Q (1982) Dir. Larry Cohen.
In this review of Larry Cohen’s classic film, I make parallels to current events including modern day sacrifice, occult ritual, vampirism, social blindness and moral decline. All in the amazingly named film Q.
Atomic-era monster movies used nuclear fears as inspiration for the countless monsters that came out of the time period. In Larry Cohen’s Q, it’s pagan occult rituals that call the monster forth. Once manifested from the past, a giant winged serpent starts flying around Manhattan killing rooftop sunbathers and construction workers. But oddly, as enormous and plain as day as the creature is, the entire population of Manhattan seems blind to what flies overhead, not seeing what by all accounts is right before their eyes, perhaps not unlike the blindness we experience today. The Azetc deity Quetzalcoatl is demanding and his believers seem more than willing to comply with his needs. “Blood must be given willingly for the God to appreciate it.” says one knowing character. Cinematic fantasy quickly blurs when we refer to the pagan deity of child sacrifice, Moloch and its modern genocidal counterparts in order to make connections from ancient to modern forms of blood sacrifice. I don’t make this connection lightly, but when ‘health care’ gives way to a cult-like celebration of sacrifice, and an eager ‘willingness’ to participate in termination at any stage of a pregnancy, it makes you wonder what happened and how we have veered so far off track. It was as if Oprah herself flailed her arms like a demented Santa Claus screaming to her audience, “Abortions for everyone! Even the men!” And the audience cheered the industry of sacrifice.
During her Golden Globe awards speech on January 6th, visibly pregnant Michelle Williams, all but dedicated her win to her aborted fetus, grateful for a career that was possible thanks only to her personal sacrifice. And let’s not forget the sudden demand for full term infanticide, an unbelievable action led by Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA). The word ‘choice’ is bandied about, but is it possible this might serve other purposes just as the sacrifices do in Q? Does pre-mature ‘sex education’ to young children not inform, but encourage them to participate in an industry designed to remove the sanctity of childbirth and obliterate the idea of loving relationships?
Besides these possibly outlandish reaches of predictive programming, there are other moments that caught my attention, including the bizarre visual anomaly of a mime speaking on a telephone. What does it mean when the silence is broken? Are we to believe what we hear when it comes from a source whose role has always been to keep silent? Are elements in place to discredit the voices of whistleblowers who should remain silent?Is the emergence of Qanon in 2017 merely a coincidental inference that can be made regarding new ways of releasing information to the public? We have to ask ourselves, is this just a monster movie or was the director trying to tell us something about society? Were his ideas pulled from a collective unconscious that spoke a truth that is generally unavailable to the public? Why would an auteur like Larry Cohen or any other thoughtful director include something with no meaning attached? What is the purpose of having a large image of Dracula sucking the blood of a victim framed perfectly behind the main character, Michael Moriarty? Is this the type of thing that is going on behind our backs? Are the equivalent of vampires, sucking our life force while we, like Moriarty, desperately grasp for money and material things that we think will bring happiness? Are we so distracted by our greed that we’ve become blind to our own exploitation? It’s telling that early on in the film, this character is so deprived of soul that he responds to a compliment by saying, “What do you know?!” instead of simply saying, “Thank you.”
Am I reading more into this than was ever intended? We may never know for sure, but it’s fun to look at and I’ll leave it up to time and for the reader to decide for themselves.
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