Q (1982, USA) C-93m. *** D: Larry Cohen. Starring Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, David Carradine, Richard Roundtree, James Dixon, Mary Louise Weller, Bruce Carradine. One of B-movie icon Cohen’s best films, this AIP-produced horror film is about a South American cult, which commits ritualistic murders and has resurrected a winged serpent – in the middle of Manhattan! Moriarty plays a small-time crook, who incidentally stumbles into the creature’s lair and intends to cash in on it. Uneven performances (excluding Moriarty’s great turn), but script is interesting and pace agreeable. For B-movie fans. Written and produced by Cohen, whose story served as an inspiration for another ‘Q’, Quentin Tarantino, who borrowed the diamond-heist premise for RESERVOIR DOGS (1992) from this film. Also known as SERPENT, and THE WINGED SERPENT.

Quai des Orfèvres (1947, FRA) 106m. *** D: Henri-Georges Clouzot. Starring Louis Juvet, Bernard Blier, Suzy Delair, Claudine Dupuis, Simone Renant, Jean Durand, René Blancard, Robert Dalban. Pianist Blier is jealous of his wife Delair, a varieté performer, and plots to kill a film producer, who he thinks has an affair with her. When he arrives at his house he finds the man already murdered. Was it his wife? Well-scripted, credible crime drama based on the novel Légitime Défense by Stanislas-André Steeman. Film builds suspense slowly, but good cast makes film worthwhile, especially Juvet as the cynical, world-weary inspecteur on the case. Clouzot won the Best Director-award in Cannes. English title: JENNY LAMOUR.

Qualcosa Striscia nel Buio (1971, ITA) C-96m. *** D: Mario Colucci. Starring Farley Granger, Lucia Bosé, Stan Cooper (=Stelvio Rosi), Mia Genberg, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Dino Fazio. Italian mystery chiller about a group of people who are surrounded by high water and must seek refuge in a secluded villa one night. Among this group are an inspector keeping a criminal in custody, an estranged couple, and a professor with a faible for seances. Suspenseful, atmospheric giallo with a good score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, who also appears as the professor. Bogs down in the second half but still worthwhile. Its premise was ripped off for the Hollywood thriller IDENTITY (2003). English titles: SOMETHING CREEPING IN THE DARK, SOMETHING IS CRAWLING IN THE DARK, SHADOWS IN THE DARK, and PHANTOM ASSASSIN.

Qualcuno Ha Tradito (1966, ITA/FRA) C-88m. M D: Frank Shannon (=Franco Prosperi). Starring Robert Webber, Elsa Martinelli, Jean Servais, Marina Berti, Umberto Raho. Totally forgettable actioner that obviously considers itself a mix between TOPKAPI and James Bond. Webber joins a group of safecrackers to steal diamonds. Too bad that someone is planning to betray them. Cheap and pretentious trash. Probably a sequel to Prosperi’s TECNICA DI UN OMICIDIO (1966), which also starred Webber. English title: EVERY MAN IS MY ENEMY.

Quando Alice Ruppe lo Specchio (1988, ITA) C-84m. M D: Lucio Fulci. Starring Brett Halsey, Sacha Darwin, Al Cliver, Ulla Kerowa, Ria De Simone. Disgusting splatter film about (literal) lady killer Halsey and the ugly women he dates and dismembers with his chainsaw. Gross, pointless, sick. Nihilistic gore from a once-stylish director. Much of this was re-edited into UN GATTO NEL CERVELLO. Aka WHEN ALICE BROKE THE MIRROR and TOUCH OF DEATH.

Quando le Donne Avevano la Coda (1970, ITA) C-91m. *½ D: Pasquale Festa Campanile. Starring Senta Berger, Giuliano Gemma, Frank Wolff. Sex comedy about bunch of primitive cavemen who find a pretty woman in one of their traps and discover their libido. Hardly funny script wears very thin after about an hour. Nice sets, though. Score by Ennio Morricone. Also runs (allegedly) 95m., 99m. and even 110m.! English title: WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS. Followed by WHEN WOMEN LOST THEIR TAILS.

