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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Q The Winged Serpent (1982)

An ex-junkie and petty criminal (Michael Moriarty) is part of a diamond robbery that goes wrong and he needs a place to hide from his fellow gang members. Meanwhile, a series of ritual murders (people are skinned alive) and bizarre deaths (a window cleaner in a high rise is decapitated) stump the police. Directed by Larry Cohen (GOD TOLD ME TO), this is a rather unusual entry in the horror canon. Although filmed in 1982, it has that 1970s gritty shot on location in New York vibe rather than the slick Hollywood look courtesy of cinematographer Fred Murphy. Sort of like THE NAKED CITY as a horror movie. The sleazebag character at the center of the movie is a juicy role for Moriarty and allows him to give a layered performance unusual in the horror genre which is usually more concerned with scares than characterizations. Cohen wisely chooses to keep the film's title creature largely unseen except for glimpses until the end which is more effective. THE GIANT CLAW this is not (thankfully)! It's still a "B" movie but even if you're not a horror fan, it's worth checking out for Moriarty's performance. With David Carradine, Richard Roundtree, Candy Clark and Malacy McCourt.

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