Q (1982)

Q (1982), written, produced and directed by Larry Cohen.

Aka Q: The Winged Serpent.

Blood raining on New York streets? A string of ritually flayed corpses? Reports of a giant flying thing? What do you expect when an ancient Aztec monster-god is on the loose?

When you're in the mood for a creature-feature this is just the sort of title you need. The effects are rudimentary Harryhausen-style stop motion, giving a 1950s nostalgia rush, although we have more gruesome dismemberment here, and that light casual nudity for which we remember 1980s films so fondly.

On the down side, there is a lot of talk. Petty thief Michael Moriarty takes over the film with an irritating motor-mouth routine and the story grinds to a halt in his scenes with girlfriend Candy Clark. I would have spent more time with police detectives David Carradine and Richard Roundtree. Carradine is particularly good as an ironic, barely believing monster hunter.

Great New York street scenes, and a flying sequence passing between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The monster lair is on location in the tower of the Chrysler Building.

Available on Blu-ray, quite good for such a minor title, although without subtitles. The director provides a lively, nonstop commentary track, saying:

Shout Factory deserves great credit for bringing back these catalog titles, often pretty fine looking. I remember seeing this on video tape, which of course wasn't really seeing it at all.