It's like eating a large, delicious gourmet pizza that was delivered to your cheap motel room while a couple is making loud love in the room right next to yours. Some could say that KING COBRA has seedy material with its porn film-making story line. But I was really gripped by the terrific performance Christian Slater gave. I saw KING COBRA on Netflix. It runs a little under 90 minutes. Christian Slater plays a single middle-aged man who lives alone in the suburbs in a big house. He photographs and records young men for gay porn photos and movies. He's closeted. His sister is still trying to fix him up with available women. Online, when he's scouting for new talent, this suburban man goes by the handle KING COBRA.
Stephen seeks young men. They must be at least 18. The sensation that he discovered and named Brent Corrigan has lied to his single mother about the work he's doing and he's lied to Stephen. They're in business together, but Stephen is lonely and, against his better judgment, gets romantically attracted to Brent. In one very economical early scene, we see exactly what sort of inner quality Brent has. He turns on the TV. There's a TV news update on the recent devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Bored, he switches over to Animal Planet. Click onto this link to see a trailer for KING COBRA:
Slater is great at playing a conflicted man who has learned how to hide in plain sight. A same-sex encounter in his young adult years was romantically fulfilling for a night but he was treated like an outcast the following day. When he photographs Brent, you see the combination of business, longing and lust. He shoots porn yet he's sexually frustrated. Notice the emotions that wash over his face when he takes Brent out to a restaurant to talk business after their first sessions. He wants to sign a client and he also making subtle signs of sexual attraction. Notice Slater's physical language.
Christian Slater was one of my favorite guests on my VH1 show in the late 80s. That's when critics categorized him as a young new actor who was imitating Jack Nicholson. I've been a fan since 1986's THE NAME OF THE ROSE. (I sat right behind him at the screening of that movie as we both watched his character lose his virginity.) I haven't been able to see Slater in the MR. ROBOT series but I read raves about that TV show on social media.
Christian Slater's performance in KING COBRA makes me wonder if he's getting A-list movie role offers. He should. Christian Slater is a mighty fine actor.