The Night of the Chupacabras on Fangoria

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Originally Posted by Tony Timpone Jul 07, 2011, on Fangoria
An infamous modern legend rears its goat-sucking horned head again in THE NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRAS, a new muddy and bloody South American monster movie that premieres this month at Brazil’s FantasPoa, the International Fantastic Film Festival of Porto Alegre. Fango got some exclusive creature pics from the Fábulas Negras film, produced by Mayra Alarcón and written and directed by Rodrigo Aragão, the team behind MUD ZOMBIES.

“THE NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRAS is a splatter movie, like ’80s films, but with Brazilian cultural characteristics,” Aragão tells Fango. “THE NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRAS is the second film in a trilogy that started in 2008 with the debut of MUD ZOMBIES [MANGUE NEGRO]. MUD ZOMBIES took place in the mangroves. THE NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRAS is set in the mountains. The third film will be shot on the beaches of Brazil and will show sea monsters/zombies. This way, I will close a fantastic universe—mangrove-mountains-sea—while being extremely tropical and gory.”

Before they became a Syfy channel staple, chupucabras sightings have been reported in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Texas and South America since 1995. Witnesses describe a bipedal and reptile-like cryptid, who roams the countryside in the wee hours and preys on livestock. “In THE NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRAS, we meet a couple who comes back to their homeland in Brazil,” says the Portuguese-speaking Aragão of his film’s plot. “They face a journey in the woods and mountains, surrounded by mystery, legends and natural beauty. Later, Douglas and his family become concerned with the mysterious deaths of their farm animals, as well as with the old conflicts that for long have been tormenting them and a rival family. However, the father knows that something creepier is hidden in the woods. The families at war will have to face an evil worse than their imagination. Among the carnage and family strife, the mythical figure of the Chupacabras presents itself.”

Aragão himself encountered the strange beast. Well, sort of. “In 1995 I had a weird experience when I discovered 14 dead chickens one morning strewn across my backyard,” he recalls. “It was creepy! During this time, the stories about the chupacabras were at their peak here. Days after, we found that the guilty party for the dead chickens was a neighborhood dog. The overall majority of the chupacabras incidents can be explained in similar fashion.”

Aragão and company set up shop in their homeland to make THE NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRAS, which they brought in for around $100,000. “The film was shot in the rain forest that covers the mountains where I live, Espirito Santo, Brazil,” he says. “The location is extremely beautiful, but awfully inhospitable and wild. During the 40 days of shooting, the crew and the cast lived with insects and snakes on the set, which eventually appeared in the film.”

The real-life critters can’t take anything away from the chupacabras, however. Doubling as the film’s FX creator (along with Murillo Ribeiro), Aragão built the creature with his own hands. “Besides being a director, I’m an effects maker, and some time ago, I wanted to build a full-body monster suit,” notes Aragão, who also edited his flick. “This suit took six months of work, and there were four versions of the chupacabras costumes, each used for different scenes. Each one had more than 60 handmade horns. The monster was capable of good facial expressions [courtesy of internal mechanisms] and was lightweight so the actor can could run in the middle of the forest, jump from rocks and trees and even swim.”

Of course, the scaly monster leaves carnage in its wake. “About the gore, it certainly is the funniest part of the film,” Aragão says. “In MUD ZOMBIES, we expended almost 700 liters of blood. In THE NIGHT OF THE CHUPACBRAS, we used only 400 liters, but this is a more brutal and violent film; the scenes with blood are more explicit and heavy.”

Summing up THE NIGHT OF THE CHUPACBRAS, the filmmaker takes a bit of cultural pride in bringing his creature feature to the screen. “The thing that I like the most about the chupacabras is that it is a Latin-American monster, though its face is not familiar to many,” Aragão says. “So to make a chupacabras movie is an old dream of mine.”


Take a look at the trailer!/CineFantasy/status/90767093003329536


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