It’s pitch black outside and eerily quiet when you hear a strange sound and catch a glimpse of two eyes staring back at you before vanishing into the night. Most of the Chupacabra movies start this way before diverging into bizarre, scary, funny and oftentimes hilarious plots. In this modern world of streaming platforms and aggressive marketing, most of us rarely venture out of our movie comfort zones. Which is really a shame because there so many strange and intriguing movies out there just waiting to be discovered.

And Chupacabra movies are a perfect example. Based on a string of relatively popular and very real incidents that happened in the mid-nineties, they are now almost extinct. Much like the creature itself, but more about that later. If you’re wondering just how extinct they are, consider that Blumhouse made a fake trailer for the movie titled El Chupacabras just last year as an April fools joke. And you’ll soon see a pattern emerging where this myth was treated the same way.

In this list, we will go over all of the movies featuring these mysterious creatures ever released. You can count on one thing when you’re making such a movie and that’s the fact that it’s simply not going to be profitable. This means there will be a lot of indie and low-budget efforts with only one bigger production. Almost all of them are available for streaming either for free on YouTube and Tubi or on Amazon Prime.

Chupacabra – History of murder and bloodsucking

I first heard about Chupacabra back in the nineties while watching one of my favorite television shows X-Files. The episode El Mundo Gira was released on January 12, 1997 and ever since then the image of this beast has been stuck in my mind. The name Chupacabra in a literal translation means GoatSucker. Chupar means to suck, and cabras, goats. Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur Silverio Pérez is the one who first came up with it.

First of all, we should make a distinction between two Chupacabra species. Yes, there are two Chupacabra species. The more popular one is this hairless and dog-like creature that’s sometimes even described as a small bear or a weird coyote. The second one is humanoid with distinct reptilian features. The first time this type of creature appears in the news paper articles was back in the mid seventies. Inhabitants of a small town of Moca, Puerto Rico reported their livestock killed and drained of blood.

They first thought this was the work of a Satanic cult but soon changed their mind. However, the most publicized event happened in March 1995, also in Puerto Rico. Eight dead sheep without a drop of blood in them prompted a larger investigation. In another, nearby town, over 150 farm animals and pets fell victim to this mysterious killer. Since then, the legend of Chupacabra has spread with reports coming from India, Bolivia, Brazil and United States.

Is Chupacabra a real animal?

As you already know, I try to keep an open mind when it comes to things like this. After all, this is half the fun, thinking about what kind of animal this is. However, I must admit that judging by several investigations, Chupacabras are not real. It’s just a question of what type of a regular animal we’re talking about. The dog-like creatures seem to be coyotes suffering from very severe cases of mange. If you want to know more, I recommend this National Geographic article: Chupacabra Science. Also, Mexican hairless dogs could be to blame as they look very similar to our culprit.

Now, the story of the reptilian Chupacabra species is even more interesting. It’s speculated that reports were made by a guy who just watched the new science fiction movie Species. In this movie, stunningly beautiful Natasha Henstridge transforms into this reptilian-like creature with spines on her back. So, once the first report came out of this type of creature panic did the rest. Another plausible explanation is that these are rhesus monkeys who do sometimes walk on their hind legs.

Finally, you should also know that some of the locals believe that the creature originated from the El Yunque National Forest. A place where certain experiments took place. Now, the only ones I could find were related to the effects of climate change. However, we all know that things like this are top secret.

Why there are so few Chupacabra movies

Now, I know that this sounds a bit far fetched and pretentious but just hear me out. Since the whole Chupacabra thing came from the Latino community, it was never taken too seriously. I mean, you have over one hundred movies about fucking Bigfoot and not even twenty about a creature as intriguing as this one. Plus, the whole thing was an Internet sensation. Not for a long time, but it still managed to attract a lot of attention. After all, here we are almost thirty years later still talking about this.

All of this also explains why there are so many Mexican and Mexican-American movies about Chupacabras. There’s even an animated movie that was a major box-office success, grossing a total of $100.7 million pesos during its theatrical run in Mexico. In the end, it is entirely possible that just one episode of The X Files aired in January 1997 effectively killed the whole subgenre.

Honorable Mentions

As always we start our list with a couple of honorable mentions. Now these are movies or television shows that don’t quite fit the criteria to be included in our regular list. So, one of the most popular Chupacabra movies was excluded. Read on to find out which one.

