Here's a fun/interesting recently rediscovered review of Guns of El Chupacabra
By Steve Latshaw
The "B" or independent movie world is a pretty dull place these days. Discounting the pseudo-amateur soft-core epics flooding the back bins at Best Buy, most of today's "B" efforts are carbon copies of bigger budget action movies saddled with whoever the latest, bankable "name" star and filled with stock shots from those same bigger offerings. I should know; I've written a pile of 'em.
But GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA is good, old-fashioned, honest-to-godfrey independent filmmaking with a capital "I." It's subversive while remaining true to its genre roots - at times stupefyingly bizarre, always unsettling and occasionally confusing - shaking your understanding of plot structure and story development so thoroughly that you doubt your own sanity. How's that for a compound sentence? Fine. It's a compound movie.
Directed by one of the last of his breed, maverick filmmaker Donald G. Jackson (the man who brought us - among other things - HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN and the classic ROLLER BLADE WARRIORS.), GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA is the best "B" movie I've seen in years and full of surprises. It starts off like a standard, cheap-ass exploitation film... with Space Queen B Julie Strain (who else) reclining on a cheap-ass exploitation space ship set, ordering Samurai-Sword Wielding Space Sheriff Jack B. Quick (Scott Shaw) to earth where he's set to tangle with crazed cannibal hunters, spies, angels, demons, DogBoys, Mexican bounty hunters, an assortment of famous B movie icons, filmmakers and El Chupacabra his self, a rubber-suited, slobbering, carnivorous monster. And so, director Jackson carries us along on this roller-coaster ride through lots of fun mayhem, including lots of bullets, beautiful nude girls doing martial arts and firing guns and always-welcome gratuitous violence cut music-video style to one of the best rock/folk/country/spaghetti western scores I've heard in a long time, when all of a sudden the film lurches in a completely different direction. Before long we're watching a film within a film - and asking ourselves whether it's a movie about El Chupacabra - or a documentary about the making of a movie about El Chupacabra - or a movie about El Chupacabra killing off people participating in a documentary about the making of a movie about El Chupacabra or... my brain hurts. But it all gets resolved in the end, after much blood-spilling and teeth-gnashing. Initially confusing; ultimately satisfying in its creation of its own special alternate universe(s), GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA plays like THE MATRIX. If directed by Luis Buenel. In Mexico. On Acid. With A Rubber Monster.
Like most of Jackson's films, GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA is filled with filmmic nods to everything from modern martial arts to Republic serials. Such B movie icons as David Heavener, Conrad "Plan 9" Brooks, and Rocket Ranger Joe Estevez pop into view at various points; B movie heavy Robert Z'Dar turns in his best work as a space villain with serious anger issues. We even see Don Jackson, gamefully playing both a documentarian and himself, desperately trying to get his star to stick around in the closing minutes for "one more take."
GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA works on a couple of levels. It follows the tried-and-true Corman formula of "Beasts, Breasts and Blood" in abundance, while at the same time savaging that formula, turning the genre upside down and inside out.
A wild-ass roller coaster ride, brain-draining, never a dull moment. Damned fun. Don's movies are always fun. And smart. That's what I like best about his latest. In GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA, Don makes you think while he's cutting your throat.