Quante Volte … Quella Notte (1969, ITA/GER) C-83m. ** D: Mario Bava. Starring Daniele Giordano, Brett Halsey, Dick Randall, Valeria Sabel, Michael Hinz, Rainer Basedow, Brigitte Skay. Light-hearted but mild sex farce from fantasy/horror icon Mario Bava. Halsey picks up beautiful Giordano and subsequently spends the night with her. But what really happened? Did he rape her (and she claims) or did she seduce him (as he claims)? Four versions of the events that night are related, all differ significantly from each other (à la RASHOMON). Despite narrative complexity, too tame and talky, not as intriguing as intended. Fans will savor Bava’s trademark use of a zoom lens (the ‘girl on a swing’ would later return in CINQUE BAMBOLE PER LA LUNA D’AGOSTO), others will find this terribly dated. Alternative Italian title: UNA NOTTE FATTA DI BUGIE. English title: FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT.

Quantum of Solace (2008, USA/GBR) C-106m. SCOPE *** D: Marc Forster. Starring Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Gemma Arterton, Jeffrey Wright, David Harbour, Jesper Christensen, Anatole Taubman, Rory Kinnear, Tim Pigott-Smith, voices of Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón. The Bond franchise revs it up in this sequel to CASINO ROYALE (2006), in which 007 goes after pseudo-environmentalist Amalric and his organisation, which is buying land in Bolivia. Bond’s driving force is revenge, however, as he still mourns the death of his lover Vesper Lynd. Craig is good (again), and director Forster tries to keep things at a lightning pace with staccato editing, though even at this speed, the plot holes and coincidences don’t all disappear. Some spectacular stunt work and globe-spanning settings put this above-average.

Quarantine (2008, USA) C-89m. **½ D: John Erick Dowdle. Starring Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech, Columbus Short, Andrew Fiscella, Rade Serbedzija. Scene-by-scene remake of the Spanish 2007 hit [REC] about a house in L.A. which is quarantined as a virus is transforming the residents into zombies. Can they escape? Pretty much on a par with the original, the ending makes the movie again.

Quatermass and the Pit (1967, GBR) C-98m. *** D: Roy Ward Baker. Starring James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, Julian Glover, Duncan Lamont, Bryan Marshall. Five million year-old skulls are unearthed by subway workers and soon a bigger object is found – a sealed-tight spaceship that emanates strange powers. It’s Professor Quatermass to the rescue! Suspenseful, eerie, fascinating. Excellent cast headed by Keir as the resourceful professor. Top 60s sci-fi horror, one of the best of the decade. Same story previously filmed in 1958 as a British mini-series, several other Quatermass movies are in existence.

Quattro dell’Apocalisse, I (1975, ITA) C-104m. **½ D: Lucio Fulci. Starring Fabio Testi, Lynne Frederick, Michael J. Pollard, Harry Baird, Tomas Milian. A very unusual film for the Godfather of Gore: Sentimental western drama about four strangers, who survive a town massacre in their prison cell and embark on a grueling cross-country trek to a town 200 miles distant. On their way they meet the sadistic character of Chaco (Milian). Uneven late (last?) entry in the spaghetti western canon finally opts for human drama (but does not completely do without director Fulci’s trademark gore scenes). Some nicely melancholy songs add to the unique mood of the film (unique for a Fulci western at least). Based on stories by 19th century novelist Bret Harte. English titles: FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE, FOUR GUNMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE or FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE.

4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio (1972, ITA/FRA) C-101m. Scope **½ D: Dario Argento. Starring Michael Brandon, Mimsy Farmer, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Bud Spencer, Aldo Bufi Landi, Calisto Calisti, Francine Racette. Argento’s third feature film, the final part in his Animal Trilogy of giallos. Brandon plays a drummer for a successful rock group, who accidentally kills a stranger and finds himself stalked by the only witness of the crime, a mystery man who might have staged the murder. So-so plot and performances are almost overcome by typical Argento stylistics and haunting theme song by Ennio Morricone. An interesting addition to the director’s canon and certainly not his worst film. There is also a surprising amount of (welcome) comic relief in the picture (a homosexual detective, a paranoid postman). Not very violent and quite low-key, despite the director’s reputation. A striking point in Argento’s career, who turned away from the murder mystery (giallo) genre and went on to make the comedy LE CINQUE GIORNATE next. A must for his followers. Written by Argento, Luigi Cozzi (also ass dir) and Mario Foglietti. English title: FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET.

