Guns of El Chupacabra Study Guide

Guns of El Chupacabra Study Guide
Here's an interesting piece of Zen Filmmaking History composed by Donald G. Jackson about the Zen Film, Guns of El Chupacabra.

By Donald G. Jackson

GUNS OF EL CHUPACBARA has truly earned the title of, “The Last B-Movie.” We finished our work in April 1997 but realized the movie was way too ahead of its time. There was still a lot of crap hitting the video stores by a new wave of young armature digital wannabes taking themselves and their movies far too serious. I think it’s finally over. People realized they can’t do low budget versions of big movies anymore. You’re either THE MATRIX or you’re not. Who wants to see pale imitations when the ticket and rental price is the same? Now is the time to release something unique and original.

GUNS OF EL CHUPACBARA is a tribute and homage to the Roger Corman drive-in sci-fi monster movies and the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, along with DONALD G. JACKSON’S biggest influence the far out Ann Arbor underground — experimental movies of the 60s. Mockumentaries, a movie within a movie within a movie, space westerns, rock operas — the works. The sum total of everything JACKSON knows about independent filmmaking. Plus an opportunity to showcase some great new music. Even though we are now telling them what to expect it will still make people want to watch the movie for themselves.

Hopefully audiences will have fun and be entertained. The goal was to make GUNS OF EL CHUPACBARA “The Last B-Movie.” And the ultimate independent film. Viewers who crave something fun and completely different will enjoy this multi-dimensional romp into the old west of the future that is a movie within a movie. And it’s a lesson in breaking all the rules of filmmaking. It turns the B-Movie upside down and inside out! When enough people see this movie then the Higher Court of Cinema needs to put JACKSON and SCOTT SHAW on the witness stand for a long interrogation. And the rock operaness of the film — incredible new music by groups with some interesting names. SUN CITY GIRLS, COWBOY BUDDHA, SIN CITY BOYS, BURNT TATERS, and TOLEDO RAMBLERS. A great soundtrack that stands alone.

Viewers will enjoy repeated viewings with constant new discoveries. Like the mysterious pyramid, GUNS OF EL CHUPACBARA is encoded with traps and clever inventions that will leave the viewer both dazed and raptured.

Originally the filmmakers chose not to justify, explain, rationalize, or defend their work — but to let the film stand alone as a celebration of the cinema. Now JACKSON and SHAW are talking and remembering some of the more bizarre experiences creating the film. Recently JACKSON had this to say — “When I look back this is a film that should not exist. It was zen magic cosmic forces led us to some of those key locations and the spirit of spontaneous creation often took over. We’d have news crews watching us to see how we made movies without a script. JULIE STRAIN and KEVIN EASTMAND sat there under hot lights in full metal armor — when suddenly I was feeding them dialogue. I look back and am still amazed to this day.”

From the personal side: A few quotes and random thoughts from JOE JUMPCUTTER — (a B-Movie fan and critic) All the mavericks have had their day — AL ADAMSON, JACK HILL, RUSS MEYER, HERSHELL GORDON LEWIS, GEORGE ROMERO, ED WOOD — and now finally the most radical far out independent visionary of them all — DONALD G. JACKSON. Over-looked and under-rated. Never really properly promoted. You can learn a few things from JACKSON’S ZENDANCE.COM website. He’s worked with JIM CAMERON and shot 9 days of un-credited cinematography on TERMINATOR. Photographed 2
nd unit on CAMERON’s only music video. Worked with ROGER CORMAN. Jumped from a five thousand dollar budget on ROLLER BLADE to $15 MILLION on HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN. His films are hard to find and some haven’t been edited for release — ONE SHOT SAM, PAGING DR. RRAISEWATER — and long anticipated ROCK N’ ROLL COPS — created and directed by SCOTT SHAW. JACKSON produced with a vengeance and photographed 35 hours of zen footage. And JOE JUMPCUTTER had done some research on DR. SCOTT SHAW. Why did a Ph.D. hook up with B-movie maker DONALD G. JACKSON? How can one see the official director’s cut of ROLLER BLADE SEVEN? — a movie who’s style influenced a string of classics. JACKSON and SHAW claim no credit for their work in a string of “zenfilms” — Although JACKSON has always shot without a script when given the opportunity or thrown the script away when the movie started shooting — it was the two artists “synergy” that resulted in ROLLER BLADE SEVEN and culminated in the ultimate art movie — GUNS OF E CHUPACABRA.

A quote from a recent phone interview with JACKSON: “We’ hired an editor to cut ROLLER BLADE SEVEN that took a high school teacher approach. It was frustrating. One day a miracle took place. SCOTT SHAW had never edited a movie in his life and the ¾ editing decks weren’t familiar to him. Suddenly we fired the editor and SCOTT took over. Not only was he lightening fast from the start, but he performed some of the most amazing cuts I’ve ever seen.” You can read more about the films of JACKSON and SHAW at their respective websites.

Chup 1

Chup 2

Chup 3