"Its name is Quetzalcoatl... just call it Q... that's all the time you'll have to say before it tears you apart!"
1982 movie starring David Carradine, Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, and Richard Roundtree.
Shepard (Carradine) is a New York City Cop
investigating a series of ritual homicides. Bodies turn up skinned alive, with the heart cut out, decapitated, and otherwise mutilated in disturbing ways.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Quinn (Moriarty) is a piano player and petty criminal who gets caught up in a jewelry-store heist caper. When things go badly, he takes the stolen jewels and flees, abandoning his fellow crooks, and hides the jewels in a disused attic space at the top of the Chrysler building. There he finds a humongous nest near a hole in the roof.
The two plot lines come together when Shepard figures out that an Aztec Cultist priest has been convincing victims to be somewhat willing human sacrifices as he prays the ancient Aztec god Quetzalcoatl back into existence. Quetzalcoatl appears in the form of a enormous snake-bird thing with six limbs
, and nests in the top of the Chrysler building, flying out to snatch victims off of skyscrapers under construction, rooftop swimming pools, and snacking on the occasional skyscraper window-washer.
The cultist priest is chased down and killed by Shepard and his Da Chief
Sergeant Powell (Richard Roundtree). Jimmy disposes of his fellow crooks by leading them to the nest and cheering as the bird eats them, then informs Shepard where to find the nest in exchange for a promise of immunity and one million dollars, tax free. A team of NYPD cops waits at the top of the Chrysler building, and when the bird-snake-god thing returns from a hunting flight, they shoot the thing to death in a surprisingly cool action sequence
. Jimmy gets his one million dollars, tax free.
"Q is all you'll have time to say before it's tropes tear you apart":