…4 …3 …2 …1 …Morte (1967, ITA/GER/SPA/MON) C-95m. Scope ** D: Primo Zeglio. Starring Lang Jeffries, Essy Persson, Pinkas Braun, Luis Dávila, Gianni Rizzo. A curio: This first (and last) adaptation of Clark Darlton’s internationally successful Perry Rhodan sci-fi novels is about the hero’s encounter with extra-terrestrials and his attempt to cure one of their crew members suffering from leukemia(!). Cheap special effects, unintentionally funny dialogues, and most of this is set on Earth! Psychedelic flavor, nice soundtrack will interest B-movie freaks. In fact, most of them will probably end up liking the picture (although many Perry Rhodan fans were disappointed by this adaptation). Score by Antón García Abril and Erwin Halletz, songs by Marcello Giombini. Also known as MISSION STARDUST and PERRY RHODAN – SOS AUS DEM WELTALL.

Queen, The (2006, GBR/FRA/ITA) C-103m. *** D: Stephen Frears. Starring Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings, Roger Allam, Sylvia Syms, Michael Sheen, Helen McCrory. Sensitive drama about Queen Elizabeth II. (Mirren), who in 1997 is faced with the biggest crisis of her long-time reign. The death of Lady Diana leaves her cold as she is no longer part of the Royal Family, but Premier Blair (Sheen) knows she cannot hide herself from the mourning public. Interesting characterizations of a very private, yet much-observed family, highlighted by Mirren’s Oscar-winning performance as the title character.

Queen’s Ransom, A (1976, HGK) C-96m. ScopeD: Tan Shin-Si. Starring George Lazenby, Judith Brown, Angela Mao, Wang Yu. A group of terrorists headed by Lazenby want to assassinate the Queen, who is visiting Hong Kong in this trashy thriller. Aptly directed and produced (by Raymond Chow), film suffers most from silly plot twists in the second half. Trash fans may like the movie anyway. One of three Hong Kong movies starring Lazenby. The others are THE DRAGON FLIES (1975) and STONER (1975). Alternative title: INTERNATIONAL ASSASSIN.

Que la Bete Meure (1969, FRA/ITA) C-112m. ***½ D: Claude Chabrol. Starring Michel Duchaussoy, Jean Yanne, Caroline Cellier, Lorraine Rainer, Marc DiNapoli. After his son is killed in a hit-and-run accident, Duchaussoy sets out to find and kill the responsible driver. After a long search a coincidence helps him to find out the identity of the man. Quiet, subtle psycho drama, flawlessly acted, coldly, perfectly directed by Chabrol. One of his best films. Based on the novel The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake. Chabrol reworked the subject matter in the similarly themed, yet formally completely different Bronson actioner DEATH WISH, which he coscripted. English title: THIS MAN MUST DIE.

Quella Villa Accanto al Cimitero (1980, ITA) C-85m. Scope **½ D: Lucio Fulci. Starring Katherine MacColl, Dagmar Lassander, Lucio Fulci. Gruesome, eerie horror film about a young family who move into a New England house where a terrible tragedy has taken place. Strange voices seem to be coming from the cellar and the couple’s son keeps having conversations with the ghost of a little girl. Buckets of blood characterize this splatter movie but it also builds some neat suspense, putting heavy strain on your nerves. Stylish but not too intelligent, one of Fulci’s best films. Basically just a rip-off of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, but with more style and gore. English title: HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY.

Quella Villa in Fondo al Parco (1987, ITA) C-82m. *** D: Anthony Ascott (=Giuliano Carnimeo). Starring Janet Agren, David Warbeck, Eva Grimaldi, Werner Pochath. On a Caribbean island, fashion models fall prey to attacks by a pint-sized creature spawned in laboratory experiments. Agren teams up with journalist Warbeck to find her sister, a model, in the jungle. A B-movie from the word ‘go’, but well-directed and with a genuinely scary monster. Good, atmospheric score by Stefano Mainetti. Horror buffs should seek out this eerie little chiller. Also known as L’UOMO TOPO and THE RAT MAN.

