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’10 to Midnight’ and ‘Cobra’ Are New to Collector’s Edition Blu-rays

Evil villains meet their match in even meaner cops.
Poster To Midnight
By  · Published on February 3rd, 2019

The 1980s were a wild time in American action cinema with big stars, loud explosions, and simple plots populating theaters, and they were also home to some of the toughest movie cops. The 80s didn’t invent rogue cops who play by their own rules, but this was certainly their most prolific decade with actors big and small playing bad-ass detectives catching bad guys by any means necessary.

The lovely folks at Scream Factory have just released new Collector’s Editions celebrating two such examples, and while both might seem odd for a label traditionally focused on horror they’re actually very fitting choices. Yes, they’re tough-guy action movies, but both 10 to Midnight and Cobra are also slashers. (I just wish they had also tackled a new release of Chuck Norris’ Silent Rage.) More than that, they both end the exact same way with the villain claiming the cop can’t stop them because the law is full of loopholes before… well, I’ll let you discover that for yourselves, but if you know the 80s you know what comes next.

10 to Midnight (1983)

A serial killer (Gene Davis) is slicing his way through Los Angeles, and while Det. Leo Kessler (Charles Bronson) knows he’s guilty the limits of the law are tying his hands. Knowing it’s the only way to prevent more slaughter he plants evidence to get the murderer off the streets, but when his plan backfires the killer looks for revenge by targeting Kessler’s daughter.

Bronson was no stranger to playing grim ass-kickers with little patience for the evils that men do, but this J. Lee Thompson feature — their third of eight collaborations — is probably the grittiest and most exploitative of the bunch. Numerous naked women grace the screen, and all of them meet their death from the sharp blade of the killer who’s also running around in the nude. The film plays up their fear well to create some engaging sequences including an assault on a nursing school dorm that recalls the sorority house murders committed by Ted Bundy in 1978. It’s sleazy and frightening, and it ends exactly as you know Bronson’s character would end it.

Davis — brother of the late Brad Davis (Midnight Express) — lacks much in the way of charisma or acting ability, but it could be argued that his flat demeanor actually enhances his frightening presence as there’s no denying the visceral terror growing from his attack scenes. Andrew Stevens, Lisa Eilbacher, Geoffrey Lewis, and Wilford Brimley round out the supporting cast and help make this an entertainingly grimy thriller.

To MidnightScream Factory’s new Blu-ray release brings this grim thriller to sharp-looking life along with a trailer, radio spots, and an image gallery. We also get the following special features.

Buy 10 to Midnight on Blu-ray from Amazon.

Cobra (1986)

A gang of serial killers are slicing their way through Los Angeles, and while Det. Marion Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone) knows they’re guilty the limits of the law are tying his hands. He’s a sledgehammer of a cop called into situations where finesse and patience have worn thin. His latest hunt is for the cult responsible for a string of vicious murders, and he gets close when one of their intended victims (Brigitte Nielsen) escapes. The gang turns their attention towards eliminating the witness, but unfortunately for them Cobra stands in their way.

While Bronson’s film above is a bloody, sweaty thriller this effort from Stallone blends the genre with his more traditional big action beats. Large scale shootouts, motorcycle shenanigans, a car chase leaving massive destruction in its wake — but all of it is paired with some slasher-ish sequences as people are stalked and murdered at the end of wickedly sharp knife. As mean as some of the scenes get Stallone also gives his cop some humorous asides in the form of comments and carb-cutting exercises like literally cutting a slice of pizza with a pair of scissors. It’s insane.

These scenes play well, but the film’s real meat and potatoes are the action-oriented ones, and it doesn’t let audiences down there. To be clear, the action is ludicrous — as was required in the 80s — but it’s also a lot of fun. The big shootout sees motorcyclists flying through the air, getting knocked off their bikes, crashing into walls, and the end factory fight next to the citrus grove (obviously) is a music video in the making with sparks and steam flying left and right despite there being no workers present. It’s silly fun.

CobraScream Factory brings the Stallone classic to Blu-ray on a disc including trailers, a still gallery, and the following extras.

Buy Cobra on Blu-ray from Amazon.

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.