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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.

Director:

Larry Cohen

Writer:

Larry Cohen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Moriarty ... Jimmy Quinn
Candy Clark ... Joan
David Carradine ... Shepard
Richard Roundtree ... Powell
James Dixon ... Lt. Murray
Malachy McCourt ... Commissioner
Fred J. Scollay ... Capt. Fletcher
Peter Hock Peter Hock ... Det. Clifford
Ron Cey Ron Cey ... Det. Hoberman
Mary Louise Weller ... Mrs. Pauley
Bruce Carradine Bruce Carradine ... The Victim
John Capodice ... Doyle
Tony Page ... Webb
Larkin Ford Larkin Ford ... Curator
Larry Pine ... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Q: Winged Serpent See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

They couldn't fit the giant egg and nest into the Chrysler Building's attic, so they shot these scenes in an old, abandoned police building. When they were finished shooting the crew removed everything except the nest. "Close to a year later there was an article on the front page of the New York Times," he says, detailing a flurry of activity from anthropologists flying into town to examine a mysterious nest found in the old, abandoned police building. "I wasn't about to say anything about it, I didn't know what the liability might be." See more »

Goofs

When the police open fire on the monster, the sound effects for their machine guns include science-fiction blaster effects in amongst the sounds of gun fire. Ricochets can also be heard when there is nothing for the bullets to be bouncing off from to make such a noise. See more »

Quotes

Jimmy Quinn: Go away, evil dream.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical print, as well as the HBO and Cinemax airing, and the syndicated TV print, at the finale of Q, with the shot of the new egg hatching and the camera zooming inside to black, instead of cutting to the credits, a title card stating that Michael Moriarty's character sued the city and got $1 million tax-free , yet all video and DVD of this film is missing this. See more »


Soundtracks

Evil Dream
Written by Michael Moriarty
Performed by Michael Moriarty
See more »

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User Reviews

A tale of two movies.
4 April 2001 | by Bynovekka1See all my reviews

It was the best of films. It was the worst of films.

One day Screenwriter Larry Cohen came up with two interesting but totally different ideas. The first was a Science Fiction epic about two NYC detectives charged with stopping a modern day Aztec cult and the monsterous winged deity they have brought to life.

The second concerns the exploits of a small time hood trying to rise above his station in life. Both interesting concepts. Unfortunately, try though he might Cohen could not develop enough material to make either project viable. Then a thought struck him. A notion so radical he dare not give it utterance. What if he were to combine both projects into one??????

Sound impossible???? Well Cohen tried to pull it off with the convoluted epic Q.

Q stands for Quetzacoatl, the aforementioned winged deity worshipped by the aforementioned Aztec cultists. Needless to say Q is not a nice deity and decides to get its jollies noshing on penthouse dwelling Manhattanites. Investigating the crime are Richard Roundtree and David Carridine as the aforementioned detectives.

Meanwhile the aforementioned small time hood protrayed by Micheal Moriarty is making a half hearted attempt to reform. He fails and is soon involved in a jewel heist. When the heist goes sour Moriarty seeks a spot to lay low. As chance would have it his sanctuary happens to be the same location Q has chosen for its nest. When Roundtree and Carridine's investigation fails to turn up Q hiding spot Moriarty offers to lead them to the nest in exchange for criminal immunity and monetary considerations.

The blending of these two stories is far from seemless. Despite the critical praise he recieved for this role, Moriarty's charactor seems totally out of place. His low end gangster antics seem better suited for an episode sapranos.

Far more impressive, though sadly less seen is Q itself. Brought to life with the aid of some niffy bits of stop motion animation, the elephant sized beastie wings its way over the Manhattan skyline out performing the human actors as it goes.

The best thing Cohen could have done is to drop Moriarty's entire segment and replace it with something more in keeping with the films Sci-fi nature. It would have been a far far better thing to do than he had ever done before.


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