Title: Fangs of the Cobra (1977) | aka Ren she shu
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Chung Sun
Video: MKV – 1.36G
Fangs of the Cobra (originally titled Cobra Girl) is a really weird movie. There is no denying that. Snake-themed horror movies were quite plentiful in Hong Kong cinema around this period, including Shaw’s earlier, relentlessly grim Killer Snakes (1974). But Xi Xi is definitely the hero of this picture and the plot forms a strange love triangle between the heroine, her husband and her slithery friend. Despite having his life saved a dozen times, dim bulb Shi-De isn’t convinced the serpent is a good guy. Okay, the man lost his mom, but Xi Xi must wonder what a snake’s got to do to get some love? The serpent’s outlandish antics – which include rescuing a baby from a rabid mongoose – enliven a movie that is occasionally plodding and ponderous. Much of the screen time revolves around Ah Fen and Shi-De’s tediously melodramatic courtship, yet both remain rather colourless characters.
Sexploitation is also on the cards, with Man-Ling and Hu Lin re-enacting the Karma Sutra in numerous episodes. Hong Kong sex goddess Dana was quite a box-office draw at the time and the camera caresses her slinky, naked form almost as lovingly as the snake’s. Thankfully, the film kicks into high gear for a frenzied finale with surprise snake attacks, copious nudity, and a crazed three-way fight between Shi-De, Hu Lin and Xi Xi.
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