Black Cobra (1976)
What did I get myself into with this bizarre seventies softcore film starring Laura Gemser? The better question here is what the HELL is Jack Palance doing in it? It’s Palance on the VHS box cover that caught my eye. Honest!
Set in Hong Kong Palace is quite taken by Laura Gemser and based on her exotic looks it’s not hard to see why. Jack is a collector of rare snakes and Gemser has a routine at a local club dancing with a large snake. Topless of course. She’d be the perfect addition to wealthy Jack’s collection. No rent, no conditions and a healthy allowance are all hers. She has quite the sexual appetite and goes from lover to lover, both male and female for the late night crowd. Palance being the only Hollywood actor in the cast does not engage and keeps his clothes on. The same cannot be said of Gemser and her female friends.
Jack is in his creepy mode here with a snake fetish and offers Gemser the romantic line “I like the scent of you.” I am not making that up either. 🙂 Life is just perfect for the man who once shot Elisha Cook Jr. down in one of western cinemas most brutal displays of outright murder within the code of the gun draw. Trouble seeps into Jack’s life when his even loopier brother starts playing around with both snakes and women.
This is really a weird entry in Jack’s career despite having done some other trashy flicks, mainly in the seventies. By my count I have now seen 68 of his films and this one is a long way from The Big Knife. We don’t get the hammy Palance here which is kind of surprising considering the material. It might have added to the fun had he cut up with his unique laugh and creepy giggle.
As for the talents of Laura Gemser, let’s just say she is eye candy for sure. She basically disrobes whenever director Joe D’Amato says the script calls for it. Which is about every third page. This is the first film I recall seeing her in but looking over her credits I see she played the character Emanuelle a number of times. I know of the series but have yet to see an entry. No hurry now as I am sure they would have been much more enticing in my adolescent years.
AKA Black Cobra Woman and Eva Nero this isn’t the best way to spend 90 minutes but for Jack enthusiasts and those that like to gaze at Gemser what can I say.