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Q: THE WINGED SERPENT - 3 Slimes
Rated R
Copyright 1982 Arkoff International and Larco Prod Inc.
Reviewed by Brad on 15 April 2001

The Characters:  

  • Detective Shepard - David Carradine! That's right, Mr. Kung Fu himself. Here he's the um... hero I guess. He is your typical drinks too much works too little kind of cop.
  • Sergeant Powell - Richard Roundtree! That's right, Shaft is here. Mostly as Q-chow, but he's here.
  • Jimmy Quinn - Take 94% weasel, add 4% oily funk, and toss in 2% bone matter. What have you got? The film's other heroic (by default because he lives) main character, that's what.
  • The Professor - All Gilligan's Island jokes aside, he is the local ancient Aztec god expert. He knows way too much about the big Q. I wonder if that means anything? Shot by police and presumed dead.
  • Police Commissioner - Standard Irish police commissioner type. Yea you heard me; the last of the great native Irish NYPD Commissioners.
  • Quetzalcoatl - The movie tells us it's an Aztec God of some sort or another. Actually it's a pretty decent Claymation monster swooping through Manhattan and chewing up more than just the scenery.
  • The Rest - Numerous police, crooks, sunbathers, joggers and window washers are all food for the beast eventually.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Next to Tokyo, New York City must be the most exciting place to live. Every other day there's something fantastically strange going on to keep one occupied. Whether it is a gigantic monkey on Monday, cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers on Wednesday or pissed off extra terrestrials on Friday, this is one happening city. Well, you can add an avenging Aztech god to the list of exciting activities New York has to offer. The plot to the movie is as follows.

It seems as if something is cruising around the Big Apple lunching on rooftop sunbathers, window washers, and construction workers. New York, being a city of millions, of course nobody sees a thing. In come Detective Shepard (Mr. Kung Fu himself) and Sergeant Powell (Shaft in the flesh), as a couple of New York's finest.

As if all these strange disappearances aren't enough; a series of ritual killings starts dragging Shepard's mojo down, as a series of ritual killings will do. This new string of killings brings Shepard to the local museum where he meets The Professor (an expert in Aztec god's and rituals). It's not explained how Shepard makes this bold move, but I think it has something to do with those whiskey stops so early in the morn. Anyway, he gets some books, complete with plenty of pictures, from the nice Professor and heads home to his swank little pad and his quite um... ...homely woman. Once there he gets it in his head that they are dealing with Quetzalcoatl, don't try to pronounce it cause it'll never happen, an Aztec God of some sort and he goes on to fill out his police report accordingly.

It's about this time we get to meet Jimmy Quinn - a greasy little weasel who signs on to help rob a diamond store named Neil Diamond's of all things. The job goes off and Jimmy runs with the satchel-o-diamonds, which he manages to lose within five minutes. While on the run from the cops he heads to his lawyer's office in the Chrysler building. With his lawyer out and having set off the door alarm Jimmy does the only logical thing which is head up into the upper parts of the building.

I've been in few skyscrapers, although never in the off limits area, but if the Learning Channel has taught me anything it's that those areas of a building are used for all the maintenance equipment. However, once Jimmy gets out of the main hallway, the building is a shit pit with boarded up windows and piles and piles of useless garbage everywhere. Anyway, back to the movie. Jimmy discovers a nest with a huge egg in it and, showing intelligence for the first time, high tails it for home. Being the brain trust he is it only takes a day for Jimmy to get caught by his fellow crooks looking for their diamonds. Having lost said diamonds Jimmy leads the crooks to the large nest he found the previous day and has some fun feeding the local wildlife.

Upon completing his part of the Clean Up New York Campaign for the day, Jimmy heads home only to get pinched by the cops as he enters his building. Not relishing the thought of doing more time, Jimmy meets with the Police Commissioner, Chief, Detective Shepard, and Sergeant Powell to play his trump card and spill about the nest, but only under conditions. First he gets a pardon for all the stuff he's done, next he gets a million dollars cash, and finally he gets all the picture and book rights to the creature. Once all that's out of the way the cops storm the roof of the Chrysler building looking to bust some caps on that bird's ass. With the bird having already fled they can only kill the egg and baby inside it then wait for mommy to return.

