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anonymous kph

C is for Chupacabra Terror

The thing about Chupacabra Terror is that ... what? What do you mean C was supposed to have been for The Cars That Ate Paris?

Actually, you are correct. However, there was a technical difficulty, and I needed to watch a movie on DVD instead of one on VHS. And so, looking at the C poll, the second-place options were Castle Freak (VHS), the aforementioned Chupacabra Terror (DVD), Cobra vs Ninja (VHS), and Cybernator (DVD).

I went with Chupacabra Terror because there was a small chance lunargeography might want to watch Cybernator with me. Don't worry, though. You will eventually get your cars. They will eventually (as they must) eat Paris.

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 the 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 thief. After the chupacabra gets loose, they immediately (and correctly) suspect the scientist (our crypto-z) 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-z 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.

And, as I shared with our friendly neighborhood ballot ninja, the Chupacabra takes after her in one scene, and eats its victims faces off. They must have been writing small numbers on half-sheets of paper, or perhaps folding them over....


How disappointing... two reasonably smart monster movies in a row. (I am counting Boa vs. Python as the other reasonably smart movie.)

And I love the touch of claiming it's a terrorist. Cause truly, who on earth would take a "Save us, it's a chupacabra!" seriously? Certainly not our audience, after Guns of El Chupacabra.