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).
Good tight acting with Moriarty giving an amazing performance.Read more ›