Chupacabra Terror (2005)
Chupacabra: Dark Seas

Nomination Year: 2011
SYNOPSIS:  A maverick crypto-zoologist has mounted an expedition to capture the elusive chupacabra. He brings a goat along to trap it with, but it turns out that this chupacabra prefers people. After sacrificing a few men, our crypto-zoologist sedates the chupacabra and stores it in a cage for easy transport to the states. And what better way to transport it home than in the hold of a cruise ship?

Of course, as luck would have it, some of the crew get curious and open the chupacabra's crate, thus freeing it to rampage. It's the monster's version of a free buffet.

The captain of the cruise ship (John Rhys-Davies) happens to have a federal marshall on board, as they are trying to track down a jewel thief. After the chupacabra gets loose, they immediately (and correctly) suspect the scientist (our crypto-zoologist) who boarded mid-cruise.

In fact, from this point on, all the major characters make intelligent decisions. It was highly disappointing. Once the captain, marshall, and crew face down the chupacabra and realize how dangerous it is, the captain sends out a mayday. When a US Naval installation responds, he tells them he has a terrorist on board (in order to get immediate armed response).

When the Navy Seals find out that their terrorist is a weird critter rather than a dude with bombs, they decide to take it on anyway. After determining that they can't kill it easily, they request that the ship be abandoned, and after it is, they switch to armor-piercing rounds (and grenades).

The captain's daughter teaches Tae-bo on the cruise. When the crypto-zoologist tries to kidnap her as chupacabra bait, she beats him up. When she's face-to-claw with the chupacabra, she's able to hold her own for a few seconds.

Of course, early on the redshirts non-essential crew members make classic blunders like following a trail of blood. But overall, this movie was a lot smarter than I expected. Certainly it was more intelligent than its subject matter required.

Even if, in the film's cosmology, the chupacabra is indigenous to only one (non-specified) island.

Smithee Award Winner! Acting Appropriately Stupid

What's the worst that could happen? Oh. That....
Even though the crypto-zoologist slipped them lots of money and told them not to look in the box, the two crooked laborers decide that they have to look inside the box. "I wonder what he's got in here. Let's find out!" Turns out, he had their death hidden in there. Who knew?

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
John Rhys-Davies "Sallah" in Raiders of the Lost Ark; later "Arturo" on Sliders; even later, "Gimli" in the Lord of the Rings trilogy 
David Millbern  
Matthew R. Anderson  
Nils Allen Stewart  
Director Claim to Fame
John Shepphird  

Kevin Hogan

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© 2011-2014 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.