NYPD detectives Shepard and Powell are working on a bizarre case of a ritualistic Aztec murder. Meanwhile, something big is attacking people of New York and only greedy small time crook Jimmy Quinn knows where its lair is.




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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
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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 »


Crime | Horror | Mystery


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Q: 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?


In an interview on NPR's "Fresh Air", Michael Moriarty described the scene in which he auditions as a piano player. The music he played was a self-composed and unrehearsed improvisation, and the dog's reaction was genuine. See more »


During the police shootout with the serpent, the monster lands next to a cop in a basket dangling over the side. In close-ups, the cop is clean-shaven with no mustache. But, the cop the creature grabs and throws to his death has a thick bushy mustache. Clearly, there were no clean-shaven stunt men available. See more »


Kahea: I am the plumed serpent, I fly, and I crawl... I have fallen, but I shall rise again!
See more »


Referenced in Broadway Danny Rose (1984) See more »


Dancing Too Close to the Flame
Written by Robert O. Ragland and Robert J. Walsh
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User Reviews

Not At All Bad
3 May 2005 | by (Tampa, FL United States) – See all my reviews

When the Empire State Building was being constructed, another high-rise skyscraper, the Chrysler Building was its rival. As far as I know, this is the only film to pay homage to the Chrysler Building.

The Q stands for Quetzacoatl, a winged serpent from Aztec mythology. Outside of that, the Aztec connection isn't that great. But the idea of a monster living in seclusion in New York, feeding on sunbathers and the like, is rather bemusing.

The film is a rarity: a police-procedural monster film. The only other that comes to mind is Them!, with the giant ants. This one is truer to form, though not as taut.

Entertaining. A good rainy-day film.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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