

Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 Large

Directed by Francis D. Lyon
Written by Jerry Davis, Cecil Maiden and Richard Collins
1955, 82 minutes, Not Rated
Released on August 25th, 2020

Faith Domergue as Lisa Moya
Richard Long as Paul Able
Marshall Thompson as Tom Markel
Kathleen Hughes as Julia Thompson
William Reynolds as Pete Norton

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In 1945, a group of six American soldiers stationed somewhere in Asia come across a snake charmer in a local bazaar. They talk about the legend of the Lamians, a secret society that worship snakes and are believed to hold the power to transform serpents into people and back again. The charmer offers to take them to a private ceremony if they pay him $100. He urges them to keep their identities as outsiders concealed and warns them to be respectful. One of the soldiers takes a photo during the ritual resulting in chaos. The cult leader lays a curse on the Americans and before the night is over, one of them is dead.

The remaining five fly back to New York where they set about resuming civilian life pursuing new jobs and old flames. Their leader Paul is recently engaged to Julia, his comrade/roommate Tom’s ex-girlfriend. Despite some initial awkwardness, the three promise to remain friendly. Tom soon meets a beautiful woman named Lisa, who moves in across the hall. Not long after her arrival, a series of deadly snake bites occur and it appears the curse has followed the soldiers home. Paul suspects Lisa is involved, which causes a rift with Tom who has fallen in love with her. Can he prove to his friend that something is off about this woman?

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Faith Domergue (This Island Earth) stars as Lisa Moya, the deadly snake woman. She plays it cool and reserved, filling the role with a quiet intensity. Richard Long (House on Haunted Hill) is Paul Able, our likeable hero trying to solve the mystery of what is responsible for the deaths of his friends. Marshall Thompson (IT! The Terror from Beyond Space) does a fine job in the tricky role of Tom Markel, the guy who falls for the serpent lady and defends her against his best friend. Kathleen Hughes (It Came from Outer Space) is the lovely Julia, whose standout moment comes when she finds herself confiding in the villainous Lisa before realizing she is in physical danger.

Cult of the Cobra is a fun addition to the Innocents Abroad subgenre where people trespass in a foreign land and are summarily punished by outside (usually supernatural) forces. There have been a handful of movies where people turn into snakes and cause trouble – The Reptile, Sssssss and Dreamscape to name just a few – and this one lands somewhere in the middle in terms of quality. Directed by Francis D. Lyon (Castle of Evil), the picture contains some striking images and a few suspenseful moments.

 Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 09 Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 10

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