Green Cobra (2019) short film review

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Green Cobra is a genre-bending story of a hit-man or ‘Life Ending Technician’ who, during a day on the job, details to a documentary film crew her rise to the top of a mostly male-dominated profession. Here is our review of director Sigurd Culhane’s new short Green Cobra.

 Green Cobra (2019) short film review

Beginning as a simple exercise for each other DP Andrew Aiello challenged his director Sigurd Culhane to film a death scene while Culhane challenged Aiello to film it using only the widest lens he owned. Writer Chris Valdez also got in on the act as he was asked by both to come up with a short script that could be shot in a day for no money. What we get is Green Cobra a hugely enjoyable hybrid of comedy, horror, and thriller whose 14 minutes zips along at a great pace.

Filmed completely with wide lenses using a thick green filter throughout its run time, the short opens with a hostage tied to a chair and being dragged across a warehouse floor by two Russian goons. We are immediately thrown into the Green Cobra’s wacky yet entertaining universe. A blend of Tarantino-esque deadpan humour, outlandish plot, a seemingly invincible victim who manages to survive all sorts of slapstick violence mixed with the gloomy visuals of David Fincher. Green Cobra is a delightfully goofy self-aware film that knows it’s a film.  Green Cobra (2019) short film review

Punctuated by an amusingly powerful performance by lead actor Colleen Foy as the aforementioned Green Cobra there is a lot to enjoy here. The Green Cobra is a professional hit-man who is amusingly labeled ‘a Life Ending Technician’. She insists that she is very professional but she has allowed a documentary crew to come in and film everything about her during a day in her job so I’m not sure she can be classed as too professional.

Anyway, back to the hostage in the chair; Cobra does seem to know him, we are party to some very nasty torture techniques that she performs on him, all the while affectionately talking to him. Some are amusing while others are more vicious, it’s an interesting juxtaposition because sometimes we laugh at the torture on show, while other times we are cringing through our fingers.

The poor chap is possibly an ex-boyfriend but that doesn’t matter as he could be anyone mainly because Cobra has in stock a number of paper masks with all of her ex-boyfriends’ faces on that she makes him wear at different times while performs unspeakably evil acts. All she seems to want is for each of them to have loved her but unfortunately by torturing and killing she is going about it in the wrong way.

Foy performs the lead role with absolute relish you can see the actual pleasure in her face every time she stabs or gouges at her prey. Immediately after a violent act she will then switch and chat with the documentary crew with such sweetness and light that you half expect her to be baking cookies for them. Patrick Tamisiea as the victim is also strong; he doesn’t have to do a great deal other than painfully scream, shout and groan but he performs each reaction admirably and is unfairly rewarded with the credited name of ‘Man In Chair’. The supporting cast is suitably Russian, mean, and moody with the two goons at the end getting some of the best lines and a big laugh.

In the end, we are left with a fun film filled with fun performances made by a group of people having a lot of fun and while sometimes this doesn’t always translate on-screen thankfully the audience will have a lot of fun too.

4 / 5 stars     

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