The other day on twitter, I think, one of my friends mentioned that he had just gotten a copy of Q: the Flying Serpent. I mentioned offhand that movie was one I had always wanted to see, but for some reason my folks refused to let me rent it. Once he ripped it, he dropped it in the mail, and it got here yesterday.
I have not yet watched it.
I expect it to be bad. Omega levels of bad. It has David Carradine in it, for fuck’s sake. No good ever comes of that. Or at least very rarely.
And now that I have it in my hot little hands, I’m both eager to watch it and a little apprehensive.
Q was one of the first videos I saw in the store when we bought our first VCR in 1984 when I was 13, a betamax. It was the official VCR of the 1984 Olympics, which given that most television production used beta even long after VHS swept the market, is kind of feasible. But when we walked in the store to buy the VCR, and rent some movies, I was transfixed by the very soft focus painting on the cover of Q, of a green snake like thing clutching a scantily dressed woman in one clawed foot (serpent?) on the top of a skyscraper I would later find out was meant to be the Chrysler Building.
I begged to rent that movie every week.
The issue wasn’t that it was horror. My folks let me rent and watch lots of horror. They weren’t quite “Let a five year old watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre“* levels of blasé about horror, but they did rent it for me for my 14th birthday, along with The Shining and one other completely forgettable horror movie, possibly from the Elvira Presents line of titles.
And it wasn’t the giant monster part, because I’d grown up on Godzilla movies. Mothra remains my favorite.
A lot of my folks’ rules around media were fairly arbitrary. I wasn’t allowed to listen to any bands with “dead” in their name, which included the Grateful Dead, the Dead Kennedys and the Dead Milkmen, while my mom would buy me just about any record on the PMRC’s hit list, like WASP’s Last Command. So, yeah, arbitrary and a little weird.
I mean, I got why I Spit On Your Grave was on the no list. It had a mostly naked woman covered in blood on the cover with a sexualized presentation. Honestly, asking for that one was part of a campaign of calculated de-escalation in which I attempted to get them to let me rent Q. It didn’t work, as I’m sure you guessed, and I probably wound up with another Elvira Presents, which were almost universally awful, but still fun.
I’m not sure which strange ass hang up my folks had that Q tripped, but in 33 years I have not seen that movie. For all I know it could have merely amused them to deny me something I really wanted to watch.
But now, I have it. And I think that while Ogre is running his gaming group, that I will be upstairs with popcorn and soda, watching what may well be in the running for worst movie I have ever seen.
Although nothing will ever beat out Eversmile, NJ.
*Fun fact: The scariest moment of that movie for me was when Leatherface comes leaping out of the bushes with a running chainsaw, after having been silent. I was drinking Dr. Pepper out of a glass bottle, my friend jumped, bumped my arm, and chipped my tooth. As we all know, there’s is no “silent mode” on a chainsaw, and no one gets one started that quickly. No one.
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