This week its time for a definite must see stinker in Q: The Winged Serpent, starring Michael Moriarty, David Carradine, and Richard Roundtree. Sam and Justin have already proclaimed this as making both their Top 10 Year in Review films so you don't want to miss this one.
Make sure to pick this 50 movie set Sci-Fi Invasion at Walmart. There's a ton of great bad movies on it and we highly recommend it.
Never requiring sleep or rest - 4.5 out of 10
Q is for Quetzalcoatl, which, as a word, needs either more or less letters. If you gave said letters to me, however, I wouldn’t know where to put them. According to Aztec legend, Quetzalcoatl is a poorly matted rubber penis with wings. Actually according to this movie Quetzalcoatl is a poorly matted penis with wings. According to Aztec legend, Quetzalcoatl was the god of wind and learning, Quetzalcoatl translates roughly to “feathered serpent”. Though beloved, his subjects found him confusing, as recounted by this ancient dialogue:
Subject of Quetzalcoatl: I am unsure of the great lesson of wisdom you are currently teaching me?
Quetzalcoatl: Right now I’m just messing up your hair.
That last part was speculation. Viewers of this film also find Quetzlcoatl confusing, for different reasons. Questions arise such as; why is that penis flying and really, what is it’s endgame? The film around Quetzlcoatl is equally confusing as there is no way that man (Carradine) is a police officer.
Larry Cohen directs and though I am a fan of Cohen as well as a sympathizer and apologist, I think this one got away from him. He had just been fired as director of I, the Jury, which would cost 8 times as much and only make a quarter of what Q did, an astounding feat when considering that Q made $255k against a $1.1m budget. When suddenly unemployed and having already paid for the week at his hotel, Cohen spent the rest of said week writing the script in full and assembling a cast.
His films are usually made at breakneck speed on a razors edge. Hell up in Harlem, the sequel to Cohen’s Black Caesar was made on the weekends while Fred Williamson was making That Man Bolt and Cohen was directing his classic It’s Alive. As a director Cohen is known for his work in the Horror and Crime genres as well as his several collaborations with Williamson and his work in the Blaxploitation subgenre. Though accomplished as a director his writing career is prolific, submissions include Maniac Cop, Sidney Lumet’s Guilty as Sin and Joel Schumacher’s Phone Booth.
The films poster was painted by Boris Vallejo. I don’t usually mention the poster to a film but, by the same token, the poster usually isn’t as so much better than the film as this one.
Michael Moriarty was praised for his performance, somehow, by Roger Ebert, who gave the film 2.5 stars, which is also too high. In general the ratings of this film are too high. 65 on rotten tomatoes? Most of the reviews of the time of the film’s release, if not flattering were at least kind. My theory is that bad special effects in 1982 were more excusable than usual, and I suppose the acting and writing too. The writing is good when considering the time frame and the acting is okay when considering how much cocaine was in David Carradine. The effects by any scale are awful, they are one of the joys of the film, but should have been inexcusable for a reviewer of the time.
This will be my third tour of the film and the effects seemed worse on second viewing. Also it should be mentioned that having seen this film twice I have twice forgotten that Richard Roundtree is also in this film.
KAEOF: The screen debut of one John Capodice, AKA Aguado from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.