Mexican Werewolf in Texas (2005)
By: Michelle R. on February 12, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Maverick (USA). Region 1, NTSC. Anamorphic English DD 5.1. Spanish Subtitles. 87 minutes
The Movie
Director: Scott Maginnis
Starring: Erika Fay, Gabriel Gutierrez, Michael Carreo, Martine Hughes, Sara Erikson
Screenplay: Scott Maginnis
Music: Matthew McGaughey
Tagline: Terror has JUST crossed the border!
Country: USA
Something strange is afoot in the dead-end Texas desert town of Furlough, "Goat Capital of the World". Cynical high school student Anna, her good-guy boyfriend Miguel, scholarship achiever Rosie, Paris Hilton-wannabe Jill and himbo Tommy are plotting their futures, and escape from the stifling boredom of Furlough, when suddenly their mundane world is rocked by a series of gruesome disembowelment murders, accompanied by sightings of a bizarre werewolf-like creature. The local Mexican population correctly believe the killings are the work of 'El Chupacabra', or Mexican werewolf, a legendary Latin American urban myth, much to the chagrin of a group of white racist rednecks who think a coyote is responsible. The conflict heightens racial tensions already present in Furlough, and as the bloodshed continues with ever-growing ferocity, Anna and her friends realize it is up to them to destroy the beast, as most of the town's adults are bumbling incompetents caught up in their own infighting and prejudices.

Mexican Werewolf in Texas is former set decorator Scott Maginnis' second feature, and certainly an ambitious entry in the werewolf subgenre. However a number of setbacks unfortunately mar the film. Apart from a decent performance from Erika Fay as plucky heroine Anna, the rest of the teenage characters are one-dimensional stereotypes and ready-made slasher fodder. Sara Erikson's role as ditzy blonde Jill is meant to be played for laughs, but comes across as merely annoying. Indeed much of the intended humour falls flat, apart from a genuinely funny scene of idiotic yokels stumbling about the desert kitted out in full army gear, taking random pot-shots and winding up shooting one of their own men. As for the adults, all the white Texans are unlikable, bigoted redneck caricatures. Most of the Mexicans are also typical caricatures (but at least not all are stupid). Maginnis' script could also have been fleshed out more, and though the tedium of teenage life in a small town rings true ("There are only three things to do here: get in fights, herd goats or screw around in the desert"), far too much time is spent on talky scenes of Anna and her friends sitting around dwelling on this issue, whereas the racism subplot could have been broadened into a witty social commentary.

Understandably given the production's financial constraints, the actual Chupacabra is represented mainly by some surprisingly effective closeup and POV shots. Overall, in spite of its flaws, the film maintains a low-budget, ambitious charm that manages to hold the viewer's interest for its running length.
Mexican Werewolf in Texas' cinematography is excellent for a low-budget indie horror flick, with the widescreen format taking full advantage of the broad, sandy desert landscape. The image was clear and I could see no discernible problems.
Audio is available in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and at correct levels.
Extra Features
Four trailers for other Maverick releases.
The Verdict
With a stronger script, acting and higher budget, Mexican Werewolf in Texas could have been a minor classic, instead it's a fairly lightweight, fitfully funny creature feature best recommended to indiscriminating horror fans or diehard chupacabra enthusiasts.
Movie Score
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