Girls take on a vengeful Mexican spirit and boys take on a vengeful cricket player! These two films make a great hokey horror double feature. And yet…they’d both make great double features with other movies….
THE CURSE OF EL CHARRO (2005)
The Curse of El Charro is one schizophrenic flick. The intro had me fearing it was going to be some sort of stylish art house flick. But then the pretty girl elegantly adorning the screen gets bashed in the head and I felt comforted.
So there’s this girl Maria, who is still grieving from her sister’s suicide a year before. Her college roommate, wanting her to forget her cares, invites her on an all-girl road trip to Arizona with some friends. Turns out these friends are a couple of bitches that totally don’t want Maria to go because she’s a downer.
There’s something almost From Dusk Till Dawn about the first part of the film. The road trip leads the girls to a creepy bar where a dark, trippy, Marilyn Manson-esque performance is taking place on stage. Maria sees a ghost girl in the bathroom warning her about impending doom, so the girls leave the club. Next thing you know, they’re being chased by the ancient evil Mexican spirit El Charro (in the form of a big scary guy in black).
The movie wastes time trying to be deeper than it is, with flashbacks, dream sequences, ghostly apparitions, and odd silent film movie clips giving us El Charro’s back story.
Forget about all that crap. Because despite the girls’ initial encounter with El Charro on a dark road and Maria’s brush with the supernatural, they go clubbing, pick up some boys to bring home, get naked, and get chopped to bits. Wahoo! It’s just another cheesy slasher! There’s plenty of campy gore and some humor, loads of nudity, a lesbian shower scene that’s cut short and becomes a lesbian bloodbath, and Maria as the final girl.
El Charro is voiced by Danny Trejo (and ironically, carries a machete) and looks kind of like the killer from Miner’s Massacre, which I blog about here. You could pair The Curse of El Charro up with Wrestlemaniac (blog here) for a Mexican slasher double feature when you just need a good dose of blood, boobs, and body counts.
I KNOW HOW MANY RUNS YOU SCORED LAST SUMMER (2008)
It’s the boys’ turn up at bat. Literally. Guys that bullied a kid on their cricket team when they were kids are being stalked by a crazed killer with a cricket bat.
Any movie that begins with a shirtless hottie tied up, gagged, and deep throated has my attention. Unfortunately, what he swallows is a really sharp spike.
After more bloodshed, the cops have an idea of who might be behind the murders. In a montage that has a bit of a Guy Ritchie feel to it, two detectives have to round up the guys who bullied the boy 20 years ago and stick them in a safe house.
This is the worst safe house ever! One by one, the guys just go off alone and get killed by the cricket killer! And the cops are totally oblivious. The kills are all that hold the first half of the film together. Considering the satirical title, the film clearly doesn’t take itself seriously. It actually feels very much like it’s intentionally mimicking the kind of last ditch slasher films you’d rent in the 80s after you’d seen everything else.
The story is weak, the characters aren’t developed at all, and they do absolutely nothing other than wait their turn to be slaughtered. But the ways in which they get killed are deliciously grisly, although I could have done without the endless, raucous heavy metal soundtrack. There’s a right (and very limited) place and time for metal music in certain types of horror movies. In most cases though, it shatters any sense of…everything that could make a horror movie great.
We get a ridiculously misplaced female shower scene, complete with a blatant body double with huge boobs and a perfectly groomed pussy. It’s sort of used as a buffer to numb straight boys watching to some homoeroticism. The boobs and (trimmed) bush are interspersed with a scene of a guy in a G-string having his BD/SM session with his girlfriend interrupted by the killer. The guy ends up being flogged by the killer (!) before a chase scene ensues. Awesome.
There’s also a hair “stylist” doing his shirtless buddy’s hair (their sexuality is brought into question by the other guys). It’s haircutus interruptus when the killer shows up. A hide and seek game turns into a gruesome encounter with a nail-laced cup. And I’m not talking about the drinking kind.
The movie really takes a turn and shows its strength as a horror film near the end. Things begin with a pretty damn creepy segment in a shed. Soon after, there’s a fantastic and tense scene of one of the detectives being trapped in a car trunk. And the final guy vs. killer battle at the end of the film totally rocks. It’s both action-packed and funny (cue the metal music now). It’s so good I wish it had been longer.
I would highly recommend doing I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer as a double feature with the baseball slasher flick Billy Club, which I blog about here.