The Flying Serpent


Remember Q: The Winged Serpent, the Larry Cohen film about a dragon swooping down and swiping people off of rooftops? It's a cool movie. Most genre die-hards are familiar with it, but very few know that it's a remake of 1946's The Flying Serpent. I didn't know until I found this sucker on Netflix. It's a simple story involving George Zucco as a crazed archeologist who discovers a giant bird. He believes it to be Quetzacoatl, an Aztec god linked to the treasure of Montezuma. Zucco cages the feathered trajectile and sends it off to kill those who get in his way, or at least those who know the whereabouts of the hidden treasure.

This flick is only 59 minutes long, so I can't say that it was boring. "Uneventful" is a better word. It's a very lean picture. No fat, no trimmings...it does what it needs to do and it ends. You'd think that The Flying Serpent would sport an affectation of stop-motion effects, but the viewer isn't so lucky. Instead, we get a junky, jerrybuilt model held up by visible strings. The attack sequences are hilarious. I'm assuming that the filmmakers gently laid the construct on the "victim" before each shot of a character being mauled.

Zucco delivers a stable performance, but that's a given. Clearly, everyone else is forgettable. Overall, The Flying Serpent is a mild-mannered creature feature that comes and goes like a mouthful of cotton candy. It's not unspeakable, but this is one instance where the remake surpasses the original.

1 comment:

  1. I actually just read about this one in the Encyclopedia of Horror, and had no idea Q was a remake either. Interested in seeing this one but it made me want to reproach Q more =D