Guns of El Chupacabra (1997)
Nomination Year: 2006
SYNOPSIS: This movie is perhaps the apex of the art of movie-making known as "Zen Filmmaking." No scripts are used in Zen Filmmaking. The "spontaneous creative energy" [sound of Kevin retching] of the director is the only guiding principle.
Keeping that in mind, the plot of this film resembles a railroad switching yard. The various plot elements are chugging along, like trains, all heading toward the same spot. And the viewer sits in semi-darkness, anticipating the sleight-of-hand that will occur when these plot elements converge.
The train wreck is truly awesome.
The main plot through line (the one that survives contact with the rest) is the hiring of Jack Quick, Space Sheriff (Scott Shaw), to restore order to a backwoods planet by killing the Chupacabra that has relocated there. Some of the plot lines that bubble up and fade away (like a river going underground) are:
1. A reporter for Parasite News, who is kidnapped by Men In Black.
2. A sometime luchadore (Mexican wrestler) called The Santiago Kid, who sets off to slay the Chupacabra himself.
3. The Reservoir Dogs-esque posse sent by Z-Man Lord Invader (Robert Z'Dar) to retrieve his precious pets (which may or may not be the Chupacabra and its Grey Alien sidekick, it's not at all clear).
4. The second documentary crew, who always seem to arrive during the Chupacabra aftermath.
5. The weird meta-film scenes involving the shooting of the Jack Quick Space Sheriff movie, which is interrupted by Chupacabra attack.
6. The Dan Danger Rocket Ranger kid's show.
7. The government agents chasing people through Union Station and turning them into aliens (... or something).
Other things worthy of note:
The Chupacabra attacks rabbits, pigs, a colt, a dog, people, and other things, but it never actually sucks a goat.
It's pretty much stated that the Chupacabra can become invisible, but we never see any evidence of that. It's always fully visible when we see it, or the people hunting it are shooting toward something off-camera.
And why are they shooting off-camera? Nobody had a permit to buy blanks, and so the entire movie was shot with live ammunition. If only the film stock had been shot with live ammunition, it would have saved us all this trouble (and saved me $20 and a few hours of my life).
- Most Ludicrous Premise
The Queen & King Have a Little Job for Jack Quick
Jack Quick is summoned. His task is to fight the Chupacabra, restore order, and become ... an action hero.
Mask without Eyeholes
Jack Quick "sneaks up" on a couple of masked guys. Although one is wearing a luchadore mask, and the other is wearing a domino mask, both should see him coming. Neither do.
- "Let's Up The Rating To 'R'"
A Very Exclusive Luchadore Interview
The intrepid reporter finishes interviewing The Santiago Kid, and sends her camerawoman off to the station. Then she puts on a luchadore mask, and has sex with The Kid (still wearing his mask). This is intercut with scenes of The Kid boxing Lord Invader as the Chupacabra and Grey look on. Gratuitous yet entertaining.
- Inane Dialogue
An arms dealer is going through his stash with Jack Quick. Jack asks a basic question: "All these guns do the same thing, huh? Kill people?"
- Worst Acting
Robert Z'Dar, Face Invader
Z-Man Lord Invader rants at his underlings. The only scenery around is some rusty construction equipment, yet he manages to chew it quite thoroughly.
- Worst Picture
Jack and Naked Chick Versus Grey
The Santiago Kid breaks out a naked chick (OK, not quite naked -- she's wearing shoes) that the Chupacabra's people are keeping imprisoned. Jack Quick shows up, and The Kid hands over the naked chick. They sneak away, but then are surprised by the Grey Alien that hangs out with the Chupacabra. She beats up on the Grey (huh?), then comes up with a large gun (double huh?), and she and Jack go firing their guns off-screen.
- Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame Scott Shaw Not the comic book writer/artist, this one is the filmmaker/martial artist. Julie Strain married to Kevin Eastman; 6'1" tall Kevin Eastman Co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Robert Z'Dar It'd be hard to find anyone whose face is puffier; huge ex-wrestler. Conrad Brooks He was one of the actors who appeared in all three of Ed Wood's classic early movies: Glen or Glenda?, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 From Outer Space. Joe Estevez Martin Sheen's brother, making him Charlie Sheen's and Emilio Estevez's uncle; he plays a lot of bit parts. David Heavener Not only an actor, writer, director, and a martial artist, he also composes and performs Christian music. Jeffrey Hutchinson Joe Haggerty
Director Claim to Fame Donald G. Jackson aka "Maximo T. Bird" when he felt like it
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© 2011-2017 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.