Horrorfest 2015 Presents: Q The Winged Serpent (1982, Larry Cohen)

Out of all the monster films I’ve watched over the years Q: The Winged Serpent is rather bizarre. After all this is a movie about a cult that brings to life a freaky God creature that flies around and devours people. Plenty of awesome and entertaining moments there, not to mention Cohen once again directing a film set in New York where people are being killed by a strange force and the police are investigating.

What makes this film also interesting is the performances of Michael Moriarty and David Carradine. Moriarty plays a criminal piano player that stumbles onto the creature’s nest and being a crook naturally demands money for leading the police to the monster. Carradine’s police officer is a man too smart for his own good, who runs up against the fact that the police don’t like conspiracies. Much easier to simply tackle a beast flying around Manhattan as it kills people.

Despite being rather cheesy and not being quite as developed or as well made as some of his films this one is still rather solid. Also the creature effects are claymation, which is a nice touch. The 1980s didn’t have enough big monster movies save for the ones from Japan and a few others, which is kind of a shame as I love me a good big angry monster movie.

Bah Humbug!

The Grinch had a point about X-Mas and the modern-day remake with Jim Carrey missed that point: this holiday sucks now. Kids are too young to realize that the joy of the holiday season has been drained by greedy corporations who don’t care if people die on Black Friday while trying to get an overhyped bargin.

This is all disgusting and sad yet not surprising. The War On Christmas has nothing to do with banning the Little Baby Jesus from appearing in schools. Nope it’s all about how overbearing capitalism ruined a nice and simple tradition. For the almighty profit, of course, the God that they pray to.

If anything we shouldn’t give a shit about the gifts we receive on X-Mas day. I like free stuff as much as everyone else but I don’t think it should come with a hidden price tag attached. Nevermind that Jesus wasn’t really born on this day or that Santa doesn’t actually exist. This should be a time for rejoicing with those who love us.

A time to celebrate and be glad for what we have.    It’s sad that a simple and beautiful message gets lost in the madness but I think that’s what Dr. Sess was trying to tell us all those years ago. The same goes for Charlie Brown, a poor sap mistreated for daring to find out what this day is all about. Lucky for us he believed in that really crappy tree while trying to direct the school play. If you thought that the insanity of the holidays was driving you crazy, at least you don’t have to get a bunch of jazz loving hippie children to act on cue.

No matter what religion you are or what you believe in I think we can all get behind the ideal that the holidays should be about people and not material things. Stuff fades away or breaks; we tire of shiny trinkets. However those we love stay with us no matter what. Such a message is the best gift of all. Well that and an XBOXONE. Kidding. ..

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000, Patrick Lussier)

While the first film was really good and the second one a disappointment the third movie is somewhere in-between. Its an enjoyable film sure, and I liked it more than the second one, yet it has its limitations. Christopher Walken returned as Gabriel, who is now human and in search of redemption. In fact the film’s title is directed at him and not the main character, Danyael, who is the son of Valerie from the second movie, although its also concerning Danyael’s destiny. For Danyael must battle Zophael and Pyriel, who are bent on destroying humanity. One of the things I liked about this movie is how it brings the overlying arc full circle, only this time Gabriel is on the side of humanity since he was forced to live among them.

This aspect makes the film more interesting, and of course there are angel fights and the fate of mankind hangs in the balance as usual. Maggie is Danyael’s girlfriend and becomes forced by Zophael to go after Danyael. There is multiple jokes about driving once again, which is a staple of the series, and I liked that all three films have the same corner: poor Joseph at this point seems wary of angels, and is ready for his problems to end. I also liked that Gabriel ends up at the same dinner that he stopped at during the first film, and the final battle is outlandish, having been proceeded by freaky nightmares that Danyael has throughout the film.

Oh and this movie has some thoughts on God and religion, although they are very Hollywood in nature and therefore only scratch the surface of religious discussion. I liked how this one ended, and overall I have enjoyed the three films. There is a forth film yet due to Christopher Walken not being involved I don’t really consider it part of the series. I might still watch it but I’ll have low expectations. Sometimes trilogies work best.

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