Q (1982)

"Can Kong come out and play?"
"Can Kong come out and play?"

What do you do when you’re fired from a crappy movie? If you’re Larry Cohen, circa 1982, you get right back on the horse, call up Samuel Arkoff, raise a cool million, and go make another one. Why waste a good hotel stay in New York? I can think of few things I’d rather do to that damn town than terrorize it with a giant monster, a proclivity Cohen seems to share. He apparently looked up at the Chrysler Building one day and said, “You know…that’d be a great place to build a nest”…a comment eerily evocative of Charles Joseph Whitman‘s first reaction to the University of Texas clock tower.

Thus, Q, which opens high above the canyons of Manhattan. A window washer outside the fortieth floor of the Empire State Building looses his head to unseen forces. Detective Shepherd (David “Kwai Chang Caine” Carradine) is on the case. His Token Black Partner, Powell (Richard “Shaft” Roundtree) discovers a skinned corpse in a hotel room. And, in the Obligatory Tit Shot, a topless Park Avenue sunbather gets snatched off her own roof by a shrieking, winged shape that dives out of the sun. Blood rains down on Central Park as shoppers and old ladies look the sky, aghast, no doubt wondering, if the Apocalypse is imminent, why they haven’t been Raptured up to Heaven yet? (God must know about that time you masturbated to Johnny Carson’s opening monologue, sweetheart.) {More}

The X From Outer Space (1967)

Redshirt alert.In the far flung future of…for all intents and purposes, 1967…the Fuji Astronautical Flight Center, Japan’s answer to Cape Canaveral, prepares a sixth manned mission to Mars. The previous five met mysterious ends at the hands of equally-mysterious UFOs supposedly camped out in interplanetary space. “Your job,” a FAFC flunky tells the doomed sixth crew of gullible space monkeys, “is to determine what’s stopping us from reaching Mars.”

In the great tradition of Japanese sci-fi films from the sixties, the crew of the “nuclear powered ship” AB Gamma will fail miserably in this. However, by the time you reach the end of the film, you’ll have forgotten all about the UFO and the five crews of astronauts it allegedly obliterated. Rest assured the movie itself will have long since left such considerations dead in its wake. The X From Outer Space is a film obviously desperate to cash in on the daikaiju genre’s Silver Age, well underway at the time of its production. As the evil android, Ash, from Alien, said to his crew: “All other priorities are rescinded.” {More}