Night of the Chupacabra


Dir: Rodrigo Aragao
Star: Walderrama Dos Santos, Mayra Alarcon, Kika Oliveira, Markus Konká

Having thoroughly enjoyed Mar Negro, I eventually tracked down a copy of Aragao's previous monster mash, which appears to be set in the same rural, Brazillian town - it seems to trail only Arkham in terms of bloody supernatural goings-on per square mile! Here, the hero returns from medical school to visit the family with his new bride, only to walk right into the middle of a feud between them and another local clan who took their land. An uneasy truce had been brokered by his father, only for that to shatter after the patriarch dies in a hunting accident, incorrectly perceived as an attack by the enemy family. This leads to a pitched battle between the two sides, only for them both to discover there is something more deadly lurking in the jungle. For what was the father hunting? Whatever it is that had been savaging his livestock, something initially blamed on those pesky neighbours. Turns out - and given the title, this isn't a spoiler - to be the fabled "goat sucker", and its appetite is a good deal broader than its name implies.

It shares a similar pace as its successor, meandering its way through a portrayal of country life in the first half, where the saga of the families dominates, and the chupacabra is very much in the background. If you're expecting a pure monster film, you're going to be disappointed, though I didn't mind too much. I enjoyed recognizing spots like the local bar, with the same staff (and town drunk!) in Negro, in this case leading to a group projectile vomiting scene, for no particularly apparent purpose. When the creature shows up, it is very clearly a guy in a suit, albeit a fairly impressive one; think Creature From The Black Lagoon, perhaps. It is, however, positively restrained in the gore by comparison, and at 106 minutes long, definitely feels more than a little over-stretched. While still kinda fun, it lacks the berserk sense of "anything can happen" which steadily grew throughout Negro, and is the weaker for it. If certainly a slice of Brazillian life, it otherwise isn't too different from a low-budget American flick, and the lack of those differences leaves this as largely unremarkable.

C
[September 2015]


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