Monday, 5 December 2016

Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)

Some kind of menace is tearing the heads off high-rise window-cleaners and snatching sunbathing ladies from the roofs of their homes.  Simultaneously, small-time crook Jimmy Quinn is failing in a half-hearted attempt to go straight and instead finds himself taking part in robbing a jewelry store.  This robbery goes rather astray.  Quinn escapes, but he gets hurt in the process and loses the loot.  That's not going to sit well with the rest of the gang when they catch up to him, but ol' Jimmy has a more immediate problem: his choice of hiding places leads him straight to the nest of some giant avian monster.

Strangely enough, this last misstep might actually be good news for Quinn.  He's fortunate enough to not attract the beast's attention, so now he's the only one in New York who knows where it makes its nest.  Which is about to be the question on everyon'e lips, as even in movies, people will eventually notice an eighty-foot long dragon flapping around the Big Apple and snacking on folks.

Q: The Winged Serpent (which is sometimes known just by the first word, or by only the second through fourth) does try to explain people's apparent inability to see this monster - it's smart enough to attack from out of the sun.  Which I guess makes sense as to why its victims can't spot it, but it does kind of fail to justify how it evades the other ten million eyeballs in the city - particularly since that nest I mentioned is in the Chrysler Building, which has thousands of people going in and out of it every day.

Of course, this is a movie in which an 80 foot stop motion dragon, summoned to life by a crazed priest of the Aztec gods, menaces New York.  So coherent story-telling is not really its strong point.  Being gonzo, on the other hand, is something it's pretty good at.

While not in any technical sense a "good" film, I found Q to be a thoroughly enjoyable one.  If you're at all a fan of giant monster antics, it's worth your time.

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