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Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 2,631

My Rating

Movie Info

Genre pioneer Larry Cohen, who broke new horror ground with the killer-baby hit It's Alive!, takes a stab at the giant-monster scenario with this enjoyable low-budget exercise. The title refers to the winged Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, represented here as a dragon-like flying lizard (thanks to some quaint but amusing stop-motion animation from David Allen), who decides to take up residence in the art-deco spire of the Chrysler Building, taking frequent jaunts in the midday sun to nip the heads off


Drama, Horror

Larry Cohen

Nov 25, 2003

Blue Underground - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Q: The Winged Serpent

July 20, 2007:
Larry Cohen Plans Remakes of It's Alive, Black Caesar, and The Stuff
Long before he wrote movies like "Phone Booth," "Cellular," and (ugh) "Captivity," filmmaker Larry...


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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (8) | DVD (13)

Cohen's obviously having fun with the cheesy clay animation, and Michael Moriarty delivers an inspired, whacked-out performance as a small-time operater who tries to turn the monster into his own private bonanza, but the rest... is disengaged and sloppy.

March 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We have no hesitation in awarding Oscars all round.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The only movie in which you may ever see a gnawed, bloody skeleton wearing a gold charm bracelet.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Q" has no idea what it is, and it shows with a question mark ending that left me giggling more than anything.

December 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Cohen and his crew soak the picture in Big Apple atmosphere, and Carradine is disarmingly relaxed as the wisecracking detective. Yet it's Moriarty who really sparks the proceedings with his offbeat characterization.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

While Q won't give anyone nightmares, there's a throwback charm to it that honors Japanese monster movies more authentically than an expensive Hollywood production ever could.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

They don't make 'em like this anymore, and that's a shame. It's one of the best grindhouse-type pictures of the '80s.

August 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat inspired bit of madness from exploitation writer/director Larry Cohen...

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Playback:stl

Q works because Larry Cohen plays it pretty straight. Guerrilla filming on the streets of NYC helps create a sense of verisimilitude, and the characterisation is both unusual and strong.

December 14, 2010 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
SFX Magazine

Larry Cohen once again proves himself to be among the most creative, original, and intelligent American horror film directors in this bizarre masterwork.

March 28, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A freewheeling homage to both King Kong and producer Samuel Z. Arkoff's 1950s creature features that's slyly infected with marrow-deep societal tensions.

January 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Enjoyable monster movie with some pretty decent performances.

June 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Odd creepy special effects (the kind we don't see anymore) combine with a great performance by Moriarty to make this worth seeing.

April 4, 2005
Entertainment Insiders

A wonderful throwaway B movie about New York menaced by the title character. Campy at times.

January 7, 2004
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Nifty creature design, and Michael Moriraty's fun, but the rest doesn't add up to much.

January 9, 2003
New Times

It's not devoid of kitschy pleasures.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix

Cheesy and a little bit sleazy -- just the way a 1980s Larry Cohen picture should be.

October 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

...There are no hidden messages or deep symbolic meanings to ponder.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Q: The Winged Serpent

About an hour in, Morarty goes off the rails and Cohen gives up on plotting and good dialogue. But until then, it's one of the most unique genre movies ever, taking a totally different angle of storytelling, in the plot, in the kind of dialogue that carries us from scene to scene, in the shots of parts of New York City that create the whole, in the super high and low angles and aerial shots that are all different than we've seen before and all perfect for pulling the characterizations and the monster threat together.

The other half of what makes Q unique is the adventurous, voracious performance of Michael Moriarty. If Ratzo Rizzo was over-thought-out acting which Hoffman's second thoughts would have turned down a notch, here we get urban lowlife Jimmy Quinn and the opposite mistake. It's a method-like performance that is totally feeling driven, and might reach too much into Morarity's own reserves as an eccentric gone crazy. For a while, Quinn ( -- starts with "Q" -- ) is a amazing creation, and since he's more ordinary guy than crook, he has our empathy, and we like when he becomes a bit of a kook -- it's the common man's way of being Danny Kaye. But Quinn gets more selfish and annoying and resentful of how life has treated him, and empathy distills into pity, which is half chore. I started empathizing with the monster, who was too majestic to get shot down like Edward G. Robinson and had the whole city against him, even Jimmy Quinn.
May 8, 2013

Super Reviewer

Amusingly ridiculous monster b-movie in which a giant dragon goes round lopping off heads in New York City, and yet the NYPD finds it inexplicably difficult to find. The effects are ropey and the whole thing is just daft, but it's tongue-in-cheek enough to be able to carry it off. Just...
May 8, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Now this is a modern dragon tale! It's got blood and gore and a giant dragon flying around a major city, I love it.
January 11, 2011

Super Reviewer

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