Christmas Movie Review: Chupacabra vs. the Alamo

December 23, 2013

Spoiler alert: It sucked.

Since it premiered on SyFy in March of this year, the Erik Estrada vehicle Chupacabra vs. the Alamo has been lurking in the shadows, waiting for its moment to pounce. Today it sprang from its hiding place, cinematically ripping my throat out and leaving me a lifeless, tattered corpse.

I finished watching this movie 20 minutes ago, and I can honestly say I remember absolutely nothing about it.

As mentioned, the movie starred Erik Estrada who played….whose character was named….I think that he was in some sort of government job that let him wear leather, carry a shotgun, and ride a motorcycle. He was surrounded by characters who worked high school Spanish into every other sentence, though the computer-animated chupacabras were more convincing than most of their accents. Some of the characters, I believe, were younger than Erik (who am I kidding, they all were), but some especially so, and so I think those were supposed to be some sort of offspring or something.

Estrada’s character, we were assured, was not the complete asshole that he was. His family had been torn apart, not by chupacabras, but by death and crime. Estrada’s character is a widower and his kids are wayward. The boy child has trouble with the law, running in a gang of some sort. The other, the she-child, has trouble with mild parenting.

The movie opens with four drug dealers…apparently smuggling illegal things out of the US to Mexico via a tunnel. As the smugglers (or as I like to think of them, “coyotes without mange”) prepare to send the duffle bags full of, oh, let’s say dirty laundry, they are attacked by unseen chupacabras who first disarm them and then gnaw on their carotid arteries. This, for some reason, is Erik Estrada’s character’s problem, and he shows up on the scene to be vaguely sexist and unlikable. He, of course, has a new partner. We’re not told what was wrong with the previous partner, but I think that suicide is likely.

So, imagine the scene. Estrada is standing in someone’s lungs, which have been ripped out by an unknown animal. His partner, whose name is unimportant, finds a huge animal apparently dying of bullet wounds, and when she suggests that perhaps this animal might be related to the entrails seeping into Estrada’s socks, our hero is all like, “whatever,” and proceeds to be the worst investigator in the history of whatever agency he was supposed to be working for. Instead he goes to have some sort of family drama.

Or something.

So, it turns out that the chupacabras are sneaking into the country through the drug tunnels and taking jobs from mangey American canids. They maraud about San Antonio eating the occasional 30-pack of horny teenagers and commandeering large abandoned industrial sites, where they arrange police ambushes. At some point, the unlikable cop guy teams up with hoodlums, and the movie takes on dimensions of Future War. Instead of large flannel wearing gentlemen, however, everyone has bandannas and the special effects are so bad I longed for forced-perspective dinosaurs. In the climactic scene, the uneaten hooligans and the cop and his family somehow lure all of the chupacabras, which also have rabies–did I mention that they have rabies? they all have rabies– into the Alamo. Then they blow up the Alamo. The end.

Everyone involved with this cinematic war crime should be placed in front of an unconvincing green screen, tied to a stake, and have digital flames inserted onto them in post. I demand an apology.



Gallows Humor in the Service….

November 30, 2011

What would you do if a grenade landed in your Humvee? These guys found out. Don’t worry, nobody gets hurt, I mean, other than emotionally scarred for life:


Happy Nigel Tufnel Day!

November 11, 2011

Today goes to eleven!!!

This is for Eve:

(With thanks to Brian Gregory, whose list, I trust, is getting shorter.)


Good news! Roland Emmerich’s stinker Anonymous release limited!

October 24, 2011

Heheh. I just saw news that the release of Anonymous has gone from 2000 theaters to 250. Eve and I would be happy to take credit for this if it weren’t for the fact that the whole world instantly realized that the entire premise was ridiculous. Also, I haven’t seen a positive review yet. Rollo is saying that it’s his idea. Go with that, kiddo. Embrace the fail.

So, what is to be made of this apparent straight-to-DVD upcoming box office failure? Other than “fun of”?


Welcome to the end of the world…

October 21, 2011

Shatner did “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s worse than Camping could have hoped for:

RJB (who blames Eve)

“Anonymous” Screenwriter John Orloff: Name Dropping and Wrong

October 18, 2011

John Orloff, who wrote the screenplay for the badly titled Anonymous (as Eve points out, it should be Pseudonymousout-stupided the Huffington Post on their own turf, which is no mean feat. He took issue with the phrase “urban legend.” I agree. They should have used the phrase, “unfettered clacking bollocks.” I intend to use his little screed in future classes to teach logical fallacies. His letter went as follows:

I’d like to think current and past US Supreme Court Justices don’t believe in Urban Legends. Namely, Justices Stevens, Blackmun, O’Connor and Scalia all think there is reason to doubt the validity of the actor William Shakespeare having written the plays history ascribes to him.

Wow. Not a Shakespearean scholar among them. Ok, you’re name dropping, but the sad fact is that just because you don’t like to think about it doesn’t mean it’s not true. This is the appeal to personal incredulity. “I can’t believe that these smart people would believe an urban legend, therefore, Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare.”

As does historian David McCullough. As do authors such as Mark Twain (whose last book, “Is Shakespeare Dead” is dedicated to the issue), Henry James (who said he was “haunted by the conviction that the divine William is the biggest and most successful fraud ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting Public”), and Walt Whitman (to name a few).

This is a classic appeal to false authority. You could fart sonnets like an angel and still not have a rollicking clue about the reams of scholarship backing the mainstream view.

As do Shakespearean actors Sir John Gielgud, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Orson Welles (who directed and starred in several Shakespeare plays).

Yawn. Appeal to false authority. Sorry.

And Mark Rylance, who is not only perhaps the greatest Shakespearean actor of his generation, but a man who was also the Artistic Director of the Globe Theater in London for ten years. Think about that last name; the man who ran the Globe theater for a decade doesn’t think Shakespeare wrote a single word.

Wow. I’m willing to bet if I look in my university databases I’ll find he never had to publish a goddamned thing under peer review:

  • Academic Search Complete ( 0 )
  • Research Library ( 0 )
  • Project Muse ( 0 )
  • MLA International Bibliography ( 1 )
  • Essay & General Literature Index ( 0 )
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index ( 0 )
  • Humanities Int’l Index ( 0 )

That single entry is in a book about the resurrection of the Globe Theater, and it does not address authorship. And it’s not you like are citing an independent authority, since he’s in the freaking movie. “Well, my friends think so,” is as unconvincing as, “My mom says I’m smart.”

And we can add Sigmund Freud in there as well.


An Urban Myth is something proven to be false. I’m not sure we’re there on this particular issue.

Well, I disagree with your definition of urban myth, but the burden of proof is not on mainstream academia. We don’t default to the position that you know your head from your ham hocks.

And how do you know that someone wasn’t scared by Eddie Murphy in an elevator?

Either way, I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s statement on the subject when he was asked about the Authorship Issue. His response? He replied he wasn’t that interested in Oxford because, in his words: “I don’t like to have my myths tampered with”.

He meant the Shakespeare myth.

He meant, “Get stuffed, bozo. I’m not interested.” It doesn’t matter how many amateurs you say you surround yourself with, you’re still sitting on the short bus. (Yes, the actors and directors have a skill set that is completely unrelated to scholarship.)

Your software is broken, kiddo. Don’t try to contribute to the Great Discussion, because you’ll only embarrass yourself.


I need some motivational speaking to…

September 27, 2011