so i finally watched q: the winged serpent. i've been meaning to do this since i read a review of it in the fortean times, back when i used to read it (actually, i think it might have been on a more recent nostalgia-trip).
I started watching the film, and was loving it until about half an hour in, when the interminable subplot about a bungling getaway driver which was threatening to overtake the film finally got too much.
strangely, this is in the same week that the onion a.v. club wrote: "If he weren’t, you know, still alive, this article could be called the Larry Cohen Memorial Inventory, because Cohen has spent decades crafting ingenious, pulpy B-movie premises that were more often than not half-realized" in their feature 'Take two: 22 potentially great movies botched in execution and ready to be remade'.
i couldn't agree more, and on finishing watching the film i could only think how fantastic the themes were and how rubbish the actual film was. the story is, a cultist summons a resurrection of the god quetzalcoatl which makes a nest in the roof of the chrysler tower, manhatten. the monster starts terrorizing new york, swopping down from the bright sky and picking off bystanders.
so we have the equivelence of gods and monsters, public and media hysteria, a great winged serpent that flies out in the midday sun so that people are blinded when they look up to it... and no budget to see it through. larry cohen wrote, directed and produced the film, resulting in richard roundtree saying brooklyn-style dialogue like 'why you should have such big ears, heh?'.
what i think the tragedy is, is that peter jackson remade king kong (which didn't need remaking) and not this (which did). the creature effects were terrible, and it was basically not threatening in the slighest, just a bit gory. Q doesn't play enough of a role in the story; it has no character of its own.
firstly, i think the creature should have been a wyvern, as it really has no need for it's forelimbs, and wyverns don't get enough light these days. the cultists need to play a stronger part in the plot, maybe even having people convert to the cult, like akira, accepting Q as their saviour. attempts to make the plot plausible were stilted and weak, and if you're going to try to have some sort of... oh forget it. never mind. i really reccomend you watch the film, and then afterwards, watch a remake of it in your head - that's what i've done and i've really enjoyed it.