1972 – Night Of The Cobra Woman (
[also known as “Movini's Venom”]
Director/Screenplay Andrew Meyer Story Andrew Meyer, Kerry Magness Producers Kerry Magness, Harvey Marks Executive Producer [uncredited] Roger Corman Cinematography Nonong Rasca Music Restie Umali Editors Gervacio Santos, Barbara Pokras Production Designer Ben Otico Gowns Ben Farrales Unit Manager Paquito Mac Lang Assistant Director Hernan Robles Property Master Ben Delinea Sound Recordist Willie Arce Special Effects Feling Hilario Snake Handler Gelacio Erica Wardrobe Supervisor Felisa Salcedo Production Assistant Norma Japitana Production Coordinator Eliong Navarro Script Supervisor Maria Abelardo Assistant Cameraman “June”/Jun Rasca Gaffer George Rosales Sound Effects Tony Gozalvez
Cast Joy Bang (Joanna), Marlene Clark (Lena Aruza), Roger Garrett (Stan Duff), Vic Diaz (Japanese Soldier/Lope, the mutant), Rosemarie Gil (Francisca, Lope's mother), Slash Marks (Sergeant Merkle), Vic Silayan (Dr. Tezon), Bert Rivera (Ramon, a young man), Jimmy Milanios (Benito), Logan Clarke (Collins), Andrew Meyer (Weston)
A young biology student named Joanna (Joy Bang) stumbles onto the legend of the Fire-Ring Cobra while studying snake venom in the
When you think of New World Pictures and the Philippine Islands, you generally think of the highly successful women-in-prison films New World shot there and released here, including such sweaty epics as THE BIG BIRD CAGE (the one that started the whole '70s women's-prison picture boom in 1972), THE HOT BOX (1972), and THE BIG DOLL HOUSE (1973).
But there were other films as well, like this one, an interesting but sometimes confusing blend of horror and sexual adventurism. NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN was not one of New World's most successful films, and in the book THE MOVIE WORLD OF ROGER CORMAN, edited by J. Philip di Franco (Chelsea House, 1979), exploitation-film great Corman - head of New World at the time - is quoted as saying that the film wasn't a big hit because it "violated the laws of logic several times."
“In a horror or science-fiction film you can start with as outlandish a promise as you want,” Corman explained, “providing you are then logical in the treatment of that premise .... The film, although it was as well produced, directed and acted as any of the other low-budget horror films, did not do as well, and I always thought it was because of that break in the logical chain.”
Miss Bang, who owns one of the all-time great actress names, seems to have peaked career-wise in 1972, when no fewer than four films were released that featured her in substantial roles: COBRA WOMAN, CISCO PIKE with Kris Kristofferson, DEALING with Barbara Hershey, and PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM with Woody Allen.
Miss Clark was a VOGUE model who had a pretty good '72 as well, appearing with Jim Brown in the black-exploitation film SLAUGHTER and in the wacky comedy-horror picture BEWARE THE BLOB that year. Although she's also a veteran of Russ Meyer skin flicks, she may be best-known to exploitation-film fans for her role in the 1973 vampire picture GANJA AND HESS, playing Ganja to Duane Jones' Dr. Hess.
Chance are good that "Slash Marks," who played a G.I. victim of the cobra woman, is really co-producer Harvey Marks.
FROM THE PRESSBOOK: REALLY A SERPENTINE SEDUCTRESS?
"For a while I envisioned myself really turning into a serpent. All those scales are too much!” says Marlene Clark, star of NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN. "Snakes may be sensuous, but I'd rather be myself.” Marlene refers, of course, to the incredibly heavy make-up she wore during the 'transformation scenes' in the film. "It literally took three hours to apply and another two to take off. Some amusing things did happen, though, " she continues. “Vic Diaz, a fantastic Filipino actor played the part of Lope, Francisca's deformed son. He wore a false eye during the entire film and really did a bang-up job. But one morning he started to sneeze and sneezed it right off! This broke everybody and everything up for another hour and a half, while the make-up man put it back on, and all day Vic teased us by threatening to sneeze again."
Filipino character actor Diaz is a familiar figure to fans of horror and exploitation films, appearing in, it seems, almost every American drive-in-style picture made in the Philippine Islands since the mid-'60s. He specializes in playing deformed and/or goofy characters - perhaps the goofiest being his gaseous vampire wannabe character in 1979's VAMPIRE HOOKERS.
Michael Weldon review in Weldon (ed), The Psychotronic Encyclopedia Of Film,
From the ads: "She sucks the life from the bodies of men!" Marlene Clark (Putney Swope) stars as a woman who can turn herself into a cobra. She needs constant lovemaking (and snake venom) to stay eternally young, so she steak the boyfriend of a young biology student (Joy Bang). With Roger Garrett and Slash Marks. Advertised as being in "Slitherama".
Review from the Black Horror Movies website:
Black Horror Hall of Famer Marlene Clark is one mysterious figure. There's strangely little information on her to be found on the Internet beyond the fact that she's an ex-model who was once married to Billy Dee Williams (and who presumably to this day can't get the taste of Colt 45 out of her mouth). One thing that seems clear from her body of work, though, is that she has a fondness for: A) the
Both are slow-paced English-language films focusing on rural mythology, and both insist that
Review from the Cosmic Hex website:
WOW--another disciple request...and wow...we definitely weren't expecting this caliber of trashy fun from a