When the American Film Institute recently announced its list of the 100 greatest American-made films, Q--The Winged Serpent was nowhere to be found. However, if a list of the 100 strangest American-made films was created, Q would be one of the front runners. It might even make the top 20. And I mean that with all due respect.
Now, we can marvel at Q again in a new video from Anchor Bay Entertainment. Presented in a letterboxed edition that has been digitally re-mastered, Q looks better than it has in years.
Directed by Larry Cohen (who also directed the infamous monster-baby movie, It's Alive), Q could have been just another cheesy monster movie--the kind that Roger Corman's New World studios turned out by the dozen in the '70s and '80s. While Q is indeed cheesy, in a charming sort of way, it also contains a first-class cast, led by Michael Moriarty, who delivers an inspired, method-acting performance. He sweats profusely, mutters incoherently, and stumbles around the sets while grinning like a fool who has just seen the face of God. In a sense, he has seen the face of God, except it's an Aztec god, a fearsome dragon-like creation named Quetzalcoatl that has been summoned to modern-day New York City. It has built a nest in the top of the Chrysler Building. Occasionally, it zips around the neighborhood, plucking its victims from rooftops (with an apparent appetite for sexy female sunbathers).