CULT OF THE COBRA (1955) Reviews and overview

New! Visitor ratings! Click on a star to indicate your rating of this movie!

‘Out of the mystic East terror strikes at the heart of a city!’

Cult of the Cobra (1955) is an American horror feature film directed by Francis D. Lyon (Castle of Evil; Destination Inner Space) from a screenplay by Jerry Davis. It was released by Universal Pictures.

Main cast:

Faith Domergue (The House of Seven Corpses), Richard Long, Marshall Thompson (First Man into Space; It! The Terror from Beyond Space), Kathleen Hughes, Jack Kelly, William Reynolds and David Janssen.


American G.I.’s who trespass in on a forbidden Hindu ceremony are relentlessly hunted down by a beautiful woman who has the power to metamorphoses into a snake…


“The cast is better than anything else in the film, although Merry’s camerawork gives it an occasional lift.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

It’s rather talky, not particularly original, the only actual transformation scene we get is at the very end (which isn’t much) and the ending is unsatisfying. Much of the acting is pretty stiff, but Domergue (who replaced Mari Blanchard days into filming) is fun to watch.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

…Domergue’s marriage was falling apart in the midst of this production, and the anguish she emotes is palpable. Though her large, droopy eyes and full lips don’t really reflect the characteristics of a cobra, she admirably expresses the torment of a woman torn between human and reptilian nature.” Exclamation Mark

“Unfortunately, the movie becomes singularly dull once the action moves to the States; there are too many scenes of scared animals, too many long sequences where we’re supposed to be on the edge of our seats waiting for something to happen, and too many long talky sections which slow the pace to a crawl.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“There is no ambiguity or suspense generated in guessing who the cobra-person is. Some of the behaviour that the film seems to censure as acceptable for Marshall Thompson’s hero to get away with – beating up people who dance with his girl, bursting into her apartment when she fails to answer the door and generally forcing his presence on her more than is seemly – raises a few eyebrows today.” Moria

Buy on DVD from

” …like so many of the low-budget, indifferently made sci-fi and horror flicks pouring out of Hollywood’s underbelly throughout its Golden Age, Cult of the Cobra is far more interesting in theory than in execution. Its plot would suggest a sexy, creepy thriller, but in actuality it’s simply plodding and predictable, methodically draining all the fun out of its campy central idea.” Seul-le-Cinema

“The effects were more of the rubber snake variety, though we did get snakecam to give the point of view of the slithery bad girl as she crept up on her victims. Suspense may have been strictly routine, especially when this had its own transformation trick when it turned into a detective flick in the last act, it was amusing enough to watch the regular mayhem…” The Spinning Image

Cast and characters:

  • Faith Domergue as Lisa Moya
  • Richard Long as Paul Able
  • Marshall Thompson as Tom Markel
  • Kathleen Hughes as Julia Thompson
  • William Reynolds as Pete Norton
  • Jack Kelly as Carl Turner
  • Myrna Hansen as Marian Sheehan
  • David Janssen as Rico Nardi
  • Leonard Strong as Daru
  • James Dobson as Corporal Nick Hommel
  • Edward Platt as Snake cult priest

Related: Night of the Cobra Woman


MOVIES and MANIA provides an aggregated range of film reviews from a wide variety of credited sources, plus our own reviews and ratings, in one handy web location. We are a genuinely independent website and rely solely on the minor income generated by internet ads to stay online and expand. Please support us by not blocking ads. If you do block ads please consider making a small donation to our running costs instead. We'd really appreciate it. Thank you. As an Amazon Associate, the owner occasionally earns a small amount from qualifying linked purchases.