In the meantime Powell making one of his few appearances in the film follow the Professor (remember him?) to an abandoned warehouse where he prepares to become the final sacrifice to Q. The police bust in and save the Professor by shooting him! They give chase to the masked ritual master and follow him onto the roof. He gets away as Q comes down to eat Powell. I guess he wasn't the star of this movie, as they usually make it to the end of the movie.

Back at the Chrysler building, Shepard's patience is rewarded when mommy comes back to combat the police who have conveniently positioned themselves in little baskets on the outside of the building. You can probably guess the outcome of this strategic decision. The police manage to shoot the hell out of Q before it kills most of them except Shepard, who stayed safely inside the building. With Q dead the only loose end left to tie up is Jimmy who is pacing around in some run down motel room after being evicted by his girlfriend for general asshole behavior. Jimmy answers a knock at the door only to be accosted by an Indian (as in the country) sounding man who holds a knife to Jimmy's throat and insists he pray so that he may be killed. Imagine his dismay when Jimmy refuses and therefore cannot be killed. Just then Shepard kicks in the door and, without hesitation, shoots the man in the head. He then proceeds to shoot the crazy man several more times, which in all fairness he was asking for. Jimmy decides he's going straight and is determined to get a job to win his woman back. Shepard laughs at this revelation and switches the sign on the door to "Maid please service room." As the movie draws to a close we see a warehouse somewhere in New York with another nest complete with egg. We are left to assume the egg was barren and never hatched or it did and people in New York have just learned to live with it. Either way The End.

This movie is actually very well done given the release date and subject matter. It could have been played many different ways and in the end the very light drama mixed with the horror aspect makes for a very watchable and re-watchable movie. I bought this movie on DVD based on the IMDB description and can honestly say I wasn't disappointed with any aspect of it. My only real beef with the movie was the small amount of screen time Richard Roundtree had in it and the friction his character had with Shepard for no explained reason.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The top of the Chrysler building is a boarded up sty.
  • New Yorkers never look up.
  • Body parts falling from the sky really don't bother New Yorkers.
  • For all we know God might be a bird.
  • The Constitution doesn't apply to people in prison.
  • The NYPD cuts a sweet deal.
  • The original model for the Statue of Liberty is on top of a skanky warehouse.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Now he's going to have to wash that window all over again.
  • 10 mins - A bit early for the hard stuff isn't it? Oh, I forgot, you're a detective.
  • 20 mins - So it ate everything but that delicate little bracelet? Right.
  • 24 mins - How do you find volunteers for that?
  • 28 mins - Love is a beautiful thing.
  • 43 mins - Two crook McNuggets to go.
  • 78 mins - That cat Shaft is one dead mother... ...shut your mouth.
  • 80 mins - Finally an excuse for the NYPD's excessive force policy.
  • 86 mins - Hope he wasn't just turning down the bed there Shepard.
  • 89 mins - Another egg! Boy, never expected that.

Quotes: 

