A photographer witnesses a murder by a gang of maniacal bikers. They notice her, and the chase is on! Only a lone police officer, Robert "Bob" Malon, can save her.
The film was followed by three sequels - The Black Cobra 2 in 1989, Black Cobra 3: The Manila Connection in 1990, and Detective Malone in 1991.
This film contains examples of:
- Badass Longcoat: Malone wears a leather one.
- Batman Cold Open: Robert saving some hostages from a gang of bank robbers.
- Big Bad: The unnamed leader of the bikers.
- Cowboy Cop: Malone will kill any criminal, even if it's against orders.
- Evil Plan: The bandit leader seeks to kill a woman who witnessed a murder his gang committed.
- For the Evulz: The biker gang leader just causes chaos for fun.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The reason Malone is so hard-line in his pursuit of justice is because some robbers killed his father figure when he was a child.
- Mockbuster: Of Cobra.
- Sadist: The bandit leader, who believes that true freedom is to cause chaos and hurt people for fun, but abandons his men to die when the heroes come for them.
- Shout-Out: During the climax, Malone does a near word-for-word recreation of the "Do I feel lucky?" speech from Dirty Harry.
- Straight Edge Evil: The bandit leader doesn't allow his goons to use drugs, but this is simply because he wants them in top shape.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The bikers cover one of their own in a victim's blood so they can bluff their way into a hospital to kill a witness.