La Leyenda del Chupacabras [2016]

This animated movie is actually the fourth in the ongoing Leyendas franchise. Leyendas or Legend Quest follows a group of kids as they look for supernatural creatures. Using traditional animation, La Leyenda del Chupacabras achieved a very stylish and appealing visual outlook. Over one million people saw the movie during its original theatrical run in Mexico. It’s not like any of the Pixar or Disney movies but it does offer a plot about Chupacabras unfolding at a brisk pace. However, exactly these differences make it perfect for further analysis. Class structure, machismo, and tolerance are just some of the themes you can have fun with. It also offers a nice break from all the low-budget Chupacabra movies if you squeeze it in the middle of your binge.

South Park S16E04 – Jewpacabra

Well, with a title like this you pretty much already know what to expect from this episode of South Park. I don’t know how well you remember it but I was surprised to find out that there wasn’t any Chupacabras featured in it. I guess I was thinking of the one with Snooki in it. Snooki wants smush smush! Jewpacabra is an intelligent and satirical take on the Easter egg hunt along with a pretty graphic account of the plagues of Egypt. Hell, they even managed to squeeze in Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization in the mix. However, we will get some classic hunt for the mysterious creature in the woods scenes with Cartman and Butters. All in all, since the whole thing is free to watch and easily accessible, I do recommend you check this episode out.

PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal S03E11 – Harlequin

I vaguely remember watching this show back in the nineties as a budget version of The X Files. Hosted by Dan Aykroyd, it was fairly popular on television. In this episode, Matt, Peter and the rest of the crew are looking for a mysterious creature that killed a capybara in nearby zoo. The poor thing was also drained of all its blood indicating that we might be dealing with a “Chupa” as they endearingly call it in this television show that feels like it’s primarily directed at boomers. They go over all the lore and we even catch a few glimpses of the ever elusive Chupa before moving on to another monster. Monster that will turn out be is not a monster at all. There’s a cliffhanger for all of you who want venture into the depths of the Internet looking for this episode. Aired in 1998, it was quick to tell the story that was spreading like wildfire at that time.

The X Files S04E11 – El Mundo Gira

This episode aired back in 1997 was the first time I heard about Chupacabras. We will follow Mulder and Scully as they investigate a strange death near a migrant camp. The writer John Shiban was inspired by long lines of migrant workers he would often see on his way to work. It uses the Chupacabra myth to bring attention to the mistreatment and abuse of migrants. From this perspective the whole thing seems clunky and heavy handed. The story strays quite far from the lore but offers a rather ingenious explanation. And with a lofty budget you can expect excellent practical effects and some pretty gruesome scenes for a television show.

Chupacabra Movies

As I previously mentioned, I find it very strange that there are only 15 Chupacabra movies but here we are. Some of them are good, some of them are bad and some of them are even funny. However, there’s something so charming and endearing about each every one of them. When I was finished watching them, I felt sad, like I just finished this great adventure into the unknown. Although I must admit I felt the same way about every of the Natural Horror Lists.

15. Chupacabra [2007]

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure that this movie even exists. Although this is supposedly a SyFy channel production I wasn’t able to find it anywhere on their site. It’s also not available for streaming and there are no DVD or Blu-Ray copies of it. All we have are two posters and a short summary. If you have any more information about this movie do contact me. I would love to learn more about it because the plot seems very entertaining and hilarious.

So, a terrorist group takes over a power plant that’s hiding an ugly secret in its basement. Yes, they have captured one vicious Chupacabra and are keeping it in a special cage. However, when a powerful storm hits the power plant, Chupacabra will get loose and start killing people. You can already feel that this is your classic B movie plot with the monster killing off the bad guys one by one.

14. Legend of the Chupacabra [2000]

Not only Legend of the Chupacabra is available on DVD but you can also watch it on Amazon Prime. This is another one of those found footage projects and just a bad movie all around. Acting, dialogue, camerawork and production values feel very amateurish. The only thing that’s keeping it together is the sheer willpower of everyone involved. This is an experience for them as much as it is for us. And I have to say that special effects aren’t too shabby. I mean, they have a certain charming tackiness to them that makes you chuckle every time you see them.

The story is as old as time as a group of students start looking for the thing that killed a couple of goats at a ranch in Texas. Soon, former marine and an angry farmer will join this quest with disastrous results. Legend of the Chupacabra is a Troma production movie so it has a special target audience. Just like everything in this world. If you’re not familiar with their releases, they make these over-the-top crazy movies built for one thing and that’s to entertain. However, as far as Chupacabra movies are concerned, there are much better productions.

