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Showing 1-10 of 56 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 101 reviews
on August 5, 2015
The only thing the critics liked about this movie is the very thing that keeps me from loving it...........Michael Moriarty's erratic and undisciplined performance as a pathetic lowlife loser (Jimmy Quinn) who passive/aggressively murders two men then seeks to extort money from New York City. He's loud and obnoxious and distracts from the main feature in this movie, Q the Winged Serpent.
Someone or something is murdering unsuspecting citizens. Bodies show up missing their skin, heart, and in some cases their heads. Are they related? Detective Shepard (David Carradine) seems to think so, and does the research to prove it. Unfortunately, no one wants to accept his theory, that an Aztec cult has prayed and sacrificed the god Quetzalcoatl into being. They'd rather think that a monster just popped up out of nowhere and started eating the citizenry of New York City. Like that made more sense!

Love all the scenes without Moriarty's cartoon antics (so over the top he's in another dimension, a not so parallel universe where acting like a whack-a-doodle won't get you institutionalized). Otherwise, it's a fabulous monster movie just begging for a remake.
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on January 9, 2014
Larry Cohen is an enigma...he's more businessman than artist, but today that's commonplace as opposed to shocking. I find his early sf/horror films to be near-miss classics though, despite the fact that they really are scratching and clawing their way towards quality. "Q" is one of those movies that I always wanted to love, but this crap is just too violent for my taste. I suppose if seeing a man cut open from the chest on down spells "good times" to you, then you might like this, but I actually thought that the violence spoils the story in this case. Why have all this blood when we have a winged beast to watch? I was also disappointed in this crap because it wasn't scary or intense enough. Yeah, it was violent--but not scary, even in the apartment-invasion scene toward the end where the cult member holds up Moriarty at knife-point. This was simply not working. That being said, it does have good economical sense, a good cast, and a fun set-up. But why the story wasn't better worked out and developed is a mystery. This could have been good. The actual lizard in the movie looks like a lizard face, not the demonic beast on the cover!
The DVD is good, with a commentary by Bill Lustpig and L. Cohen, but it is more of a case of Lustpig complimenting Cohen for his economic practicality than for his storytelling abilities (I agree with him for the most part, but this gets silly after a while, and since he made "Maniac" I think you understand what I mean). I still can't forgive Cohen though for discovering Bruce Willis, like that's going to be something to put on his tombstone.
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on May 6, 2016
This review is for the Blu-Ray edition of 'Q: The Winged Serpent'(1982) released in 2013 by Shout! Factory.

I saw 'Q' for the first time on cable in the early 80's and watched it several times because there weren't a lot of channels to watch back then. I was curious to watch it again to see how it held up and if my memory was correct and their wasn't a lot of footage of the monster. I was correct there wasn't a lot of footage of the monster. Very little despite what the director says in the commentary.

DVD & EXTRA'S: The blu-ray quality is decent but not extraordinary. I'm always thankful to the distribution company, in this case, Shout! Factory, for making these old lower budget movies available on blu-ray so even if the pictures wasn't remastered I'm ok with it. The extra's provided are the commentary track by director Larry Cohen and a Theatrical trailer. The commentary track is very good. It gives a lot of information and many interesting facts.

PLOT/SYNOPSIS: Q starts with Detective Sheppard (David Carradine) is investigating some grizzly deaths along with Sgt. Powell (Richard Roundree of 'Shaft' fame). Apparently people are willingly being skinned alive. These acts seem to involve some sort of ancient Aztec ritual which we know is done to summon Quetzalcoatl, the winged serpent. We also get to see a window washer meet Q with the expected results.
Jimmy (Michael Moriarty) is a small time crook who is supposed to be trying to go straight. He has a girlfriend (Joan) who likes to help and date losers like Jimmy. Jimmy goes out and gets involved with a bunch of other crooks and is given the job of driver in a jewelry store heist. The heist goes bad and Jimmy goes on the run and somehow ends up at the top of the Chrysler building. Jimmy goes wandering to the top and finds an unbelievably large nest with an equally unbelievably large egg. Soon after Jimmy hears of all the strange deaths and figures out that he can make lots of money. He agrees to reveal the location of Q's nest to the city of New York if they grant him immunity for past crimes and pay him one million dollars. The city gives in and Jimmy is now a rich man. However, Detective Sheppard makes him come along for the ride when the police department go to the site of the Q's nest. Sheppard, Jimmy and the police make it to the top of the Chrysler building and Q shows up right on Q for a battle against New York's Finest.

