King Cobra (film)
|Directed by||David Hillenbrand
|Produced by||David Hillenbrand
|Written by||David Hillenbrand
|Music by||David Hillenbrand|
|Cinematography||Philip D. Schwartz|
|Edited by||Guy W. Cearley|
|Distributed by||Trimark Pictures
|Release date(s)||April 27, 1999|
|Running time||93 minutes|
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).
- Pat Morita as Nick "Hash" Hashimoto
- Scott Hillenbrand as Dr. Brad Kagen (as Scott Brandon)
- Hoyt Axton as Mayor Ed Biddle
- Joseph Ruskin as Dr. Irwin Burns
- Courtney Gains as Dr. Joseph McConnell
- Eric Lawson as Sheriff Ben Lowry
- Erik Estrada as Bernie Alvarez
- Nick Jameson as Jurgen Werner
- Megan Blake as Grace Stills
- Casey Fallo as Jo Biddle (as Kasey Fallo)
- Arell Blanton as Jesse
- Jerry Kernion as Conrad
- Michael Leopard as Buck
- Cedric Duplechain as Deputy Bud Fuller
- Paul Morgan Fredrix as Dr. Pat Kagen
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.
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. 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". 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".
- Crow, Thomas. "King Cobra Rules by Thomas Crow". Adapted from Thomas Crow’s article in Fangoria. Lifeworks Entertainment. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
- Gross, G. Noel (October 9, 2001). "King Cobra: SE". DVD Talk. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
- Armstrong, Derek. "review: King Cobra". Allmovie. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
- "DVD review: King Cobra". DVD Verdict. Retrieved January 3, 2010.