Jimmy Quinn (Michael Moriarty) is a small-time crook who gets
mixed-up with two unsavoury characters. They threaten him
into taking part in an armed robbery. Whilst the others are
caught Jimmy escapes with the cash, only to lose it under
a truck after an accident. Guessing that the gang will give
his name to the police, he flees and finally takes refuge
in the uppermost roof pinnacle of the Chrysler Building (like
you do). Here he finds a dead body, but instead of screaming
and getting the hell out (as his cowardly portrayal would
surely do) he climbs the ladder into the cone itself. Inside,
he discovers a nest with what looks like a large egg. Meanwhile
Detective Shepard (David Carradine) is investigating a series
of mutilated bodies. When too many witnesses to ignore report
having seen a giant bird, Jimmy soon realises he has bargaining
power with the police. His long-suffering girlfriend and Shepard
try to persuade him to do the right thing, but Jimmy has to
learn the hard way that not everything is about him...
The Winged Serpent is a monster movie from the '80s which
is still fondly remembered by some people. It comes from writer,
producer and director Larry Cohen, who was also responsible
(yes, that is the right word) for the
Just like those films this seems to be based in some strange
unreality. Yes, it's about a giant man-eating bird that might
be a god, but any supernatural subject should be set in a
solid natural environment to work properly, and sadly this
falls short in that respect.
I suppose the makers should be commended for attempting a
giant bird on the big screen, but when seen in full the creation
just made me cringe and pretend I hadn't noticed. Much more
effective were the aerial shots, the shadows on passing skyscrapers
and the super-fast glimpses as the bird attacked. Clash
of the Titans, released around this time, was much more
successful with its fantasy creations. Possibly it was due
to the increased number of stop-motion and special effects
dropped into a Greece of myths and legends.
is alive and well, too. Even now, I can't watch David Carradine
without thinking of his Grasshopper character from the seventies
series Kung Fu. The Kill Bill films has made
that situation worse rather than better, because in them he
uses a multitude of martial arts!
extras on the DVD at first glance seem better than they are.
A commentary is only joined by two trailers, biographies &
film notes, a gallery and Q Memorabilia via DVD ROM
short, Q The Winged Serpent isn't quite good enough
that I would recommend you get out of bed to buy it, and it
isn't quite bad enough that you can enjoy it as a B-Movie.
It floats somewhere in between. A sort of flying turkey.
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