13. Guns of El Chupacabra [1997]

I want you to pause for a minute and reflect on the title of this movie, Guns of El Chupacabra. What could it possibly mean? Well, the answer hides in what Scott Shaw, the star and writer of this movie, calls Zen Filmmaking. It is the premise that no screenplay should be used in the creation of the film. There are no rules and no definitions. Those are direct quotes from Shaw’s book about this process available on Amazon same as this movie. If you thought that the plots of our previous two movies were crazy wait ’till you get a load of this one. Jack B. Quick is a Space Sheriff who lands on Earth in order to fight the legendary monster of El Chupacabra.

Now, the cast of Guns of El Chupacabra is actually not too bad. We have Joe Estevez, Martin Sheen’s brother, Robert Z’Dar whom you might remember from Samurai Cop and even a Penthouse Pet Julie Strain. Of course, we shouldn’t forget about the man, the myth and the legend, Mr. Scott Shaw himself. In all seriousness, this movie is a trip. It’s wild, stylish and authentic. However, the focus is more on the characters than it is on the creature itself despite what the title says. And finally, I want to add that all the guns and shootouts you’re going to see in this movie seem to be very real. I guess that answers that question from the intro.

12. Chupacabra Territory [2016]

The most recent Chupacabra movie is also one of the most boring ones despite the brief nudity and all the lore exposition. Once again we meet our old enemy, found footage horror in all of its glory. Slow, tedious and ill-scripted, it’s going to suck not the blood but life out of you. There’s simply no tension here as we follow a group of friends in search of the legendary creature. Most of the characters are annoying although you can see that the actors really tried their best. And sadly, we’re not even close to the so bad it’s good category. However, you should know that the movies get better after this one, so there’s that.

Chupacabra Territory or Lair of the Beast as it’s also known, doesn’t have many redeeming qualities. It represents everything I don’t like about found footage movies and on top of it all, it doesn’t offer anything new. This could have been a movie about Martians, Bigfoot or any other entity hiding in the woods. We rarely see the creature and when we do, it’s far away. I also didn’t like the whole chanting and possession angle. There are two things I liked about it. One of them is the book containing all the Chupacabra lore they often consult. And the other one is the one-eyed farmer whom they encounter along the way.

11. Mexican Werewolf in Texas [2005]

The only thing that Mexican Werewolf in Texas has in common with An American Werewolf in London is the word werewolf in the title. We’re somewhere between B and C production values, let’s call it C+ just to be sure. The plot follows a group of teenagers in the “goat capital of the world” Furlough, Texas and their troubles with Chupacabras. This isn’t a straight horror but more of a quirky coming-of-age movie with some nasty elements. There’s even some gore which is surprising considering that most of the time we’re focused on the characters.

The facts that it’s set in a small town that’s located in Texas give it a certain rural and Americana charm. Plus, it talks about racial tensions and how the police ain’t doing nothing just because the victims are Mexicans. This is a theme you’re going to see a couple of times in other Chupacabra movies. However, it fails to arouse any type of excitement or dread. It’s simply neither here nor there, which makes it a bit dull but still watchable for all you Chupacabra fans out there. Leisurely paced, its biggest strength is the social commentary and that attention-grabbing title.

10. El Chupacabra [2003]

it didn’t take long to reach our first so bad that it’s good movie on this list. El Chupacabra follows an animal control officer Navarro and Chupacabra expert Starlina Divide as they track this mysterious creature in the city of dreams. Which will be easy to do as it’s leaving a bloody trail of dead dogs and humans. So, we will be basically following a plot of every creature feature ever made. Complete with rubber suits, cliches and forced dialogue. At times, you will think that the whole thing is going to turn into a porn movie as half-naked ladies start hounding our animal control officer for help. However, we will never go there.

El Chupacabra is a great warm-up movie as it successfully gets you in the mood for what’s about to follow. It knows perfectly well what it is and tries to make the most of it. When it comes to the creature itself, it’s a blend of both species. And it actually looks pretty nasty. Especially during some of the night scenes showcasing the full potential that both the movie and the creature have. Too bad we didn’t see more of it. This reminded me of a movie we talked about in our Sea Monsters: Top Ten Octopus Movies list, Octaman, where the creature was in almost every shot. Also, some of the make up looked quite realistic for a production of this size.

9. Blood of the Chupacabra [2003]

Also known as Bloodthirst: Legend of the Chupacabras, this is a zero fucks given movie. And if you’re wondering what that means, well, Chupacabra just lands in the middle of the farm within the first two minutes of the movie. Yes, didn’t you know that Chupacabras can fly? However, just as quickly as it came so it goes away rarely to be seen until the final showdown. The CGI creature is catastrophically bad but at the same time endearingly campy. And the same goes for this entire so bad that it’s good movie available for free on Tubi. It feels like this is a town project and everybody pitched in to make this movie. Someone became an actor, someone allowed the crew to film in their place of work and others helped in different ways.

