Review: ‘KING COBRA’ has one hell of a bite.

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Presents
KING COBRA

A Film by Justin Kelly

In Theaters & On Demand October 21stking-cobra_poster2
The description “Gay Porn (True) Crime Drama” is mind bending in its own right. Truly, there is no other way to describe the Tribeca Film Festival hit, KING COBRA

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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.

garrett-clayton-in-king-cobraDirector Justin Kelly‘s intense film comes out of the gate with a bang and does not let up until the final frame. It’s a no holds bar look at the gay porn industry and those inside it. Tackling abuse of power, fast money, physical and emotional exploitation of the performers, and beating the competition, King Cobra is truly in your face. Be prepared to have the subject matter front and center. Kelly is not shy about sex scenes and neither are the actors. You’re essentially getting an entire soft core porn with elite Hollywood names and an actual narrative.
christian-slater-king-cobra Christian Slater hits a grand slam in this titular role. He walks the thin line of creepy and sad with perfection. Even though you know his character is taking full advantage of his “employees”, somehow you still feel for him. Garrett Clayton, who I had not seen previously, blew me away as our young sought after “Brent Corrigan”. I was convinced they had found a porn star that could, in fact, act really well. franco-and-keegan-allen-king-cobra

James Franco, who I believe gets better and better with each role, is basically as unhinged as it gets. The emotional roller coaster of this rival porn producer/director is nothing short of frightening. But, for me, the absolute star of this film is Keegan Allen. Having followed his role of Toby on Pretty Little Liars since the very beginning, I was not quite sure what to expect. what I experienced was something shocking in the best way possible. Allen’s ability to live this character is unsurpassed by either of his three co-stars. Every breath and beat is filled with backstory and nuance. It is a fearless performance. It’s about as far cry from PLL as you can get. With the series coming to an end in 2017, I cannot wait to see what he takes on next.

Running Time: 92 minutes

In Theaters & On Demand October 21st

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Official Website: http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/king-cobra

Social: @KingCobraMovie / #KingCobraMovie

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.