  • Shepard to his woman: "That's why I have to kill it. If I can kill it it's not a god, just a regular monster. I've got to take my birth control pills."
  • Shepard to Powell: "You're a little dense you know that? Just a little."
  • Police Chief to Shepard: "With a wingspan like you're talking about here that thing could fly miles into New York City every day. And it would do that of course, you know, because New York is famous for good eating."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note q1.wav Powell: "The only place I haven't looked is up in the parapets."
Shepard: "There won't me much left of it. Did you ever drop a cantaloupe from forty stories?"
Green Music Note q2.wav Shepard: "Let me get this straight, you're talking about human sacrifice now?"
Curator: "Willing sacrifice, they give themselves to the god willingly."
Green Music Note q3.wav Joan: "And I told you, the next time you hit me I'll break a lamp over your head while you're asleep!"
Green Music Note q4.wav Jimmy being dumb and weird. "I see dead things. Muh!"
Green Music Note q5.wav Police Captain: "My God, with a wingspan like you're talking about here that thing could fly miles into New York City every day. And it would do that of course, you know, because New York is famous for good eating."
Green Music Note q6.wav Jimmy: "You pay the God damned lottery winner one million dollars and I'm saving the Big Apple ten... ...a hundred million dollars, maybe a billion dollars and you're going to welch on one million lousy dollars?"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipq1.mpg - 2.1m
Quetzalcoatl comes swooping down to snatch up a poor schmuck and manages to ruin the pool party. At least after this scene the authorities believe an Aztec god is flying around Manhattan.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3
Q: The Winged Serpent
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by radioman970
I picked up the VHS of this for a dollar recently.  It's been years.  Funky little flick.  It's good to see Candy Clark in a film.  She was terrific in American Graffiti.  

I wish all bad movies were this good.
Q: The Winged Serpent
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by George
This movie rocks!!! Who couldn't love a movie about a flying, carnivorous creature attcking New Yawkers? M. Moriarty is a scream! David Carradine is always interesting to watch. There's gore-a-plenty, so any gorehound will find "Q" to be a satisfying rental. Many thanks, Larry Cohen, for this and other entertaining B movies.
Q: The Winged Serpent
Reply #11. Posted on September 09, 2005, 09:38:30 AM by Gavster
I saw this movie 20 years ago and thought it was great.I do not wish to see it again as it may seem a bit rubbish now.
Q: The Winged Serpent
Reply #12. Posted on June 07, 2005, 07:37:29 PM by giant claw
Weird weird weird why would a anchent creature choose the CHRYSLER BUILDING to live? and this thig bites of the heads of winderwashers eeuuiiiww
Re: Q: The Winged Serpent
Reply #13. Posted on June 04, 2007, 05:20:38 PM by HarlotBug3
In all the comments I've read everyone has seemed to ignor two facts: 1.Quetzalcoutl was a feathered serpent not the winged and clawed reptilian dragon depicted in the film and 2.Quetzalcoatl was the protector and guardian of mankind who among all the Aztec gods rejected human sacrifice.

Kudos on the research, I'd considered looking up the name myself. Another tid-bit is the dinosaur/flying reptile, one of the largest, named Quetzalcoatlis...one of many species enslaved by space colonists come 80s toy franchise "Dino-Riders". Coincidence?

Kudos also to whoever knew it would take a 1st rate heavy metal-ish cover to snare people into one of the most awkward movies I've ever seen...and I've been waiting to see this for almost 20 years. Ah, the movies my mother yanked me away from in the 'Major Video'.

Maybe they thought they could capitalize on the good even to this day 'Dragonslayer'. Maybe 'Valley of Guangi' was just too easy to believe. Baring the 'flying against the sun' bull, however, I have to admit that the little monster freak in me still kinda digs the premise. TeddyR

Hell, I'll say it, in the right hands (cough* makers of "The Host") a modern remake of this one could be fantastic.
Re: Q: The Winged Serpent
Reply #14. Posted on June 12, 2007, 11:19:15 AM by Flangepart
However....they never explained how all those big piles of people poop came from.
I mean,there must have been some, right?
I'd call those a clue...
Re: Q: The Winged Serpent
Reply #15. Posted on February 21, 2008, 12:20:07 PM by handles25
New around here, well I've been lurking for a few months and enjoying the movies on the site.  Love this place.  Anywho did anyone else notice that in "creature vision" the thing only ever went right?  I started getting dizzy.  Great crappy movie.
Re: Q: The Winged Serpent
Reply #16. Posted on February 22, 2008, 07:04:28 PM by HarlotBug3
New around here, well I've been lurking for a few months and enjoying the movies on the site.  Love this place.  Anywho did anyone else notice that in "creature vision" the thing only ever went right?  I started getting dizzy.  Great crappy movie.

I still can't get over how much the cover art set us up for a let down when we finally got a good look at this ancient 'God'.
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