All of this gives Blood of the Chupacabra a homey, authentic feel, like you’re watching a cool documentary about a town who decided to make a special kind of movie. I keep saying town because there are so many actors in this movie that you’re hardly be able to keep track of them. There are also so many memorable scenes that I think you will keep coming back to this one for years to come. The newsroom music, farmer in a sheep nightie, alcoholic grandpa and amphibious duck, will be seared into your memory forever. Finally, you should know that this is the only movie on this list of Chupacabra movies that got a sequel. Now, I don’t think that the sequel is better but for the “continuity purposes” it’s the next movie we’re going to talk about. And there’s a lot to talk about.

8. Rise of the Chupacabras [2005]

Many years after the initial release, both of these movies have been renamed to Bloodthirst and Bloodthrist 2. However, the original title of the movie is Rise of the Chupacabras and rise they shall. Two years have passed and advances in technology now allowed for a much better CGI. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still horrible but at least we will be seeing much more of it. This entire movie is worth watching solely because of the scenes with the creature. The same goes for the sound effects. I think it goes without saying that you don’t have to watch the original in order to enjoy this sequel. They are loosely connected by the one and only alky grandpa Parker who’s again up to no good.

And you can bet your sweet ass that we will again meet a host of diverse characters just going about their days. You really have to admire the dedication of the director and writer Jonathan Mumm. This time the plot is even more complex and convoluted with many different subplots glued together by one crazy doctor. Yes, this is a crazy doctor movie but we will also meet kidnappers, cryptozoologists, detectives, priests and many more characters. I have to admit that the homey atmosphere from the original kind of dissipated but at least we got a lot more of the Chupacabra footage.

7. A Noite do Chupacabras [2011]

A farmer is awakened in the middle of the night by a strange noise. He ventures outside to check it out and there he sees those gleaming eyes of terror. Now, that’s what I’ve been talking about all this time. A Noite do Chupacabras is a Brazilian movie featuring one of the best looking creatures on this entire list. It’s horrifying, grotesque and moves awkwardly, just like it should. You can feel that people really gave it everything they got in this movie. Camerawork is excellent, costumes, action sequences and even the soundtrack is freaking awesome. And the plot is also very intelligent and offers a new perspective on this whole Chupacabra thing.

We witness the very real problems farmers face as their livestock is being killed. What happens next is something that often happens in these situations, you blame your next door neighbor for everything bad that’s going on. Apart from this family feud we also can enjoy a slice of authentic life in this remote part of Brazil. You will feel like you’re watching an Anthony Bourdain episode. But with Chupacabras. And don’t worry you won’t be bored with all of this family drama because projectile vomiting is not that far away. And once it starts, all hell breaks loose.

6. GoatSucker [2009]

GoatSucker is proof that you can make a funny and entertaining movie about Chupacabras without much money. It’s going to take you a couple of minutes to settle in the story and the atmosphere but once you do, the fun can start. The script is excellent and actually funny. You can feel what they were trying to do both with the plot and the characters. Characters that have actual personalities amplified by committed performances of our amateur cast. We follow a group of Chupacabra enthusiasts who all signed up for the world-famous Hidden Valley Hiking Tour hoping to spot the mysterious creature.

Now, I would say that we all know where this is going but let’s just say that GoatSucker has a few twists up its sleeve. Director and writer Steve Hudgins was well aware of the limitations imposed by such a small budget and made the most of it. The structure of the movie is that of a classic creature feature B movie so I’m sure you’ll find it familiar. With excellent storytelling, a sense of adventure and loads of charm, GoatSucker is going to steal your heart. And you can find it on YouTube so there are really no excuses for not checking it out.

5. Buck Wild [2013]

More a zombie comedy than anything else, Buck Wild does feature a bit of Chupacabra footage. One, but very important scene, to be more precise. We will follow a group of friends and their hunting adventures in the glorious state of Texas. However, instead of hunting young bucks, something will be hunting them. Featuring a surprisingly well-written script and tight storytelling, this movie will keep your attention. Granted, some of the scenes are unintentionally funny or just don’t make sense making sure you remember this is an indie production. The whole zombie thing offers a refreshing break from our usual plots.

The acting was actually quite good and I loved Jarrod Pistilli as Jerry. The best thing about Buck Wild is the cinematography. This is a well shot and well edited movie. Also, for the first time on this list we will see solid production values. This means that make-up and other practical effects will actually be believable. I think they should’ve leaned more heavily into the whole creature feature aspect. I mean, we’ve seen a thousand zombie comedies by now but only a few with chupacabras. Some of the scenes even directly copy Shaun of the Dead.

