Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 08/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Giant snake movies have been popular enough for quite a few of them to be made. This one involves a giant snake that is half king cobra and half diamondback rattler. That alone would make for a nasty critter, but there is no explanation as to why the thing is so big.There is also a gap after the snake escapes (before the credits) and the main bulk of the movie. We get a screen with the words "2 Years Later". What has the giant snake been doing in all that time?There was a touch of Jaws added in that the snake comes to a small town that is just about to be in the middle of a festival that spells financial freedom for much of the town (a local brewery is going to go national).Our cast of characters includes the Mayor (Hoyt Axton is great as usual), his daughter who is a police officer, and her boyfriend who is the town doctor but is moving to the big city. Add the scientist whose lab the snake escape from (actually a good guy) and a herpetologist (Pat Morita) and you have pretty much the whole thing.While this snake is huge, it is not bulletproof like Python. It is a normal genetically-spliced specimen. Ordinary tactics will work against it.The film does a pretty good job of adding some tension and scenes that make you jump or flinch (something lacking from most of the snake movies). All in all a pretty good effort."
Possible To Like For Different Reasons
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am surprised to find that anyone thought this was a scary, well-acted, "carefully crafted" movie - their standards must be rather low. However giving King Cobra a low rating and being critical of its low-budget special effects, implausible action scenes and tired dialogue misses the fun: it's so bad it's good. Seeing Pat Morita seriously try to wrangle a giant snake, going mano a mano ("hand-to-hand") with the cobra spitting venom in his face, while Pat tries to subdue it using a pole is so lame one can only smile incredulously. Upon witnessing Pat saving the cobra's life from a shotgun blast only to then complain, "We've got to get that damn cobra before it gets one of us!" I could only shake my head. When no one bothers to watch where the giant snake slithers off to because they're too busy talking to each other about "the plan" I grinned at the director's failure to even try for believability. It helped that I found this movie in the bargain bin and that I drink alot."
Its Bark is Worse Than its Bite...
John | UK | 03/31/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"King CobraI didn't know this was a sequel to the 1997 sleeper "Anaconda" until I looked it up on IMDb. Needless to say, it's worse than the original."The Karate Kid" star Pat Morita (yeah, the Chinese guy) stars as a snake hunter who must track down a genetically-altered King Cobra python-whatever when it escapes its super-duper high tech prison: a tin cage. Wow, the government must really be cutting down on containment these days. Anyway, Pat goes after the snake with the help of Scott Hillenbrand (also co-director of this journey) and Casey Fallo, who do, of course, fall in love and kiss right after a snake is about to chomp their heads off. But that's okay - it's in the script.There are countless things in this film that are truly laughable, including the scene where Pat Morita tells Hillenbrand that he injects himself with snake venom to acquire an immunity to it. You can see the regret in Pat?s eyes. He knows this is a stinky movie, and he hates having to say what he?s saying. He?s been around in the Hollywood circuit long enough to know that saying that kind of thing can get a film - and an actor - killed. But directors can be very picky about their films. I just thought of something that rhymes with ?picky,? as well.Pat Morita is in the low-point of his career. Actually, let's face it: He doesn't have a career. He got lucky off a few ?Karate Kid? movies, and his fame disappeared instantaneously. He tried to get back in the acting showbiz with ?The Next Karate Kid,? but his plan backfired, and his apprentice in the film became the one to gain worldwide recognition AND an Oscar (Hilary Swank). Too bad for Pat.Scott Hillenbrand is like scraping the bottom of the barrel. His acting talent is niltch. He can?t direct or act, which leaves me to wonder...how did he get his big break? I can?t imagine he gained anything from the 1997 thriller ?Hostile Takeover?.David Hillenbrand, Scott?s brother, is the other co-director of this film. And quite frankly, they both share the family gene specialty, which is being manager at a McDonald?s somewhere out in Oklahoma. That?s their specialty, and they should stick to it.Saying this movie is bad is like saying "Anaconda" was sort of bad. The original was awful enough, but this sinks even lower in the depths than the original.Sure, it's great for a Friday or Saturday night when you've got nothing else to do. But in all honestly, I'd rather waste 93 minutes of my life on something good than something below-average, even if it has a campy quality to it (and not much at that!).Worth avoiding at all costs. Well, almost all costs. It?s hard to keep a straight face when Morita says he injects himself with snake poison. What a pathetic way to make the hero immune to venom. B-A-D is written all over this straight-to-video flop."
Pat Morita, Erik Estrada, Hoyt Axton And A Giant Snake Named
Robert I. Hedges | 05/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In "King Cobra" Scott and David Hillenbrand bring us another giant snake epic. I have seen any number of this genre of films and this is actually one of the more entertaining of the bunch. The film borrows conceptually from the great "animals gone wild" films that came before it, most notably "Jaws", but does so in an entertaining manner that lets the film be derivative yet simultaneously amusing.
The film opens in a secret lab where there is a mutiny by several underlings who don't understand the scientific method at all well. The net result is the release of Seth, a giant half-cobra, half-rattlesnake mutant which was bio-engineered for maximum aggression.
Two years later a small town is preparing to host a lager festival, which is wholeheartedly endorsed by Erik Estrada in a hilarious and very flamboyant cameo completely unlike his typecast roles. After a few deaths the mayor is asked to call off the festival, but of course that's out of the question. An expert herpetologist is called. Who could it be? None other than Pat Morita, who comes up with a plan involving a vibrating machine, a large metal tube, and a goat to capture the snake. To say that the plan encounters difficulties is something of an understatement. (As an aside, is kung fu really a recommended method of self defense against a thirty foot long snake?) The plot is resolved and the cast is thinned out in a manner you may be completely expecting, but the scenes of the love-struck protagonists rolling a giant tube containing a huge snake around in the forest is a special treat.
The DVD has several extras including a decent commentary from the Hillenbrand brothers, a trailer for the film, and a making of feature that is brief but interesting. For all the cheesiness to be had here the actual models and special effects are notably better than many CGI snakes that have starred in other (even worse) giant snake films.
If you like implausible B-movies featuring giant creatures eating helpless small town citizens, this is a predictable, inane, yet fairly entertaining herpetological voyage."
Good Bad Film
Biff Fearless | Cape Coral, FL USA | 01/20/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a movie for you if you are looking for Masterpiece theatre.If, however, you enjoy the Mystery Theatre 3000 kind of film, strap yourself in for this one. It is so ludicrous and utterly preposterous that it is entertaining in its own badness. Where else can you see Pat Morita portray an illustrious herpetologist who hunts 30 foot poisonous snakes with nothing more than a stick? Let me just say this...wait for the drop-kick. You'll be rolling on the floor"