Movie Review: KING COBRA Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack

KING COBRA is inspired by a true story. The movie was written and directed by Justin Kelly and stars Garrett Clayton, Christian Slater, Alicia Silverstone, Molly Ringwald, Keegan Allen and James Franco.

Based on a stranger-than-fiction true story, King Cobra is a deliciously dark, twisted plunge into the behind-the-scenes world of the pornography industry. It’s 2006, YouTube is in its infancy, and internet porn is still behind a paywall. Taking the stage name Brent Corrigan, a fresh-faced, wannabe adult video performer (Garrett Clayton) is molded into a star by Stephen (Christian Slater), a closeted gay porn mogul who runs the skin flick empire Cobra Video from his seemingly ordinary suburban home. But as Brent’s rise and demands for more money put him at odds with his boss, he also attracts the attention of a rival producer (James Franco) and his unstable lover (Keegan Allen) who will stop at nothing to squash Cobra Video and steal its number one star. Co-starring Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald, King Cobra is part delirious, tabloid-shocker satire, part American tragedy.

First of all, if you’ve ever watched Boogie Nights then this is kind of right down that alley except it deals with the gay porn side of things. Internet porn was still in its infancy here and pretty much an online PPV service. The story for this twisted thriller is an interesting one that includes some dark humor as well as some bat shit crazy psychological unhinging. These young people who are lured into this dangerous business are promised everything, but it all comes with a silent stipulation. As along as everything goes smoothly and the way these sleazy porn kings want them to go, it’s all good, but if things sway off course, then it all gets uncomfortable and violent. King Cobra reveals one of these deadly events that is actually based on a true story.

Justin Kelly did a good job telling this story. His directing is complimented by an impressive supporting cast that includes veterans like Alicia Silverstone, Molly Ringwald, Christian Slater, and James Franco. You’ve never seen Christian Slater in a role like this and it had to take some major kahunas to pull it off. He plays the King Cobra who lives in everyday suburbia on the outside, but once you take a step inside his home, you have entered a much darker world. Appearances can definitely be deceiving! The same goes for James Franco who is always willing to step into a role and explore new horizons and both of these veteran actors did just that. He’s the sleazy competitor who will do anything to get the king out of the way. I personally think Franco just likes to shock people if he can and he does a good job here. To go along with these characters, there’s also the world and lifestyle that’s recreated just right for the the situation. One thing is for sure, you never really know your neighbor!

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits. Each disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, King Cobra really isn’t my kind of movie but it was an interesting watch to say the least and very similar to what Boogie Nights (not my kind of movie either) offered audiences back in 1997, except this time the viewer gets to go behind-the-scenes of gay internet porn in the early 2000’s. There have been nightmarish stories told about the porn industry over the years; there’s the drugs, sleaziness, backstabbing, betrayal, and even greed that are all a part of this billion dollar industry. Innocent people with stars in their eyes get lured into this world and if they ever want out, it can get extremely dangerous and even deadly for them. In this case, this young man (with stars in his eyes) gets involved with the king of gay porn and it’s all good in the beginning but he ends up wanting more money and the king really isn’t ready to offer that. There’s also the sleazy rival who wants the king’s business and his star and it doesn’t end well. Ultimately, the young man finds a way out of this uncomfortable predicament and has a chance to start all over again, but this time he gets to do it his on his terms. The Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack releases on February 14th. This isn’t a watch for everyone but there’s definitely an audience for it.

Distributor: Shout! Factory and IFC Midnight

Run Time: 92 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

DVD Video: Widescreen (1.85:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The Blu-ray extras include a commentary track with the director, some outtakes, and theatrical trailer.

  • Audio Commentary With Director/Co-writer Justin Kelly
  • Outtakes (07:42)
  • Trailer (02:13)



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