Guns of El Chupacabra
By Scott Shaw
Normally, I never respond to negative (or positive) comments made about me on the Internet. My belief is that everyone has their opinion and I wish them all the best. This being stated, it was recently brought to my attention that a Chris or Christopher Richard Winkler has a website detailing compete untruths about the creation of the film Guns of El Chupacabra, Donald G. Jackson and myself. As someone who knows the truth about the creation of this film, I personally find the falsehoods in his presentation almost amusing. But, due to the fact that other unsuspecting people may believe his words, I feel I must respond.
First of all, on his website, gun of el chupacabra.com, he claims that he gave Donald G. Jackson $14,000.00 to finish the film Guns of El Chupacabra in 2000. This is untrue. The film was completed near the end of 1997 and we began screening the full feature film in early 1998. Prior to this, we screened an extended trailer of the film at the 1997 American Film Market.
All anyone has to do is look at the films that were being offered by Donald G. Jackson and myself at the 1997 and 1998 American Film Market(s) and you will see this film was screening in our suite at both of those events.
- Like the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. The 1998 Hollywood Reporter, American Film Market Special Issue, click on this title to see the listing for Guns of El Chupacabra in the Hollywood Reporter, proving the falsehoods of this person's claims.
To continue… In fact, we had created and were releasing the sequel(s) to the film, Guns of El Chupacabra II in 1998 and Guns of El Chupacabra III in 1999.
Next, Winkler claims that we were both, "Broke," and didn't have the money to complete the film. Again, the falsehood of his timeline proves this statement to be untrue.
My relationship with this person: Donald G. Jackson introduced Chris Winkler to me. How Don met this individual I do not know. I only personally interacted with Winkler on two or three occasions and he never mention anything about money to me at any of those meetings.
The reason Don introduced him to me was that we were going to re-score the film. Originally, Guns of El Chupacabra had a completely Blue Grass soundtrack. So, if you can find a copy of that version, it is Rare-Rare-Rare. We decided, however, that to make the soundtrack more appealing to the general public we would integrate additional styles of music into it. I am told Winkler contacted his friends in a band named, The Sun City Girls, who provided us with all of that GREAT, (for lack of a better term), Punk Rock, Art Music that is in the film. Thanks guys!
I was asked to approve that Winkler's payment for introducing us to the music of the Sun City Girls would be that he be allowed to create a DVD box and poster for the film, (as I was told he was a budding graphic designer), and then produce a single pressing of one hundred DVD-R copies of the film that he could then give to his friends and to use as a tool to generate graphic design work. I agreed.
Note: his poster design was to only be used in association with that limited DVD-R pressing as we already had more than one professionally designed poster for the film.
Donald G. Jackson passed away in 2003. God rest his soul. At some point soon after this, Chris Winkler contacted me via email and told me that he had given Don $6,000.00. I had never heard anything about this prior to that moment. He told me the money was given in relation to the completion of the film. I told him that was impossible as the film was long ago completed.
On his website, Winkler, himself, states that he has no paperwork to back up his claim. My question/statement is, who gives anyone $6,000.00 or $14,000.00 without receiving some sort of contract or IOU? Moreover, what kind of person puts up a website like Winkler’s once a person has passed away and cannot defend themselves?
In any case, after Don's passing Winkler asked if he could continue circulating his remaining DVD-R copies of the film. I initially said, "Yes," because I assumed that he was simply going to continue giving them to his friends and using them as a tool to seek work as a graphic designer. Then, came the problems…
I began to be contacted by film distributors as Winkler was attempting to sell the film. He was telling them he was the Executive Producer, had financed the film, and he owned all of the international rights.
The fact is, Guns of El Chupacabra was financed by Donald G. Jackson and myself from profits we had made from some of our previous films and I can tell you, $6,000.00 or $14,000.00 would not have even purchased the film stock for this project.
Next, I found out that Winkler was taking his DVD-R to the American Film Market and was again telling people he was the Executive Producer of the film and was attempting to sell it to foreign buyers. The problem was, as he had no comprehension of film marketing protocols, he was offering it to some of the sleaziest distributors. In fact, due to his giving DVD-R copies of the film to them, it was bootlegged in a couple of Asian country. From this, all possible legitimate sales to those countries were destroyed.
Then, he began to offer his DVD-R for sale on eBay and Amazon.com as a Special Edition from the Executive Producer. Which he was not!
So, did I ask him to stop selling the film on the Internet and from his bogus, unauthorized website? Yes, I did. Did I ask him to stop attempting to market it to all the wrong people? You damn right I did! Were those actions based on greed, as he states on his website? No, they were not. They were based on protecting the integrity of the film! And, the fact is, it was the FBI who stopped Winkler from selling the DVDs on his site, due to copyright violation, not me.
On his webpage, Winker insults Jackson's finances and mentions the bankruptcy of Jackson's estate upon his death. This is a very unconscious statement as Winkler, himself, went bankrupt in approximately 2002 and then again in 2015. Click on the link Christopher Winkler Bankruptcy Filing to see the legal fling record for his 2015 bankruptcy. (Chapter 7, Filed March 26, 2015, Case Number: 8:15-bk-11516-TA). In the case of Jackson, the man had endured a very long and painful illness, and his family was forced in that direction after his death due to the enormous amount of medical bills he had incurred. This was obviously not the case for Winkler and his bankruptcies, however, and I wonder how many people were really upset with Winkler after not receive the money he owed them when he went bankrupt twice that I know of.
Finally, for him to warn people about investing in my films illustrates how little he knows about me. Why? Because, I NEVER TAKE MONEY FOR MY FILMS! Everything I do is financed one-hundred percent out of my own pocket. I can be hired as a Director. I can be hired as an Actor. But, I never take money to make my original movies.
In closing, I have never been anything but nice to this person and I obviously did not force him to take down the website, as he claims, as it is still in existence. If he gave money to Donald G. Jackson, which I do not know whether he did or did not, I feel sorry for his loss. But, if he did, that was money given to Don, that money was not given to the film or to me. I cannot be responsible for the actions of another man. And, this film and/or I should not be defamed due to said actions.
That's the story… I trust it adds some reality to Guns of El Chupacabra.com.
2015 Note: The website in question had been down for the past two years so I thought this person had moved on. As such, I too took this page down. I guess not, as he recently put his site back up. Thus, I too am forced to put this page back up. Though I would have preferred not to do so.
If you are interested click on Christopher Winker to read his bio and contact information, though the address he has listed is just one of those post office box facilities and not a real office.
I don't know… All these years later, I just don't get it? If he is the financial player that he claims to be in his bio, why attack me, a movie that was made almost twenty years ago, and a man who passed away over a decade ago? I think we all can agree that is just not cool.