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Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)

David Carradine , Michael Moriarty , Larry Cohen  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: David Carradine, Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, Richard Roundtree, James Dixon
  • Directors: Larry Cohen
  • Writers: Larry Cohen
  • Producers: Larry Cohen, Dick Di Bona, Don Sandburg, Paul Kurta, Peter Sabiston
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 28, 1998
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630505102X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,390 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Q: The Winged Serpent" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's name is Quetzalcoatl... September 29, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Q is a fun, low budget thriller from B-movie auteur Larry Cohen. The premise is that an ancient Mexican God Quetzalcoatl has taken the form of a giant flying serpent and is living somewhere in New York, feasting on unsuspecting residents. Sunbathers, window washers, high-rise construction workers are all fair game for this gigantic beast.
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.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE! This version DOESNT have the original ending! September 19, 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD
ANCHOR BAY DOES IT AGAIN! THEY GOOFED! With Anchor Bay famous for restoring cut scenes, for giving you bonuses like alternate ending or deleted scene, I was HORRIFIED to see that despite the new widescreen transfer, they failed to restore the original theatrical ending! When i saw this at the theatres, the film ended with a message telling you what happened to Michael Moriarity's character. BUT when it came out on MCA videos and on Showtime, the message scene was cut out.
But when it played on HBO and CINEMAX, and syndicated TV, it was in. So I figured Anchor Bay will restore it, but they didnt! So if you still hvae the old cable, or even the syndicated TV print, DONT ERASE IT!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its Name Is Quetzalcoatl, but Just Call It Q July 21, 2004
Format:DVD
No matter how preposterous or cliche a film's bare premise may sound, if Larry Cohen's name is attached to it, you can be certain that it's an interesting and entertaining piece of cinema. Cohen's scripts and films are always filled with lots of wild imagery (both literal and figurative), often complex themes, and lots of sophisticated satirical subtext. And his 1982 opus Q: THE WINGED SERPENT is no exception, despite whatever the goofy-sounding title may seem to imply. As usual, writer/director Cohen's tongue-in-cheek film sidesteps the usual horror cliches and instead delivers a fairly tight story, interesting characters, clever dialog, and a ton of subtle yet witty social metaphor. And yes, there is also a little nudity and gore.

The titular Q is Quetzalcoatl, a flying serpentine god of the ancient Aztecs who has been summoned to modern-day Manhattan via bizarre sacrificial rituals performed by a contemporary Aztec priest. Since its arrival in The Big Apple borough, the humongous beastie has been swooping down on unsuspecting pedestrians, swimmers, and sunbathers and chowing down, but police are initially skeptical of the eye-witness reports of a giant flying reptile but are at a loss for any other explanation. Enter street thug and opportunist Jimmy Quinn (Michael Moriarty). Having inadvertently stumbled across Q's nest, Quinn's willing to give that information to the cops--for a price.

The special FX in Q: THE WINGED SERPENT, especially the stop-motion animation of the serpent itself, are admittedly cheesy. But the FX aren't really the point as far as Cohen is concerned; they're just window dressing. Instead, with his usual satiric flair, Cohen uses the film to take some playful pokes at the modern Western lifestyle.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The winged typo takes Manhattan July 4, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
It amazes me, in many a good way, exactly what Anchor Bay buys the rights to and subsequently releases. Q - The Winged Serpent, a movie I hadn't seen in ages, was no exception to that rule. Recently liberating this David Carradine classic from the DVD graveyard, I found myself once again impressed by its estranged storyline that depicted, among other things, Manhattan being plagued by the infamous feathered serpent God. Yes, Quetzalcoatl - the winged typo, looking very much like a crude depiction of a feathered dragon and nothing like he did in his Aztec prime, was out in force, snatching off window washer's heads and naked sunbathers as well as dredging through the nastiness of communal pools to find a tasty treat. He had been called into action after years of dormancy by human sacrifice, not smog banks as we might have haphazardly guessed, and the key to finding out where the beast is and who called it here is none other than a smalltime thief who, after stumbling across Q's nest, is looking to strike it rich.
Apparently human sacrifice and wearing around human flesh does weird things, so beware wary of people you see wearing anyone unfamiliar and, most certainly, don't sunbathe nude without plenty of photographic protection to alert you and your impressed neighbors of any winged god's presence. As a precaution, you should also obtain this classic buy survival guide and at least die smiling, knowing what ate you and how to nauseate it accordingly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Brings back childhood memories......
Brings back childhood memories......
Published 7 days ago by Wilbert C. Jordan
4.0 out of 5 stars Q
Really enjoyed the movie. They did a great job with the transfer to bluray as the picture is clear and the colors vibrant. They could've added more extras, though.
Published 19 days ago by J. Larralde
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone needs to watch this
Frickin awesome movie! Better than a lot I've seen lately . FYI it is not as cheesy as the trailer makes it seem. Good story and love the ending
Published 2 months ago by Quetzalcoatl Pineda
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Its a cheesy monster movie so if you like that this is what you want.
Published 3 months ago by Fayt
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Quetzalcoatl I know.
People are losing their heads and other body parts. Meanwhile across town other people lose their hearts and some fillet of soul. Go figure how this is related to a jewelry heist. Read more
Published 4 months ago by bernie
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, not "Shaft Defeats the Flying Reptile God"
Q's exceedingly modest pleasures are mostly delivered in its first five minutes, and most of those in the first 30 seconds. Read more
Published 4 months ago by dra
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
This was a gift for my husband, something that he had always wanted. I was so happy that I found it and my husband was pleasantly surprised. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Holly Faith O'Dell
5.0 out of 5 stars 80's Monster Flick
A step above the usual 80's horror garbage! Michael Moriarty is outstanding as the lead chacter. With great support from Carridine, Roundtree, and Candy Clark.
Published 5 months ago by cordwainer7
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as great as my memory of it.
A fun, but not great film, this Larry Cohen monster film is more of a crime drama with a monster in it, than a monster movie with a crime. Read more
Published 7 months ago by EE
3.0 out of 5 stars Blue Underground is good, but Q rarely soars...
Larry Cohen is an enigma...he's more businessman than artist, but today that's commonplace as opposed to shocking. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Leslie Karen Rigsbey
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