4. Chupacabra vs. the Alamo [2013]

Despite the silly title, Chupacabra vs. the Alamo, this is actually a fairly enjoyable and easygoing movie. Starring Erik Estrada and set in an urban environment, it features the dog variety of Chupacabras. Granted, it’s incredibly poorly animated but at least they leaned in heavily and made the whole thing an entertaining campy experience. Complete with laughable green screen action scenes. Estrada’s screen presence and the sheer insanity of the script should help you get to the end of this SyFy effort. If you’re a fan of their productions, you already know what to expect although I should tell you right away this isn’t another Sharknado.

The main story is pretty solid with Chupacabras migrating to the United States using tunnels Cartel members created to smuggle drugs. Of course, tough DEA agent Carlos and his sexy partner Tracy are on their trail and closing in. There are a lot of shootouts and explosions in this movie and rarely ten minutes go by before something happens. With a hefty $2 million budget, cinematography and other technical aspects are also excellent. Well, excellent for a production of this type. They even got away with some pretty gnarly gore for a television movie. Finally, I also like the fact they stuck to the lore so there are no zombies, rituals or anything like that. Just plain old Chupacabras looking for their next meal.

3. El chupacabras [1996]

Now here’s a movie with some chest hair on it. With huge balls and sheer bravado, El Chupacabras storms the third position on our list. It belongs to the first wave of Chupacabra movies, shot one year after the original incident. Right away I have to tell you that this is one of those so bad that it’s good movies. However, there’s something so appealing and cute about this one that I cannot help but ranking it this high. After the obligatory attack on the farmer who heard his dog barking we zip to Canada where we find Jorge, a man of many talents. Currently he’s trying to film the ever elusive Bigfoot when someone interrupts him. It turns out it’s Duncan McGregor, not of the clan McGregor but of clan we hunt monsters.

The list of bizarre characters doesn’t stop there as we also have a guy who’s supposed to be the human Terminator, complete with background music and a spunky female reporter always looking for a scoop. Finally, we shouldn’t forget about the magical priest who suddenly appears in scenes and immediately starts preaching. However, the star of this movie is Jorge Reynoso as Jorge Carrasco, ubermacho moustache-wearing and chupacabra-slaying hombre. The story is cliched as it comes making it even more funnier as you try to guess what’s the next trope you’re going to witness. El Chupacabras is entertaining from start to finish and it even offers a few intriguing twists making it one hell of a movie. It truly needs to be seen to be believed.

2. Chupacabra Terror [2005]

If you’re looking for a classic B movie creature feature experience, look no further than Chupacabra Terror. Starring John Rhys-Davies and Giancarlo Esposito, this is another SyFy production but much tighter than their previous entry on this list of Chupacabra movies. It is charmingly bad still maintaining a sense of adventure and excitement about things to come. The creature itself looks pretty solid as we’re back in the reptilian territory with another man in a rubber suit. After capturing El Chupacabra on a remote island in the Caribbean, Dr. Pena chucks it aboard a regular cruise ship, the Regent Queen. Soon, curiosity will get the better of a couple of crew members who will be its first and not the only victims.

Set almost entirely aboard the cruise ship, this movie is also known as Chupacabra: Dark Seas. Its predictability and religious devotion to genre tropes make it even more funny than the clumsy execution. For example, after one of the characters is seemingly killed in a room next to a bunch of money, he springs back to life when our crew shows up only to die on top of bloody dollar bills. This is not surprising since most of the people in this movie have trouble dying.

1. Indigenous [2014]

Set in the exotic jungles of Panama, Indigenous is your standard-issue vacation from hell horror movie. If you’ve seen Turistas or The Ruins, everything will feel very familiar. And while the first fifteen minutes are a bit wobbly, once we venture into the jungle, things get much better. First of all, our dashing young cast did a terrific job. Not only did they look very appealing but also knew how to act, something that was an issue in almost all of the movies on this list. Secondly, the production values were pretty solid along with the visuals. And finally, Indigenous offers some pretty intense and graphic scenes. It’s by far the most serious and convincing movie featuring Chupacabras despite all of its flaws.

Towards the end, the entire movie transforms into something else but to what exactly I will leave for you to find out. I think they should’ve introduced the creatures much earlier as we spend nearly half of the movie frolicking and flirting. Chupacabras are of the reptilian variety and look positively disgusting. Shot on location in Panama, Indigenous has that exotic and exciting vibe making it one of the best Chupacabra movies currently available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.