The Curse Of El Charro Review
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[The Curse Of El Charro]
Plot:Plagued by nightmares and her sister's suicide, Maria joins her friends on a road trip to a vacation home in a remote desert town. Once there, she finds herself hunted by El Charro (Andrew Bryniarski) - an ancient evil driven to exact a brutal revenge on Maria's lineage.
My Thoughts:Character development goes right but movie goes wrong...how can this be?
Review:I wasn't sure as what to expect when going into watching "The Curse of El Charro" but what I ultimately got was a puzzling film. The film involves 4 friends, well three actually. The fourth is a tag along who was talked into going on an Arizona vacation with her roommate and her friends. They really don't care for their friend dragging her roommate Maria along since they think she's a total freak due to her being prone to weird visions and dreams she's had for awhile about her sister and her supposed suicide. Of course it doesn't take long for these visions to kick in, and they pop in and out of the film...but for no apparent reason. The problem with "The Curse of El Charro" is just that. Usually when a character is plagued by terrifying visions they tie somehow into the story. In this movie however, they seem to be used to just to eat up some running time and add a creep factor that totally fails on all levels. Of course I have to give this film some credit for character development. The main characters are all chicks, which in itself is interesting, as the film moves ahead with 4 girls in the leading roles sprinkling a few guys around here and there. Usually in slasher movies, it's 2 girls and 2 guys but the 4 girl format was a unique and workable idea.
Other than Maria, who the story focuses on mostly, the other three girls are pretty much stereotypes but not overblown ones. We have the peppy cheerleader/young white female college student, and her sex and party obsessed friends a fiesty black girl, and a smart alecky goth chick who isn't too goth but is just goth enough just to let people know she's goth. All four women are interesting characters in their own right and for the most part are deeper than most slasher movie characters who are just fodder for the killer or ers to slice and dice at will. But "The Curse of El Charro" never really "gets" anywhere. The characters finally hit Arizona and it seems writer Ryan R. Johnson just said to himself "Oh wouldn't it be cool if they ran into some weird rednecks in a bar like a scene out of "House of 1000 Corpses?" ..which is what happens in one scene where the girls are escorted to a local bar by a police officer after being busted for speeding. The scene is so obviously a rip from Baby's "Showtime" scene in "House of 1000 Corpses", just replace Baby with a crippled guy in a tuxedo singing horribly off key. The sad thing is this is about as interesting as "The Curse of El Charro" gets...because the scene teases that these weird redneck barflies (and believe me these fuckers are weird) might be the ones to become enemies to the girls later on in the film. But Johnson thinks that would be too obvious so he decides to make the title character "El Charro" appear out of nowhere and start hacking up local kids for the duration of the films running time, in badly filmed death scenes which ironically enough look exactly like the death scenes that came before them. Of course this really doesn't work because while El Charro is a cool looking slasher guy, the lack of explanation as to what he wants and how he even wound up appearing are completely appauling. I've never seen a film that gives so little info about the villain but tries to be cryptic and sly by tossing little 70's exploitation flashback scenes to supposedly "alert or convince the viewer" that there is actually a story to all of this. I'm sure there was a story to the muddled mess that was "TCOEC"...but I'll be damned if I could find it. "The Curse of El Charro" does provide some character entertainment...with 4 strong female leads who play their roles really well, and are backed up in the cast by some quirky supporting cast members, one of which plays a pyschotic ex girlfriend of one of the male characters who show up late in the movie. But without a strong horror element, a coherent story, and an explanation for a mystery man who shows up late in the movie to save the day...this film falls flat on it's face.
Pros:Good acting by the female leads, El charro was a wicked looking killer.
Cons:Awful story, no explanation for the killer, terrible death scenes.
Overall:Don't waste your time.
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