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Q: The Winged Serpent [Blu-ray]
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A winged aztec serpent (named quetzacoatl after an aztec god who was half reptile and half bird) escapes from its manhattan skyscraper lair and perpetrates a series of bizarre slayings. //
OK, who's Q, anyway? "Q" is short for Quetzacoatl, an enormous winged serpent and Aztec deity who's called back to life after a series of ritual human sacrifices in Manhattan. It takes a lot to keep a critter like Q satisfied, so he flies around and lops the heads off sunbathers, window washers and swimmers as handily as popping grapes off the vine. The police are confounded by the murders, decapitated bodies (blood rains from the skies on NYC denizens) and Q-sightings. The solution comes in the unlikely form of Jimmy (Michael Moriarty), a petty thief. After a heist goes bad, he hides from his cronies in the uppermost spires of the Chrysler Building and stumbles on the giant bird's nest and egg. He leads the NYPD up to the lair for a big showdown with Q, but it's not quite as easy as anybody thought, of course. Director/screenwriter Larry Cohen was one of the more inventive, original voices of Seventies B-movies, with credits that include God Told Me To, Black Caesar, It's Alive!, Hell Up in Harlem and The Stuff. With Q, Cohen put together an interesting, entertaining mix of Fifties sci-fi homage (complete with great stop-motion special effects for the terrifying beast), action movie, and crime drama. It also touches on the metaphysical question of how exactly one goes about killing off a god. It'd be difficult to think of a more compelling performance from Moriarty; as the piano-playing, scat-singing small-time crook Jimmy, he's repellent and sleazy. However, he's struck on something that will give him 15 minutes to bask in the spotlight ("I'm the most important man in New York!", he gloats) and give him a chance to redeem himself and save thousands of lives. Moriarty brings a depth to the character that makes him absorbing, if not quite sympathetic, and gets to come across with the choice line, "Stick it up your brain! Your small little brain!". With plenty of humor, suspense, a gallon or two of gore, and great performances from Moriarty and David Carradine and Richard Roundtree as his cop nemeses, this is great, original, entertaining sci-fi fare. --Jerry Renshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Michael Moriarity stars as Jimmy Quinn, an out of work piano man/small time criminal. It's so weird seeing him in a role like this, as I am used to seeing him on the TV show Law & Order as an ADA. In this movie, his character stumbles on the secret location of the beast's nest, and he tries to use that information to get money and the respect he thinks he deserves. While a criminal, I did feel a certain amount of sympathy for this character in the beginning, which evaporated rather slowly as the intoxication of power sets in, along with its' illusions. In the beginning, he was just some poor schlub who couldn't catch a break, but later on his true nature appeared. I read a quote once, I am not sure by who, that said something like 'to really see what's in a man's heart, give him some power'.
David Carradine plays a detective who's trying to solve a series of gruesome murders, and his investigation leads him into uncharted territories of the unknown. The deeper he gets, the more he butts heads with his supervisors, who would rather see things cleared up neatly and without any superstitious mumbo jumbo. Also look for Richard Roundtree, as Sergeant Powell, a cop wound a little too tight whose beliefs are based on what he can see and touch.
The actual creature does not get much screen time, but its' presence is noticeable throughout the movie.Read more ›
David Carradine plays a policeman on the trail of two cases that seem linked. The first involves a window washer who suddenly loses his head. Later there are more rooftop disappearances, seemingly perpetrated by a giant bird. The second case involved a series of ritualistic murders. They seem to be the work of a fanatic following Aztec rituals to bring back the god Quetzalcoatl.
Carradine's portrayal is excellent but he cannot hold a candle to Michael Moriarty who plays a down-on-his-luck loser. He wants to be a jazz pianist but is still unemployed. He is also a timid small-time crook. He is a driver ("I don't go inside and I don't carry a piece!"). But a job goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.
Moriarty hides in the Chrysler building and discovers that the run-down art-deco spire is the home of the giant bird. There is even an egg in the nest. A body hidden there gets him thinking. The city is in fear of the bird and he knows where it is. He is convinced he is now the most important man in the city.
Now that he thinks he has power, he holds the safety of the city for ransom. He wants money and a "Nixon-like" pardon. But his arrogant cockiness loses him his girl (she had felt sorry for him but now could see how mean he really is).
The city acquiesces to Moriarty's demands and go after the monster. Because the bird is not in the nest when they arrive, the city is able to pull out of the deal.
In the end, Carradine manages to take care of the bird and track down the ritual killer. Moriarty is back where he started minus one girlfriend (although Carradine tries to convince him to go back to her).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I was lured to buy the DVD version of "Q" after reading some amazon costumers' reviews. However, once I saw the film, I had to conclude they greatly overrated it. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2003
I first saw this movie 19 years ago, and brother it was awful. I thought it was a cheap add for shaving cream, it was amazing to discover it was an actual film. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2003
this DVD edition features a new commentary track by Larry Cohen and Bill Wastig(?) but once again Blue Underground fails to either subtitle or close caption the film. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2003
By the end of the 1950s, the Big Monster genre had died out. Instead, Hollywood switched to slasher flicks and one on one mutant creatures. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2002 by Martin Asiner
Q is a Larry Cohen movie, so b-movie fans know what to expect - a kinetic, almost documentary visual style, characters that are witty and behave like human beings, James Dixon... Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2002 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
If you like outrageous humor, Q is simply irresistable. First, there's a giant mythic Aztec "serpent" which makes a habit of swooping down on unsuspecting New York... Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2002 by Linda K. Brengle
Cute little film, half horror and half humor (they always seem to go together, for some reason), about a flying Aztec serpert living at the top of a skyscraper. Read morePublished on July 14 2002 by R. Wallace
Well the movie's title should have been Plumed Serpent, but the few brief times we saw the creature, it didn't have any plumes. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2001 by Jessie R. Smith Jr.