Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chupacabra Terror (2005)

... aka: Chupacabra: Dark Sees

Directed by:
John Shepphird

Here's another by-the-numbers SyFy Channel "original" (mahaha!) movie. Dr. Pena (Giancarlo Esposito), a "crypto-zoologist" (fancy term for one of those self-deluded losers who likes to study extremely rare - read: nonexistent - animals) and his crew of hunters manage to trap a Chupacabra, a big, scaly, elusive fast-moving beast. To get it to the mainland, they smuggle it on a Grecian cruise ship and some idiots open up the crate containing it despite being told specifically not to. I guess the strange growling noises coming from inside weren't a good enough deterrent either. The monster then does the monster thang; running around biting chunks out of various passengers until the ship's captain (John Rhys-Davies), a square-jawed special agent pretending to be an insurance salesman for some reason (Dylan Neal), a squeaky-voiced blonde Tai Bo instructor (Chelan Simmons), a bunch of guys with machine guns and others try to stop it. The main victims (who I think are supposed to be the comic relief but it's hard to tell) are an old rich bitch (Paula Shaw) with a yippy terrier and a snobby effete gold-digger (David Millbern). Apparently the monster can be knocked out with a single tranquilizer dart, but can live through dozens of bullet hits. The Chupacabra design is acceptable though unoriginal, but the rest of the movie is devoid of suspense, surprise or interest.

I had originally written this review back in 2005 and had ended it with the following sentence: "The Sci-Fi Channel have made dozens of movies just like this with nearly interchangeable characters and plots, but with slight alterations on the creature. Enough already!" Apparently it wasn't even close to "enough already" for the channel as they've made at least 100 almost identical movies since then, and they've gotten even worse with the inclusion of self-aware humor about how stupid they are.


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