Taglines: Crime is the disease. Meet the Cure.
A gang of neo-fascist thugs, led by the self-proclaimed ‘Night Slasher’, are breaking into people’s homes & cars, then killing them at random. When of of these thugs holds up a food store & takes hostages, Lt. Marian Cobretti – an intense, take-no-prisoners cop, is brought onto the scene to end the hostage-taking.
Ranting bizarrely about a ‘New World’, the man levels a sawed-off shotgun at Cobretti, who hits him with a knife, then guns him down when the man refuses to put down his weapon. Later that night, another murder occurs, attributed to the Night Slasher – and the next day, another one.
This one is witnessed by a young woman, Ingrid Knutsen. She drives away before the thugs can kill her, but it isn’t long before some creepy-looking people start making attempts on her life – and Cobretti’s. Cobretti plans to move the only witness to the blood spree upstate, but with inside information, the thugs follow them.
About the Story
An armed gunman causes a hostage situation at a Los Angeles grocery store. When negotiations between him and law enforcement fail, Marion Cobretti, codenamed as “Cobra”, (Sylvester Stallone), a member of an elite division of the Los Angeles Police Department known as the “Zombie Squad”, is summoned to the scene. Cobretti infiltrates the store, locates, and negotiates with him.
During the negotiation, the gunman speaks of the unknown “New Order”, a group of social darwinist radicals that despise modern society and believe in killing the weak, leaving only the strongest and smartest to rule the world. Cobretti then kills the gunman by throwing a knife at his abdomen and firing shots at him.
As the bodies are removed from the store, Cobretti is admonished by Detective Monte (Andrew Robinson) for his seeming disregard for police procedures and protocols. Harassed by reporters, Cobretti admonishes them for failing to prioritize the safety of potential victims. Little does everyone realize at the time is that the supermarket hostage crisis is only one of a string of recent and seemingly unconnected acts of violence and murder that have broken loose in Los Angeles, perpetrated by the same supremacist group the grocery store gunman mentioned.
After witnessing several individuals going on a spree killing, including the New Order leader, only identified as ‘The Night Slasher’ (Brian Thompson), model and businesswoman Ingrid Knudsen (Brigitte Nielsen) becomes the group’s main target due to her being the only living witness to their crimes. After a failed attempt on her by the group, she is placed under the protective custody of Cobretti and his partner, Sergeant Tony Gonzales (Reni Santoni).
Several more attempts are made on their lives by various people connected to the Order. Cobretti theorizes that there is an entire army of killers operating with the same modus operandi rather than a lone serial killer with some associates, but his suggestion is rebuffed by his superiors. However, the LAPD agrees with Cobretti that it will be safest if he and Knudsen relocate from the city.
Cobretti becomes romantically involved with Ingrid shortly after venturing out into the countryside, but Nancy Stalk (Lee Garlington), the Order’s second leader disguised as a police officer escorting the Cobretti party, reveals the location of their whereabouts. Despite Cobretti’s suspicions and mistrust of Nancy, he does nothing and stays the night in a motel.
The Order moves in at dawn and besieges the small town. With barely enough time to react, the attackers storm Cobretti and Ingrid’s motel, wounding Gonzales in the process. Killing several members but with more swarming into the town, Cobretti and Ingrid escape in a pickup truck. After the truck becomes severely damaged from the chase, the two escape on foot to a nearby derelict factory by cutting through a lemon grove.
Directed by: George P. Cosmatos
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson, John Herzfeld, Lee Garlington
Screenplay by: Sylvester Stallone
Production Design by: Bill Kenney
Cinematography by: Ric Waite
Film Editing by: James R. Symons, Don Zimmerman
Costume Design by: Tom Bronson
Set Decoration by: Robert Gould
Art Direction by: Adrian Gorton, William Ladd Skinner
Music by: Sylvester Levay
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: May 23, 1986