Action / Crime / Horror / Mystery

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 65%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 42%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 4842


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March 17, 2015 at 10:03 AM



David Carradine as Shepard
Candy Clark as Joan
Nancy Stafford as Eyewitness
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
754.65 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 33 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.44 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 33 min
P/S 3 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by beetle-259-554148 9 / 10

A monster movie masterpiece!!!

In 1933, King Kong was the champion on the Empire State Building. In 1976, he was champion again, this time on the World Trade Center. In 1982, another monster took up residence on the Chrysler Building! This monster's name is Quetzalcoatl, but you should just call it Q because that's all you'll have time to say before it rips you apart...

A very strong script, an anti-hero you hate so much you love him. and a strong cast; Michael Moriarty, Richard Roundtree, and David Carradine!!

Not to mention the title monster, Quetzalcoatl! This was before CGI and the creature was too complex to be successfully pulled off with a rubber so what do we get? We get good old-fashioned King Kong-style, Ray Harryhausen-worthy stop motion animation for our title monster!! The stop-motion here is better that most other stop motion monsters, lacking the choppy movement of King Kong!

Another welcome change is our main character, Jimmy Quinn who is played by Michael Moriarty. He's not a cliche monster movie main character who's a scientist or military personnel, no, no.... he is a small-time crook who is essentially just an average Joe like you and me, trying to make his way through life. The character has hardly any redeeming qualities but Moriarty's portrayal of him makes him a very likable character but you hate him first. He has some very hammy dialogue.

So if you're looking for a break from the kaiju films from Japan and the cheesy black-and-white giant monster movies of the '50s, give this one a watch!

Reviewed by Jake Tibbs 7 / 10

Not Your Average Giant Monster Movie

"Q- the Winged Serpent" is a weird movie, there is no denying it. I was introduced to it by James Rolfe of Cinemassacre, through his Monster Madness reviews. No one seems to remember this film, but I think it deserves a cult following, for multiple reasons. First, I want to talk about the monster, Q. Basically, it is a flying lizard, and it looks awesome. Furthermore, the effects are cool. Stop-motion beats CGI any day, and this is one of the last times those techniques were used for this type of film. The film has David Carradine in a leading role, and he is great. Also, I cannot forget to mention Michael Moriarty, who plays the other lead; he has a lot of funny moments. Viewers should know that the film follows multiple story lines, with the monster being only one of them, so give the film time to get to the action. While the other story lines can drag quite a bit and hurt the film's momentum, the ending action sequence makes up for it. All in all, I would recommend this movie to fans of monster flicks. "Q- the Winged Serpent" is a good movie that deserves more recognition.

Reviewed by pyrocitor 8 / 10

Q the Winged Serpent; Larry Cohen the High Priest Troll

Let me dash your expectations right from the start: Q the Winged Serpent is not the story of 007's lovable gadget-master muting himself into a flying monster and attacking Noo Yawk. I know. I was crestfallen too.

But, what we do get is nearly as perplexing. Befitting all expectations, Q is exactly the kind of trashy pulp escapism stalwarts of the Ray Harryhausen house of stop motion behemoths will lap up. Against all expectations it's actually fairly good. And not just 'bad good', even. Within the gloriously daft monster mash framework, schlock sultan Larry Cohen is subversive enough to deliver a surprisingly watchable, clever, and thoroughly contemporary police procedural. Q is silly yet sly enough to continually pull the rug out from viewers, with a self-aware wink that's so weirdly fascinating you almost forget to set internal timers for the next batch of heads or feet to fall from the sky.

There's a constantly shifting sense of who's in on what joke throughout Q, and it helps keep the film a vibrantly enjoyable watch. Initially, Cohen seems more interested in crafting his murder mystery, and there's a sly sarcasm to his treatment of the monster movie ensconcing it. Rather than the slow tension building of his 50s source texts, Cohen takes a leaf out of Jaws' handbook, starting with a splashy monster massacre, then conjuring each subsequent screeching bloodbath with the same fastidious clockwork of the rotating rooftop sunbathers that become his creature's prey. Cohen's Quetzalcoatl attacks are so precisely timed, brazenly foregrounded, and cheerily gruesome, you almost expect him to accompany them with silent film style intertitles trumpeting "You want carnage? Well here you go!!"

Meanwhile, Cohen's nearly laughably disconnected 'real movie' cop drama zings along, with impressively naturalistic dialogue sold well by an improv-heavy cast who help keep the film snappy. But, when given the elbow room to expand his cop drama, Cohen's plot is so purposefully vacuous it's at odds with its relatively sophisticated telling. Think Jaws birthed by unlikely parents The Taking of Pelham 123 and Them!, and you've got a fairly good sense of Cohen's duelling art-house and outhouse sensibilities, and ensuing plucky, sardonic humour.

Take the Aztec ritual sacrifice subplot fuelling the creature attacks: intriguing, but given so little attention it's transparently an afterthought. Take the cheeky graphic matches throughout, consistently teasing the Quetzalcoatl's arrival, only to subvert expectations, only to pull the same gag, again, within a matter of minutes, and have it work, again, goddamit. Take the classically spooky score and bobbing panoramic aerial shots of the city, landing somewhere between silly 50's foreboding and goofy Tommy acid trip. Even the Quetzalcoatl's stop motion attains this blend of impressive and cheekily low-fi (its movements look deceptively convincing from afar, yet its close-ups are delightfully cheesy), which only adds to the campy fun. It's hard to tell who Cohen's having on throughout: audiences expecting pure, unfiltered trash, or daring to dream of sophisticated, nuanced storytelling therein? A studio expecting a taut, low-budget cult moneymaker? Himself, for hesitating to fully commit to one or the other? It's hard to say, but the result is surprisingly jubilant and addictively watchable throughout.

If anyone's in on the joke, it's Cohen's cast, who are just too damn good to even acknowledge their B-movie slumming here. Michael Moriarty delivers a performance so full of playfully controlled lunacy he reaches Christopher Walken levels of unhinged but strangely effective. His righteously indignant, nebbish loser hood should be thoroughly dislikable throughout, but Moriarty is taut yet unstrung enough throughout that he's oddly compelling - never more than when bellowing instructions on how to devour his heist buddies to the Quetzalcoatl with a flat affect that has to be heard to be believed. B-king and Bill himself David Carradine glides through the film with a breezy charisma, likable enough that it's easy to imagine an entire monster/detective franchise being hung on his shoulders. With this in mind, it's sad to see Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree, so painfully underutilized. He's fantastic his few moments to shine - namely, tossing one-liner metaphors left right and centre while roughing up Moriarty's lout - but inexcusably benched at the back of the shot to an almost aggravating extent. Candy Clark delivers consistently solid work as Moriarty's hard-edged but unfeasibly patient girlfriend, while Malachy McCourt is deviously charismatic in the 'Jaws mayor' role, micromanaging mass panic.

You want a sense of how delightfully confused Q the Winged Serpent's reception was? As Roger Ebert recounts, it was premiered not at a midnight B-horror circuit, but Cannes(!). There, critics could pontificate on hidden meanings and tonal subversiveness, amidst, as critic Rex Reed effused, "all that drek." Producer Samuel Z. Arkoff's response? "The drek was my idea." If Quetzalcoatl is the deity of wind and learning, appropriated here as Z-grade killing machine, Larry Cohen is its high priest troll. And the trashily sophisticated mischief they make is rather delightful indeed.


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