The Legend of El Chupacabra Poster

The Legend of El Chupacabra (2023) Review

You have to feel bad for El Chupacabra, with a name that means “goat sucker” you know all the other cryptids make fun of him. And now writer/director Rob Mabry (The Curse of the Baphomet, Scattered) adds insult to injury with his debut feature, the creature comedy The Legend of El Chupacabra.

Pete (Sam Peirce, World’s Worst Cover Band, A Dish Served Cold) can probably emphasize. He’s not only short on friends, but his mother Cindy’s (Martha Van Garza, Accidental Texan, The Flora & Fauna Show) new boyfriend Roy (Mark Aspenleiter, SlashFM, Butterfly) picks on him and generally treats him like crap.

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As a result, he spends a lot of time in his room working on solving the mystery of, you guessed it, El Chupacabra, something that he’s been obsessed with since a childhood encounter. He’s not the only one working on local mysteries, however. Bailey (Presley Weber, Soul Drought, Cedar Sequoia International) an intern at the local TV station is investigating a string of deaths and disappearances that Sheriff Miller (Shawn Ian Hardee, Crosswalks, Malevolent 2021), the law in this part of Texas, is trying to cover up. Could there be a connection? Do you have to ask?

It also just so happens that, when they were kids, Pete, Bailey, and Danny (Aiden Figueroa, Generation Hope), who Pete hasn’t spoken to in years, formed The Chupacabra Club and swore an oath to rid Blufkin of El Chupacabra. Now, they need to come together again and fulfill that oath to end the killings. And, of course, collect the $50,000 bounty a local rancher has put on the creature’s head.

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Mabry says The Legend of El Chupacabra was inspired by films like The Goonies and Gremlins, and you can see some similarities. Pete is very much the bullied nerd from those films or The Monster Squad, Even other monster hunters bully him. An online chat with the likes of Mothman Mike (Rudy Ledbetter, Out of Exile, Graveyard Shark) and CryptidCreature69 (CJ Robles, Critters: All You Can Eat, The Indie Escape Network) ends with him being accused of being gay, which may be taking the 80s retro a little too far.

Plot wise, The Legend of El Chupacabra ends up all over the place, with hired guns, conspiracies, and gas station burritos all coming into play at some point or another. At times, it almost feels like a sketch comedy with all the different elements flying around. As with most comedies, some of it works, some of it doesn’t. I found it about a fifty/fifty split, but your mileage may vary.

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Despite the presence of a nifty looking practical creature designed by Sergio Guerra and a few bloody attacks, and gags like someone waving with a severed hand, The Legend of El Chupacabra is never particularly scary or even suspenseful, and it isn’t intended to be. To me, that’s a missed opportunity, especially in the final act, but it is what it is.

And for what it is, The Legend of El Chupacabra, is a fun film obviously made by fans for fans. And if that describes you, you’ll probably have a good time watching it.

The Legend of El Chupacabra is available to stream on Tubi and other platforms, as well as on Bu-ray and DVD. You can get more information on the film’s Facebook page or website.

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