Quelli della Calibro 3 (1976, ITA) C-100m. Scope ** D: Massimo Dallamano. Starring Marcel Bozzuffi, Ivan Rassimov, Carole André, Franco Garofalo. Typical Italian potboiler about hardened cop Bozzuffi, who leads a special squad against the criminals who killed his wife and are threatening the city with stolen dynamite. Ordinary story is somewhat offset by Dallamano’s fairly good direction and pace, as well as a good score by Stelvio Cipriani. Otherwise, this is standard action fare. Dallamano’s last film.

Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato (1978, ITA) C-99m. ** D : Enzo G. Castellari. Starring Bo Svenson, Peter Hooten, Fred Williamson, Michael Pergolani, Jackie Basehart, Michel Constantin, Debra Berger, Raimund Harmstorf, Ian Bannen, Bill Vanders, Enzo G. Castellari. Italian war cult movie about a band of American deserters in 1944 France, who try to escape to Switzerland and sabotage a train along the way. Poorly scripted movie is tedious for over an hour, gets a bit better in the finale, though this is still a drag. Quentin Tarantino liked it and referenced it in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009). Score by Francesco De Masi. Shown in various cut versions, although it is not very violent. Also known as THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS, COUNTERFEIT COMMANDOS, DEADLY MISSION, G.I. BRO, HELL’S HEROES, THE DIRTY BASTARD.

Quelqu’un Derrière la Porte (1971, FRA/ITA) C-97m. **½ D: Nicolas Gessner. Starring Charles Bronson, Anthony Perkins, Jill Ireland, Henri Garcin, Adriano Magistretti. Thriller about doctor Perkins, who takes in amnesiac Bronson and tries to reconstruct his identity. Little does Bronson know that he is falling prey to an evil scheme involving Perkins’ wife Ireland. Interesting, well-acted (especially by Perkins), but quite unlikely, which weighs it down a bit. Cowritten by novelist Marc Behm and director Gessner, who followed this with THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE (1976). Also known as SOMEONE BEHIND THE DOOR, and TWO MINDS FOR MURDER.

Quest for Camelot (1998, USA) C-86m. **½ D: Frederick Du Chau. Starring the voices of Jessalyn Gilsig, Cary Elwes, Gary Oldman, Don Rickles, Eric Idle, Jane Seymour, Pierce Brosnan, John Gielgud, Bronson Pinchot, Gabriel Byrne. Well-animated and directed fantasy about the daughter of a knight, who aims for greatness and tries to prove her vigilance when Excalibur is stolen from King Arthur’s court. The animation is beautiful, but basically all the characters seem familiar (see Disney’s THE BLACK CAULDRON), and the songs distract. Based on the novel The King’s Damosel by Vera Chapman. Also known as THE MAGIC SWORD.

Qui? (1970, FRA/ITA) C-76m. **½ D: Léonard Keigel. Starring Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet, Gabriele Tinti, Simone Bach, Jean-Jacques Bourgeois. Minor psycho drama about mysterious Schneider, who is taken in by Ronet, the brother of her husband, who just died in a car accident. Ronet soon has doubts about the seductive woman… did she kill her husband? Oddly paced, interesting curio written by the director and Paul Gégauff. Also known as IL CADAVERE DAGLI ARTIGLI D’ACCIAIO and THE SENSUOUS ASSASSIN.

Quick and the Dead, The (1995, USA) C-108m. **½ D: Sam Raimi. Starring Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobin Bell, Roberts Blossom, Kevin Conway, Keith David, Lance Henriksen, Pat Hingle, Gary Sinise, Olivia Burnette, Fay Masterson, Woody Strode, Bruce Campbell. Acceptable attempt at rekindling the spirit of the spaghetti western casts Stone as the ‘Woman With No Name’, who comes to a Western town to get her revenge on local kingpin Hackman. She enters the annual quickdraw tournament, where Hackman is also taking part. Stylish, especially the photography (by Dante Spinotti), but plot is paper-thin, which you’ll realize soon. Director Raimi doesn’t seem to want to get away from B-material, even though his style has meanwhile reached ‘A’-level. Strode’s last film.

