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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Joan
...
...
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 ...
Doyle
Tony Page ...
Webb
Larkin Ford ...
Curator
...
The Professor
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

You'll just have time to scream... before it tears you apart! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

29 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Q: Winged Serpent  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pre-production for the movie lasted just one week. The film was conceived after Larry Cohen was fired from a big budget film shooting in New York. Cohen, determined not to waste the hotel room he had paid for, hired the actors and prepared a shooting script within six days. See more »

Goofs

When Quinn runs away from the robbery, the number of people in the streets around him change frequently between shots. This is most noticeable just after he loses the bag containing the loot. See more »

Quotes

Commissioner: You know it could take us weeks to find where this thing is holed up. I mean it could be in the woods. Away from the city someplace, could be over in Jersey some place. My God with a wingspan like you're talking about here, that thing could fly miles into New York every day. And it would do that of course, you know because, New York is famous for good eating
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Witchcraft XII: In the Lair of the Serpent (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Dancing Too Close to the Flame
(uncredited)
Written by Robert O. Ragland and Robert J. Walsh
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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!


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