Q: The Winged Serpent DVD Review

Without the 1950's around, it's a major gamble to release a giant monster movie unless it has Godzilla. Even then your not guaranteed anything good (reference: Dean Devlin/Roland Emmerich). Q is an interesting low budget take on the genre with ludicrous amounts of gore and only minimal monster. New York City has a criminal problem. Not just the usual car theft problems either. No, some nut has been doing ritualistic sacrifices (gross ones at that) on people and has somehow resurrected an ancient Aztec god called Quetzalcoatl (say it six times fast right now). Seems this feisty bird-reptile creature has the taste for human flesh and window washers. The investigation into the murders leads most of the movie, but since everyone in the theater (or on their couch) knows who's doing it, it's all sort of useless. Michael Moriarty plays a great role, but only slows the pace and it makes a 90-minute movie seem like 3 hours. When the creature does finally make his full, stop motion appearance, it's very impressive. Some of the matte shots are a bit off, but for a 1982 film, it's spectacular. As long as your finger is on fast-forward, you'll be fine. (*** out of *****) Blue Underground released this disc and just like almost all of their releases, this one features a fully restored print. They've done a great job, but the contrast is set far too high. Blindingly high as a matter of fact. The colors are strong and sharp, black levels are nice, scratches have almost all disappeared, but the contrast is hard to bear. Close, but just a bit outside. (***) Again, just like all of their discs, we get a brand new soundtrack including their very popular DTS 6.1 track. Other options include 5.1 EX, Dolby 2.0, and the original mono. The surround tracks are less than adequate, hardly offering any rear speaker effects at all. A few of the segments have some nice ambience, but this is a weak DTS and 5.1 track. The bass never seems to kick in either. Still, it's far better than any mono track. (**) Extras include a commentary track from Larry Cohen, teaser trailer, poster and still gallery, plus some Q memorabilia. Oddly, the memorabilia segment is only available on DVD-ROM that I don't have immediate access to and couldn't view. I don't see why this couldn't have been included as a standard feature. It's nice to a Cohen commentary track and he shows great enthusiasm for the picture, but the DVD-ROM content is stupid and baffling. (**) This is actually the second time Q has been brought out on DVD. The original release was serviceable, but this one blows it away. Even though this one has some problems, fans of this cult classic should be happy. Blue Underground is gaining a great reputation for releasing some great cult films and they get better with every release. This was a fairly early release, but it does a fine job presenting a decent movie on a new format.

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