Quicksilver Highway (1997, USA) C-90m. M D: Mick Garris. Starring Christopher Lloyd, Matt Frewer, Raphael Sbarge, Bill Nunn, Veronica Cartwright, Clive Barker, John Landis. Absolutely atrocious made-for-TV horror film based on two stories by Stephen King and Clive Barker. King’s The Chattery Teeth is about a traveling salesman, who buys a birthday present with a life of its own. Barker’s The Body Politic is about a plastic surgeon, whose hands have decided to start a rebellion. Both tales are framed by pointless narration by mystery man Lloyd. Well-produced (by John McTiernan, among others) and well-directed by Garris (THE STAND), but stories are ludicrous and pointless, as Lloyd keeps admitting. Stay away!

Quien Puede Matar a un Niño? (1976, SPA) C-104m. *** D: Narciso Ibánez Serrador. Starring Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome, Antonio Iranzo, Miguel Narros. An English couple on holiday in Spain travel to a remote Spanish island and find it almost completely deserted. Only a few children seem to have been left behind ... Above average horror with good score does without shock scenes and builds suspense neatly, as the man and his pregnant wife slowly unravel the secret of the island. Photographed by José Luis Alcaine (BELLE EPOQUE). Based on a novel by Juan José Plans. Titled ISLAND OF THE DAMNED for the U.S. release, which hints at analogies with VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED.

Quiet Days in Clichy (1989, FRA/ITA/GER) C-120m. *** D: Claude Chabrol. Starring Andrew McCarthy, Nigel Havers, Barbara de Rossi, Stephanie Cotta, Isolde Barth, Eva Grimaldi, Anna Galiena, Guiditta Delvecchio, Stéphane Audran, Mario Adorf, Elide Melli. Flavorful, erotic adaptation of Henry Miller’s novel, the memoirs of a writer who lived in Paris of the 1930s, the city of love and inspiration. Art direction, costume design superbly capture the time period. The protagonist’s adventures are not terribly interesting, however. Matthieu Chabrol composed a typically fine score. Filmed before in 1969.

Quiet Earth, The (1985, NZL) C-91m. **½ D: Geoffrey Murphy. Starring Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Peter Smith. Scientist Lawrence wakes up one day and finds that everyone in the world has vanished. He believes it’s the fault of the recently launched globe-spanning energy grid that he has been working on. On his oddyssey through the cities he encounters two more survivors. Interesting, to say the least, but rather one-note, because the implications of the situation are not fleshed out well enough.

Quills (2000, USA) C-124m. **½ D: Philip Kaufman. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine, Billie Whitelaw, Amelia Warner. Director Kaufman’s history of the infamous Marquis de Sade (Rush) and his obsession with obscene writings, which nobleman Caine would rather see burned. It seems that locking up the Marquis in an insane asylum won’t keep him from being published. Well-performed, well-produced drama, unfortunately lacks a clear, dramatic plotline. Kaufman fared better with his similarly lavish (and profane) HENRY & JUNE (1990).

Quintet (1979, USA) C-115m. M D: Robert Altman. Starring Paul Newman, Vittorio Gassman, Bibi Andersson, Fernando Rey, Brigitte Fossey, Nina Van Pallandt, David Langton. Low point in the careers of renowned film director Altman (IMAGES, MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER) and lead actor Newman. Set in a frozen city in the future, this science-fiction film deals with a mysterious game of death that Newman is investigating. Slow, completely unappealing and very hard to follow. Written and produced by Altman.

Quinto: Non Ammazzare (1968, ITA/SPA) C-93m. Scope M D: Léon Klimovsky. Starring Steven Tedd, Sarah Ross, Alfonso Royas, Diana Sorel, Alfonso de la Vega. Worthless spaghetti western about a group of bank robbers who kill each other when their loot disappears. Interesting premise done in by terrible writing, poor acting and sloppy direction. Piero Umiliani’s score cannot save it.