Movie Of the Week: Q – The Winged Serpent (1982)

Larry Cohen directs Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark and David Carradine in this indie monster movie where an ancient Peruvian lizard god moves into the top floor of the Chrysler Building.

Cheap but plenty of moxy. No dashing hunks, Fay Wrays or noble scientists here. Cohen asks what if a real sleazy prick was the population of New York’s only chance against a hungry kaiju? Think Steve Buscemi as Mr Pink. Or Dustin Hoffman as Ratso Rizzo. That’s the energy Michael Moriarty’s Jimmy Quinn, a piano playing wheelman, brings to his unlikely lead. He’s oh so fantastic here, you kinda wish we got more Jimmy Quinn adventures. Him trying to con the wolf man, or brokering first contact with invading martians. The rest of the movie… adequate. Claymation FX are used sparingly but they aren’t gonna give Ray Harryhausen any sleepless nights. The New York shoot is down and dirty… they allegedly made the news for ignoring permits, getting window cleaners to dress up as SWAT guys and fire live ammo off the outside of the 50th floor. There’s a subplot with a ritual serial killer too that feels like padding. But Moriaty’s loveable little scumbag is the reason to revisit and he rocks.


Perfect Double Bill: Alligator (1980)

My wife and I do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here


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