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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:

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:

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

The jewel store that the bad guys rob in the early part of the film is called "Neil Diamonds" a pun on the name of Neil Diamond. 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

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 »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in South Park: The Poor Kid (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Excellent Movie
31 August 1998 | by MrMaggotSee all my reviews

Writer/Director Larry Cohen is the genius that brought the world such classics as Hell Up in Harlem, Original Gangstas, Special Effects, and the It's Alive series. Nearly all of his movies are examples of low budget filmmaking at its best. Q (standing for Quetzecoatl, the flying Aztec god) is his giant monster movie in the tradition of King Kong and Godzilla. It's an excellent movie and succeeds best because of it's quirky qualities.

An excellent B-movie cast combined with Cohen's wonderfully realistic dialogue makes for some excellent characters. Micheal Moriarty (from "Law and Order" and Cohen's The Stuff) plays a loser who finds the nest of the beast, and Richard Roundtree (Shaft) and David Carradine (Death Race 2000 and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues) have excellent roles as two detectives trying to locate it before it devours more construction workers.

The plot has some great twists and turns and there's some great obligatory B -movie gore in this one, too. The monster plucks heads off of window washers and snatches sunbathers off of rooftops. Blood and body parts rain down on the unsuspecting citizens beneath. Meanwhile, some lunatic is busy skinning people alive. Is there a connection? The special effects are limited and not too spectacular, but effects don't make a movie (as is apparent in the 1998 remake of Godzilla), and everything else about this movie makes it a winner. The uneven effects actually add to the fun of this movie if you can appreciate low budget horror. Q constantly amazes me with its quirky attitude, great sense of humor (maybe the window washer's head "just fell off" says one of the detectives), creative characters, camp value, and energetic cast. This 1982 cult classic is further proof that Larry Cohen is nothing less than a god.

Final Review 98/100 (A+)


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