Q (1982)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery  |  29 October 1982 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Dixon ...
Lt. Murray
Fred J. Scollay ...
Capt. Fletcher
Peter Hock ...
Det. Clifford
Ron Cey ...
Det. Hoberman
Mrs. Pauley
Bruce Carradine ...
The Victim
John Capodice ...
Tony Page ...
Larkin Ford ...
The Professor


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 | Add Synopsis


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 »


Horror | Mystery


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Q: The Winged Serpent  »

Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Writer/director Larry Cohen, according to interviews, once looked at the Chrysler Building and said, "That'd be the coolest place to have a nest." This single thought was the idea which began the creation of this movie. See more »


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 »


Jimmy Quinn: Stick it in your brain. Your tiny little brain!
See more »


Referenced in Godzilla (1998) See more »


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 (Beverley Hills, England) – See 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!

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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