New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol. 25: Q The Winged Commuter

The 1982 thriller, Q the Winged Serpent, is among the best blogger fodder of all time. David Carradine, Richard Roundtree, and Michael Moriarty star in this epic feature about a giant flying lizard who’s just trying to get his eat on around New York City. With a plot like that it’s just too easy to make fun of.

If you can look passed the awful special effects, there is a truly amusing scene in the beginning of the film. An unassuming woman is clearly trying to relax on a lawn chair and catch some rays on the roof of her apartment building. Just like any typical NYC sun worshipper, she is lathering suntan lotion onto her bare breasts when she suddenly gets ripped from her chair and hoisted away into the sky by the frigging buzzkiller Q. It sucks because I was really getting into that scene too. The actress, Bobbi Burns, was emoting big time. I don’t think I’ve witnessed such a dramatic application of suntan lotion on breasts ever. She showed such a beautifully subtle and gentle massage technique. Wonderful.

So, let’s see, the effects are terrible, the plot is pretty lame, and the acting is mediocre at best, so what is Q’s redeeming quality? I’ll tell you:

As detectives assigned to what is assumed to be a case of ritual killings, Shepard (Carradine) and Powell (Roundtree), treat this monstrous winged creature like an average New York City criminal. It’s when they meet with Captain Fletcher that the buffoonery begins. Fletcher offers his opinion on how Q gets to Manhattan:
“You know it can take us weeks to find where this thing’s holed up. I mean, it could be in the woods, away from the city someplace, it could be over in Jersey someplace. My God, with a wing span like you’re talking about here that thing could fly miles into New York City every day, and it would do that of course you know because New York is famous for good eating.”
Yeah that’s it Fletcher. Q likes to eat at all the gourmet restaurants in midtown. That’s one thing about Q, he always likes to use silverware and napkins.
SERGIO: “Oh well, isn’t this a surprise! Good Afternoon Q! I’m Sergio and I’ll be your waiter today. Do you see anything on the menu that you like?”
Q THE WINGED SERPENT: “Umm, yes as a matter of fact, I’ll take one shirtless human female, basted in suntan lotion.”
SERGIO: “Mmm, that’s one of my personal favorites. I’ll bring her out right away!”