THE COBRA STRIKES (1948)
Article 2482 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-20-2008
Posting Date: 5-29-2008
Directed by Charles Reinsner
Featuring Richard Fraser, Sheila Ryan, Leslie Brooks
A scientist is struck down and his new invention is stolen, but no one seems to know what the purpose of the invention was. Then, people begin dying from poison, but no one knows how the victims are being poisoned.
This is a low-budget mystery that runs just over an hour, and that piece of information should tell you not to expect too much. Still, for a movie of this ilk, it has its moments. One positive thing is that the science fiction content (the mysterious invention) is not just a Gizmo McGuffin but is an essential part of the mystery. There is also a memorable murder scene in a steambath, and a bizarre plot element involving disappearing and reappearing jeweled elephants. There’s also a scene where people gather together to watch stock footage; all right, they’re supposed to be watching a big game hunter’s safari footage, but you’ll know better. One fun scene has the inventor giving a clue as to who the murderer is; see if you can figure out the meaning of the clue before the characters in the movie do (you won’t have long, but you should be able to).