6.0/10
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NYPD detectives Shepard and Powell are working on a bizarre case of a ritualistic Aztec murder. Meanwhile, something big is attacking people of New York and only greedy small time crook Jimmy Quinn knows where its lair is.

Director:

Larry Cohen

Writer:

Larry Cohen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Moriarty ... Jimmy Quinn
Candy Clark ... Joan
David Carradine ... Shepard
Richard Roundtree ... Powell
James Dixon ... Lt. Murray
Malachy McCourt ... Commissioner
Fred J. Scollay ... Capt. Fletcher
Peter Hock Peter Hock ... Det. Clifford
Ron Cey Ron Cey ... Det. Hoberman
Mary Louise Weller ... Mrs. Pauley
Bruce Carradine Bruce Carradine ... The Victim
John Capodice ... Doyle
Tony Page ... Webb
Larkin Ford Larkin Ford ... Curator
Larry Pine ... The Professor
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Storyline

New York police are bemused by a spate of reports of a giant flying lizard that has been spotted around the rooftops of New York, which they assume to be bogus until the lizard starts to eat people. An out-of-work, ex-con piano player is the only person who knows the location of the monster's nest and is determined to turn the knowledge to his advantage, but will his gamble pay off or will he end up as lizard food? Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's name is Quetzalcoatl... just call it Q, that's all you'll have time to say before it tears you apart! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Q: Winged Serpent See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Carradine agreed to play Shepard even though he didn't receive a script to read prior to his first day of working on the film. See more »

Goofs

Shepard's sub-machine gun changes type during the raid on the nest. At the bottom of the ladder he's carrying a Sterling with a horizontal curved magazine. In the next shot at the top of the nest he's clearly carrying a late model M3 "grease gun" with a straight vertical magazine. See more »

Quotes

Kahea: I am the plumed serpent, I fly, and I crawl... I have fallen, but I shall rise again!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical print, as well as the HBO and Cinemax airing, and the syndicated TV print, at the finale of Q, with the shot of the new egg hatching and the camera zooming inside to black, instead of cutting to the credits, a title card stating that Michael Moriarty's character sued the city and got $1 million tax-free , yet all video and DVD of this film is missing this. See more »

Connections

References Horror of Dracula (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Fall Apart Together Tonight
Music by Andy Goldmark
Lyrics by Andy Goldmark and Janelle Webb (as Janelle Webb Cohen)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Low budget monster masterpiece
6 July 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Q - The Winged Serpent is a trash movie classic, and it also represents one of the masters of that cinema niche's finest hours. Larry Cohen directs this movie, which follows the standard monster movie formula, and is blended well with a theme of mass hysteria and a gritty New York setting. The plot for the movie is, of course, very simple and it sees two sets of murders being investigated by David Carradine's police detective. One set of murders is made up of ritualistic killings - people being flayed, having their hearts cut out etc. The other bunch of murders is more mysterious, and it sees things such as people having their heads bitten off, or being lifted from high rooftops, as if by a giant bird. Maybe there is simply a giant bird on the loose; or maybe those ritualistic killings have reincarnated an Aztec god known as Quetzalcoatl (or just 'Q' for short), which is currently nesting in one of New York City's high buildings…

The special effects in 'Q' are definitely the film's main talking point. While they're not very 'special', they sum the movie's trash status up nicely, and the scenes that see the winged serpent swoop down and take people off rooftops are an absolute riot. The creature is also very well designed. Nowadays, special effects seem to want to be as far removed from convention as possible, so much so that it's getting to the extent that it's more of a cliché to change things than it is to leave them how they were. It is refreshing, therefore, to see that Larry Cohen has stuck the design to the classic dinosaur style. It's abundantly obvious what Cohen wanted to do with this movie, and that shows when it comes to the story surrounding the antics of the giant flying lizard. The story surrounding it has it's moments, but it's clearly just something to fill up the time between the snatch and grab killings. It doesn't matter, though, because the monster ensures that the film is always interesting and if you like your trash classics, you'll sure like this!


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