King Cobra (2016 film)

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King Cobra
King Cobra film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJustin Kelly
Produced by
Screenplay byJustin Kelly
Story by
  • Justin Kelly
  • D. Madison Savage
Based onCobra Killer
by Andrew E. Stoner
Peter A. Conway
Music byTim Kvasnosky
CinematographyBenjamin Loeb
Edited byJoshua Raymond Lee
Distributed byIFC Midnight
Release date
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$74,712[1]

King Cobra is a 2016 American biographical film about the life and early career of Brent Corrigan/Sean Paul Lockhart.[2] It was directed by Justin Kelly and was based on the book Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice by Andrew E. Stoner and Peter A. Conway.[3]

The film was released on October 21, 2016, by IFC Midnight.


The film centers on the 2007 murder of gay pornography producer Bryan Kocis (named "Stephen" in the film, played by Christian Slater), who operates from his suburban house. Stephen turns 'Brent', a wannabe underage adult performer, into a gay pornstar. Brent leaves after learning how much Stephen is making, while paying him little, but finds that his contract prevents him from working for anyone else. Rival producers Joe (James Franco) and his lover/star Harlow (Keegan Allen), keen to hire Brent and make serious money, decide they need to 'take care of' Stephen.[3]



King Cobra premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016.[4] Shortly after, IFC Films acquired distribution rights to the film.[5] The film was released in the US on October 21, 2016.[6]


Rotten Tomatoes reports that 43% of 35 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 5.3/10.[7] Metacritic rated it 48/100 based on 19 reviews.[8] Graham Fuller of Screen Daily wrote that it was "a movie of such wit and daring that it could transcend its LGBT appeal to become a crossover hit".[9] David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave it a letter grade of B+ and described it as a "rock-solid dark comedy" with an excellent cast.[10] Peter Debruge of Variety called it "all smut and no soul", comparing it to Cinemax After Dark.[3] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter called it "a dreary would-be thriller" that has poor pacing.[11]

Corrigan himself was approached about playing a supporting role in the film but declined.[12] He later criticized the filmmakers for "bastardising" his life to present an inaccurate portrayal of the murder and of his time in pornography.[13]


  1. ^ "King Cobra". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Lee, Ashley (April 18, 2016). "Tribeca: Christian Slater, James Franco Explain Why They Made Gay Porn Drama King Cobra". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Debruge, Peter (April 17, 2016). "Tribeca Film Review: King Cobra". Variety. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Lee, Ashley (March 2, 2016). "Tribeca Film Festival Sets Hologram for the King, Elvis & Nixon World Premieres". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  5. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 18, 2016). "James Franco Porn Murder Pic King Cobra Hooks Up With IFC Films". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  6. ^ Calvario, Liz (September 26, 2016). "King Cobra Trailer: James Franco and Christian Slater Star In Gay Porn Drama". Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  7. ^ "King Cobra (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "King Cobra". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  9. ^ Fuller, Graham (April 18, 2016). "King Cobra: Tribeca Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  10. ^ Ehrlich, David (April 17, 2016). "King Cobra Is the 'Boogie Nights' of Gay Porn (Tribeca Review)". IndieWire. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  11. ^ DeFore, John (April 24, 2016). "King Cobra: Tribeca Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  12. ^ Williams, Joe (April 20, 2016). "Brent Corrigan accuses Hollywood of 'bastardising' his life". PinkNews. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  13. ^ "King Cobra subject Brent Corrigan says Hollywood 'bastardised' his life". Sydney Morning Herald. April 19, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016.

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