Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New on DVD/VOD

  • Print
Q the Winged Serpent

Enlarge Image

Q the Winged Serpent

Q The Winged Serpent

ONLY a maverick filmmaker like Larry Cohen (It's Alive, Black Caesar, God Told Me To) would have conceived a genre mashup combining a New York police procedural with a man-eating flying monster. But that's precisely what he does in this 1982 oddball.

Call it Godzilla Goes to Naked City.

Michael Moriarty (who would eight years after this play a New York DA in TV series Law & Order) is simply unforgettable as Jimmy Quinn, an ex-junkie/musician/wheel man who stumbles on the nest of a giant reptilian predator at the top of the Chrysler Building while on the lam from a failed jewelry store robbery.

Realizing his knowledge has cash value, Jimmy tries to barter his info for a lucrative score, while police detective Shepard (David Carradine) investigates a concurrent spree of ritualistic homicides in which the victims voluntarily allowed themselves to be flayed or eviscerated. The coincidental deaths lead Shepard to believe this head-chomping Aztec beast may have been "prayed into existence."

"It wouldn't be the first time in history a monster was mistaken for a god," Shepard says.

Carradine, an old army buddy of Cohen, entered into the filmmaker's improvisational style with some evident discomfort, but it's the manic Moriarty who steals the show here, outshining even VFX specialist David Allen's stop-motion Q (short for the winged Aztec god Quetzlcoatl) with an over-the-top display of self-pity, fear, greed, and non-stop panic. (Moriarty plays a pretty mean jazz piano, too.)

In the director's audio track on Shout Factory's Blu-ray release, Cohen proudly asserts that his film was an inspiration to Korean director Joon-ho Bong when he made his 2006 genre classic The Host, which likewise placed a grungy slacker against a formidable scaly beast.

The Host is the better film. Q is downgraded by some bad performances (Candy Clark as Moriarty's girlfriend, for one) and cheesy effects. Also, it looks like it was edited with a steak knife.

But in the constellation of exploitation movies, it still shines like the rough gem it is. ***1/2


Star Trek Into Darkness

J.J. ABRAMS' 2009 reboot of Star Trek painstakingly introduced a time-travel element that essentially meant the franchise was free from the constraints of the Shatner-Nimoy Star Trek universe as we knew it.

Given liberty as expansive as the universe, this second chapter is something of a retread, not-so-boldly going where Star Trek has gone before.

We find hot-headed Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) getting in trouble with his mentor Capt. Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and facing the loss of his command due to his First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) and his unwavering Vulcan honesty when it comes to filing reports to Starfleet.

But a terrorist attack in London implies Earth has bigger problems, specifically a mysterious gent named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) intent on inflicting damage to Starfleet and its high command.

Kirk, itching for a fight owing to a personal loss, finds a sympathetic non-pointy ear in Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller), who gives Kirk the OK to surreptitiously enter enemy space to retrieve the fugitive Harrison, despite the imminent threat of war from the combative Klingon empire. Once there, Kirk discovers there is more to his enemy than he imagined.

Suffice it to say that Star Trek Into Darkness revives a plot thread from both the movie and TV universes.

And it really need not have bothered. Abrams concocts a different take on a canonical chapter of Star Trek lore to no real purpose. After the slam-bang action of the first film, it was time for the franchise to deliver some of the science-fiction smarts for which it was once celebrated, not to take out the recycling. ** 1/2

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 12, 2013 C8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


MTS Centre a Winnipeg whiteout as NHL playoffs return after 19 years

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young gosling flaps his wings after taking a bath in the duck pond at St Vital Park Tuesday morning- - Day 21– June 12, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos


Do you think the Jets will win Game 4 on Wednesday?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google