Q aka Q – The Winged Serpent was made in 1982 by director Larry Cohen after he was fired from another job. He had rented a hotel room in New York for a month and created this low budget horror so the room wouldn’t go to waste.
The film starts off with a creepy window washer ogling a woman in her office while he cleans the building’s windows way up high. Suddenly something large flies by and decapitates the window washer. Meanwhile detectives David Carradine and Richard Roundtree are investigating a series of gruesome ritualistic murders. It appears to be part of some ancient Aztec cult. Elsewhere three time loser Michael Moriarty is trying to go straight and aspires to be a jazz pianist. That doesn’t work out and he’s forced to take a job performing a jewelery heist.
As more people continue getting killed off of rooftops around New York, Moriarty’s heist goes wrong and he’s forced to flee. He loses the loot but makes his way to the Chrysler Building where he discovers a big nest with a big egg. After hearing about all the roof top murders, Moriarty puts two and two together. When the gangsters show up wanting their loot from the diamond heist, Moriarty leads them back to the Chrysler Building where the ancient Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, a giant lizard like bird takes care of the mobsters for Moriarty. When the cops close in on him for the diamond heist Moriarty suddenly wants to make a deal. Money and immunity for the location of the beast. It’s good to know that there’s always someone out there to try and cash in in any eventuality.
Larry Cohen has made several horror movies over the years, he’s probably more remembered for the movie It’s Alive. Q is fun to watch. It starts off as more of a crime detective movie but it builds to the giant monster angle. The monster is a little rough in the effects department but for a low budget movie, it’s not a bad effort. Overall the movie is very entertaining and Michael Moriarty is excellent in it.