Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Movie Review
Tags: , , , ,

Q The Winged Serpent

Directed By: Larry Cohen

Starring: Michael Moriarty, David Carradine, Richard Roundtree

Synopsis: Two police detectives try and solve a series of grizzly murders that may be related to a giant winged serpent in New York City.

Thoughts: New York was not a very pleasant place in the late 70s and early 80s, although it was fascinating. Q takes place during that time frame when Times Square was filled with sex shops, grindhouse theaters and drugs galore. It’s a very familiar setting for genre fans, as well as fans of Director Larry Cohen. Many of his films take place here. It’s easy to imagine a cross-over of sorts where characters from Q interact with other characters set in New York City like Belial (Basket Case) or Frank Zito (Maniac).

Larry Cohen takes that gritty New York setting and mixes it with a healthy dose of Ray Harryhausen stop motion animation in the form of the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl. The animation is pretty choppy, but that just added to the gritty feeling of the movie for me.

The acting is surprisingly good, with Michael Moriarty delivering a very believable lead character. Moriarty was a frequent collaborator of Cohen’s but is probably more recognized for his run on TV’s Law & Order in the 90s. The two detectives in the case are also familiar faces. David Carradine and Richard Roundtree each have a resume that could fill a theatre on 42nd street, so seeing them pair together as detectives is pretty cool.

Larry Cohen had quite a run of cult classics in the 70s and 80s, although he never had a mainstream success that would propel him to stardom. Without Cohen, we wouldn’t have the crazy It’s Alive series and we would not know what The Stuff was and why it was so damn tasty. He also directed the underrated God Told Me To. His movies all have a certain feel to them, and many feature detectives or police procedures. There are times that Q feels like two concurrent films as the detectives investigate the murders and Quetzalcoatl flies around eating people.

Q is a pretty bizarre film, skirting horror, drama, and science fiction, but it is a pretty fun ride. I had a great time watching it and suggest it to anyone wanting to watch something out of the ordinary.

  1. Fringe Void says:

    Holy shit, they need to make Q vs Belial vs Maniac!

  2. shnsjolin says:

    At the very least that could be a pretty sweet comic / graphic novel.

  3. Nice post. You could do a great blog just about the poster art for this film.

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