Q

1982

Q

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

69%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

42%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,742
User image

Q Photos

Movie Info

"Q" stands for Quetzalcoatl, the legendary Aztec flying serpent. The pesky, four-clawed aerial lizard has been uprooted from its Mexican home for a New York Museum exhibits; "Q" escapes, nestling in the spires of the Chrysler Building. It swoops down without warning to rip up and decapitate innocent bystanders--and lays eggs all over the city, just ripe for hatching into dead Q-lets. The only person who knows where to find "Q" is a scuzzy ex-convict, brilliantly portrayed by Michael Moriarity, who will help the authorities only if they meet his price. It is at this point that the audience realizes with some astonishment that Moriarity is the only hero this film is ever going to have. Directed by Larry Cohen, Q seems like a high-budget variation of an old American-International monster cheapie--no surprise here, in that the film's producer was American-International cofounder Samuel Z. Arkoff. Q's original title was The Winged Serpent; in some markets, the film carried both titles, merged into one.

Watch it now

Cast

Michael Moriarty
as Jimmy Quinn
David Carradine
as Det. Shepard
Richard Roundtree
as Sgt. Powell
James Dixon
as Lt. Murray
Malachy McCourt
as Police Commissioner
Fred J. Scollay
as Capt. Fletcher
Peter Hock
as Detective Clifford
Ron Cey
as Detective Hoberman
Mary Louise Weller
as Mrs. Pauley
Larkin Ford
as Curator
Larry Pine
as Professor
Eddie Jones
as Watchman
Lee Louis
as Banyon
Ed Kovens
as Robber
Richard Duggan
as Construction Worker
Jennifer Howard
as Newscaster
David Shell
as Attorney
Nancy Stafford
as Eyewitness
Bobbi Burns
as Sunbather
View All

News & Interviews for Q

Critic Reviews for Q

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (4)

  • 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.

    Mar 28, 2007 | Full Review…
  • We have no hesitation in awarding Oscars all round.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The only movie in which you may ever see a gnawed, bloody skeleton wearing a gold charm bracelet.

    Aug 30, 2004 | Rating: 2/5
  • Cohen uses a pulpy noir-ish plotline to masquerade in front of the titular dragon-like monster, creating an impressive mix of crime and horror and mystery.

    May 7, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • [Quinn's] deep neediness, sense of emasculation, belief in nothing besides himself & strong streak of megalomania make him difficult to like, but also a mirror of 20th-century angst and alienation - & the perfect foil to the film's winged creature.

    Mar 24, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The scale of what Cohen achieved with his monster on a low budget remains impressive to this day.

    Oct 9, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Q

  • Dec 16, 2015
    Nowhere near as cheesy or stupid as it should be.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 06, 2014
    Ray Harryhausen would be flattered with the stop-motion animation that adorns Quetzalcoatl, a prehistoric reptile who decapitates window-washers with a single munch. In the midst of it all is Jimmy Quinn (Michael Moriarty), a scurrilous low-life wheelman for criminals. It's as if Larry Cohen gestated on interjecting Ratso Rizzo from 'Midnight Cowboy' into a cartilage-laden creature-feature and against all odds, the raw, seedy B-plot of Jimmy Quinn is a stupendous switchback on archetypal horror-movie protagonists insofar as Quinn is a profiteering scoundrel who is flailing with reforming his felonious tendencies ("Maybe I can't make it outside the slammer."). Cohen is a Roger Corman-esque shlockmeister at heart and the titillating sight of a nude sunbather is juxtaposed with an ineptly shot scene of the droplets of the women's blood descending on pedestrians. Mostly due to budget, Cohen refrains from showing too much of the titular character and it extracts palpable suspense. Truthfully, 'Q - The Winged Serpent' is a wistfully scalene endeavor as it jostles back and forth between Moriarty's filching scheme and the occult angle with human sacrifices to appease the Aztec god Q. Nevertheless, the strain of self-effacing humor (Quinn states he never wants to "see eggs again" after witnessing Q's hatchling in his Chrysler Building lair) assists in digestion of the more disparate elements and it emerges as another unexpectedly witty character study with New York verisimilitude masquerading as a monster movie.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2013
    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...
    xGary X Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2013
    Stylish and intelligent monster movie with a fantastic performance by Moriarty.
    J H Super Reviewer

Q Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features