Tuesday, October 03, 2006
31 Days of Halloween - Day 3 Movie
Tonight's movie was "Q:The Winged Serpent" (1982) written, produced and directed by Larry Cohen. I haven't seen this movie since it was first released, and well, it is what it is. Larry Cohen is something of an odd entity, in which the sheer amount of ideas he has, and his enthusiasm for them outstrips his ability (as well as his budgets). This is the same man who brought us "It's Alive" the movie with the killer mutant baby, and "The Stuff," which I liked, about the yogurt like health food that was a living organism, often devouring it's consumers.
"Q" starring Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, David Carradine, and Richard Roundtree, features ritual sacrifices, a diamond heist gone wrong, and a giant flying dragon-like monster inhabiting the pinnacle of the Crysler Building in Manhattan. The performances elevate this movie, slightly, though Cohen's directing, as well as the editing are servicable at best. It seems as if Cohen shot exactly enough footage to cut together a print, and nothing more. The effects by stop-motion animators Dave Allen and Randy Cook, are fun but hampered by the budget restrictions (and I'm guessing some major time constraints) and are shown only sporadically until the climactic showdown with the monster. In between we get close-ups of a not too convincing full scale talon, and some blood and human body parts. I mostly enjoyed it for the complete immersion in my old home of New York City, whose presence here rivals the city's use in most Woody Allen movies. The movie looks dated, and is pretty hokey, but was enjoyable because it aspired to be something more than what it actually became. There were moments during the police vs monster scene where I could easily imagine them in black and white in a Bert I. Gordon movie.