PRODUCTION: Most interesting is the fact that it almost starred Bruce Willis and Eddie Murphy. The director wanted both of them in the movie but was overruled by the Producers. Bruce Willis would have had David Carradine's part but Bruce Willis was an unknown at the time and they needed somebody with a name. I don't remember if the commentary track said Eddie Murphy was up for Richard Roundtree's role or for the lead.
The movie was obviously shot in and around New York. For me, the most interesting parts of the movie were the shots taken inside the Chrysler building. Those are actual shots in the top of the building by the windows. The only part that wasn't shot there was at the very top where the nest was. That in itself was a very interesting story. Larry Cohen tells the story of how years later the nest caused all kinds of excitement and confusion because it was left behind in the building it was filmed in and nobody had been up in that part of the building for many years when it was discovered and believed to be real.
At first I wasn't sure if the shots were real. I thought to myself how could the top of the Chyrsler building look like that. But it is in fact real. Cohen went higher than he was supposed too. He had asked for permits many times before he got them. He went into areas he wasn't supposed to go. You see junk all over the place. There are also some dangerous ladders that they climbed in order to get those shots. At the end you see people hanging outside they windows. That is not a special effect. They actually had the actors hanging outside!
I also found the part about the smaller Statue of Liberty interesting. Cohen tells the story of how it ended up on the top of the building he shot on in the commentary. I don't ever remember hearing about it before.
Most of the shots of Q, were stop motion shots. Only some of the closeups were not stop-motion. There isn't a lot but what's there is good for the times.

SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS: I find it almost unbelievable that nobody in New York City saw Q. Especially since he is flying around in the daytime. I know this was before cell phone camera's but really, nobody saw him flying around? 8 million people in New York City and nobody looks up when Q is flying around. You'd figure they's at least send for the national guard with a flying monster on the loose. Another completely unrealistic moment is when Sheppard sends Jimmy up the latter first. I mean, really, the police send up a civilian to do their dirty work? I know Sheppard was pissed at him for holding up NYC but this is just ridiculous. They didn't even give him a gun.

Overall, I'd say this is a decent darly 80's sci-fi/fantasy movie. You can't really call it 'kaiju' but it is sort of a monster movie. It's not great but it's not the worst way to spend an hour and a half either. Stop-motion animation was nearing it's end at this point. We were a decade away from Jurassic Park which would change monster animation forever.

Recommended for 80's sci-fi fantasy fans. Today's generation would find this just a tad boring.
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on August 23, 2013
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on May 23, 2017
All early Cohen films are worth a watch. This one was highly amusing. David Carradine is always good.
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on July 15, 2016
This is a sort of tribute to movies of old. If you remember films like Them, or Tarantula, or any of the giant insect/monster movies of old, then you might be entertained by this film. It's very 70's era with some stop motion animation that seems very dated by today's special effects, but at the time it was impressive. If you are open to that sort of drive in movie feeling then it could be good for you.
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on September 29, 2003
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. I really enjoyed the storyline with Quinn, his tenuous relationship with his girlfriend (Candy Clark), and the manner in which he tries to use the vital information. Here's a small time schnook, never had a break in his life, literally trips over something, sees nothing but the value to himself, and tries to get everything but ends up with nothing.
Here is another fine example of a filmmaker making a lot out of very little. The horror aspects of the movie are present, and the special effects are used sparingly, but the characters drive the story. Another example of this is the original Jaws movie. I suppose the special effects were kept to a minimum due to budgetary limitations, but it helped, rather than hindered, the movie. This movie also has a raw, gritty feel to it, in the sets, use of locations, dialogue, giving us an almost documentarian feel.
The movie is presented in a wide screen format, with good audio. A number of special features include commentary by the filmmaker, biographies, trailers, and promotional materials. All in all, not a bad way to spend 93 minutes.
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on March 7, 2014
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. The cast is fine and effects, for a low budget film are excellent. An ok, but not a great movie.
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on March 15, 2017
Oh the horror!
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on September 5, 2016
fun movie. kids can't stop laughing at
the ancient special effects Delivered on time.
Would use this seller again.
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