Here's the trailer for Larry Cohen's 1982 giant creature feature Q The Winged Serpent.
Trailer courtesy of AussieRoadshow.
I wanted to showcase this film because I recently read this great article about it over at thedissolve.com. Writer Will Harris brought together interviews with Cohen and members of the cast to talk about the movie. Here's some clips.
Cohen on coming up with the idea;
“The Empire State building had their monster, but I thought the Chrysler Building was a better-looking building, so I thought, 'Well, they should have their own monster!' [Laughs.] And if you’re going to have a monster that’s a bird, what better place to have it nest than up at the top of the Chrysler Building? It’s kind of designed with a bird-like motif: It’s got gargoyles that look like giant bird-like creatures around the sides of it, and the whole top of it is kind of centered. If I was a giant bird and I was going to pick a nesting place, that’s where I’d go. So then I started looking for a bird that was a monster, and, well, [Quetzalcoatl] is probably the prime bird-monster there is, and the fact that the Aztecs worshipped it as a god and performed human sacrifices to it, that all fit in with the story I was going to do.”
On filming at the Chrysler Building;
“They turned me down the first six or seven times we approached them [about filming at the Chrysler Building], but we kept going back, and finally we offered them enough money that they said yes. But they didn’t know we were gonna go all the way up to the needle of the building. They didn’t realize how high up I had intended to go. They thought I was just gonna stay on the top floor. They didn’t think I was gonna get on this little rickety ladder and go all the way up four or five more levels, into the very pinnacle of the building. And I don’t think they believed anybody would go up there, let alone that the crew would go up there with cameras and equipment and lights. But we did. It was a hairy place to shoot a movie. But we couldn’t afford to build the top of the Chrysler Building, so we had to do it at the real place!”
Star David Carradine on taking the project;
“We always wanted to make a movie together, and one time, I was at the Cannes Film Festival, and I got a telegram that said, 'Show up on June 14 in New York with clothes for a New York detective.' I thought, 'That sounds really cool!' [But] I hadn’t read the script or anything... Then I read it, and I said, 'Oh my God, it’s a monster movie. I don’t do these things!' But I thought, y’know, I’ve made the commitment, so I have to do it. I thought if [Larry] had left the monster out of it, between me and Michael Moriarty, there was a real great story there between the detectives and the sleazebag heroin addict/petty-thief character. That’s where the power in the movie is. That’s where the heart of it is… and not in the chicken that ate New York! [Laughs.] But that’s Larry.”