Monday, November 23, 2015

Short Film: The El Chupugcabra

Whenever I have looked at any film with a chupacabra in it I have had to sense check it to see whether it is actually a vampire film or not. Whilst the goatsucker has been conflated with vampirism generally, many of the movies have a simple killer monster theme. In truth this short film, from 2013 and directed by Aaron B. Koontz, has no vampiric element (I guess one could liken it to Gremlins meets lycanthropy vibe). But hey… its chupacabra (ish) and so there is a genre interest in it.

It is a comedy, well the title says it all with the conflation of ‘the’ and ‘el’, and no I haven’t misspelt the title… the beasty we are looking at hides in the form of a pug.

in the shelter
So we hear dialogue that amounts to the warnings given to Clarice in Silence of the Lambs, when she meets Lector in the secure unit, as the film starts but it is a warning being given to a family who have come to see a dog in a shelter. The family are padre (Jeremy King), madre (Courtney Hans) and the son Esteban (Dashiell Smith), or at least they are in the credits, in dialogue Esteban is anglicised to Steven. The dog, found on Furry Friend Finder, is in a warded cage and a medicine woman (Leola Perez) offers dire warnings.

Coming home
They are getting the dog because Steven doesn’t like Princess (presumably mom’s dog) so he is getting his own pet. They get him despite the warnings from the (assumed) mad medicine woman and Steven calls him Chalupa. One warning, which the manager (Spencer Greenwood) explains away as a chemical intolerance thing, is that they shouldn’t feed Chalupa with marshmallows… ever… ever… They take the dog home but we notice that the Hispanic mailman (John Edward Garcia) is petrified of the dog, raising a cross to his lips and peeing himself (though Steven suggests the latter is not an unusual occurrence).

just cruel
We get to a party, where Chalupa is dressed in doggy clothes (surely more cruel than anything else) and there are marshmallows… now perhaps they have never seen Gremlins but surely something will go wrong if the dog is fed one… the film is embedded below so you can find out yourself. The running time is about 12 minutes but credits and outtakes push that to twenty minutes.

What I will spoil is the fact that there is quite a lot of gore (so something does go wrong, but hey, you knew that already) and it is really well done. The lighting during the outdoor party is subdued, I think purposefully so, and this will have helped hide the cracks, if indeed there were any. So all that remains is for you to find out if the love of a boy for his dog will overcome the monster within? The imdb page is here.

The El Chupugcabra - A Horror/Comedy Short Film from Paper Street Pictures on Vimeo.

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