King Cobra (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
King Cobra
King Cobra DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by David Hillenbrand
Scott Hillenbrand
Produced by David Hillenbrand
Scott Hillenbrand
Written by David Hillenbrand
Scott Hillenbrand
Guy Stodel
Starring Pat Morita
Scott Hillenbrand
Hoyt Axton
Joseph Ruskin
Courtney Gains
Music by David Hillenbrand
Cinematography Philip D. Schwartz
Edited by Guy W. Cearley
Distributed by Trimark Pictures
BMG Video
Release dates
April 27, 1999 (1999-04-27)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

King Cobra is a 1999 Trimark Pictures direct to video horror/sci-fi film about an escaped genetically engineered hybrid of an Asian King Cobra and an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. The film was written and directed by David Hillenbrand and Scott Hillenbrand, and featured special effects by The Chiodo Brothers.


A genetics laboratory run by Dr. Irwin Burns (Joseph Ruskin) to research aggressive behavior has an accident, resulting in a chemical fire and explosion, and the escape of a thirty foot long hybrid snake with traits of both the Asian King Cobra (in the film, it is referred to as the African King Cobra, even though the King Cobra species doesn't inhabit the African Subcontinent) and the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. Loose in the countryside and filled with the experimental aggressiveness drug, the snake, nicknamed "Seth", eventually outgrows his woodland prey, it begins hunting the residents of the small brewery town of Filmore. Doc Kragen (Scott Hillenbrand) conducts an autopsy on a recently found body and determines that the death was caused by a huge snake. He and Police Chief Jo Biddle (Casey Fallo) go to the Mayor (Hoyt Axton) and demand he cancel an upcoming town lager festival. The Mayor refuses, but after more deaths, the town eventually brings in snake expert and hunter Nick Hashimoto (Pat Morita).



When David Hillenbrand and Scott Hillenbrand developed the concept for King Cobra, the film Anaconda was not yet "in the pipeline". They wished to take an approach in the genre in a similar vein as Jaws or Alien. Production problems allowed Anaconda to beat their film to release.[1]


In 2001, G. Noel Gross of DVD Talk wrote that the snake effects of King Cobra were "better than the CGI-addled Python that followed" and made note of a "hilarious cameo" appearance by Erik Estrada.[2] Derek Armstrong of Allmovie panned the film, calling it poorly conceived and absurd, with the special effects of the snake "so cheap-looking that it can only be seen in flashes".[3] DVD Verdict also panned the film, writing that what was promoted as "30 Feet Of Pure Terror!", was "more like 93 minutes of pure boredom". While noting that Trimark gave the film nice treatment on its DVD release, they concluded that it was "an incredibly worthless film".[4]


It was released on DVD and VHS. Both have since been discontinued and have for long gone out of print. It is available to view on Vudu, Hulu and YouTube by LionsgateVOD.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Crow, Thomas. "King Cobra Rules by Thomas Crow". Adapted from Thomas Crow’s article in Fangoria. Lifeworks Entertainment. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Gross, G. Noel (October 9, 2001). "King Cobra: SE". DVD Talk. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ Armstrong, Derek. "review: King Cobra". Allmovie. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  4. ^ "DVD review: King Cobra". DVD Verdict. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 

External links[edit]