Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Chupacabra Vs the Alamo – review

Director: Terry Ingram

Release date: 2013

Contains spoilers

I have previously stated that I will take each chupacabra film I come across on its merits… perhaps it’ll only be an honourable mention or maybe a ‘Vamp or Not?’ In this case it’s a review but I should say these are some sort of canine, however they are stronger than they should be, show (apparent) intelligence and drink blood (though how they exsanguinate whilst tearing with a canine teeth set and then suckle the blood from the veins with their doggy snouts is not answered.)

Plus, it is a film that stars Erik Estrada, he of the Mighty TV series CHiPS and how the mighty have fallen, though to see him on his motor bike in this made all the memories of my childhood goggle-box viewing come flooding back.

close up of chupacabra
It starts with drug dealers in a tunnel. They are dropping off money, getting it across the US/Mexico border. One of them carries the money to a mine cart as the others watch. He flashes his torch around but fails to see the ‘ickle doggy that growls big. Suddenly he (and then the others) are attacked by these growling dogs… but not dogs… one villain says chupacabra before his inevitable death…

Erik Estrada as Carlos
Carlos Seguin (Erik Estrada) is woken as someone fiddles with his front door. He picks up a gun and heads towards the door when it opens and in spills his daughter Sienna (Nicole Muñoz, Hemlock Grove) and her friend Brooke (Anja Savcic). It is past curfew and she has been with a boy he doesn’t like. A grounding is on the cards. He gets a call from work (he is a DEA agent) and promises he will take her to see her mother’s grave when he gets back (it is two years since she died).

Julia Benson as Taylor
At the crime scene (which is the slaughter of the drug dealers) Carlos meets his new partner Taylor (Julia Benson) and is a bit short with her. He discovers that the rival gang’s enforcer on duty during the attack was his son Tommy (Jorge Vargas). Taylor goes into the tunnels and shoots a coyote like creature – she thinks it (and its pack) might be responsible for the attack and sends it to an animal expert she knows. Carlos brings Tommy in for questioning, whilst out and about more people are attacked including an agent out in the field, with his dog.

door opening critter
Cutting a long story short the expert says that the thing (it is canine of unknown species) has a really impressive muscle and bone density and had rabies – so all its pack will have rabies. The chupacabra attack a party at a school that Brooke and Sienna are at. The girls hide in the school but the chupacabra get in, even opening a door with teeth. Somehow the one that gets into the room they are hiding in (in a scene that suggests the filmmakers just watched Jurassic Park) manages to completely miss the two girls hiding under the desk its stood on. Carlos rescues them but a chupacabra on the roof sees them driven off by a sheriff. The one tiny chupacabra throwing a kid over a set of goal posts with a shrug of its doggy head indicates super strength.

death by carving knife
Here is what I meant by intelligent chupacabra… perhaps it just tracked them without getting side-lined but, the next day, a pack turns up at the house to get the girls (necessitating another Carlos save, though it is less than perfect this time). This kind of indicates malice and forethought on the critters’ part. Sienna and Brooke do hold their own and we get (sometimes tiny) chupacabra killed by electric carving knife, microwave oven and iron. The National Guard can’t be mustered for a day and so Carlos gets a ragtag army of (off duty) swat and drug dealers together and makes a stand against the (it appears to be hundreds of) chupacabra at the Alamo.

bad green screening
Bad acting, cheesy lines, CGI chupacabra that are sometimes small and sometimes a little bit larger, cgi that has no environmental impact it seems (chupacabra feet throw up no dust as they walk), bad green screening both of motorbike travel and the city in general. This is Z grade stuff. Worthy of a laugh with a beer and buds, worthy of a watch if you were a fan of Erik in CHiPS (because who wasn’t and because he is still the man) but generally bad… 3 out of 10 (though it would have been lower without Erik).

The imdb page is here.

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