The Curse of El Charro

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Tom Reding

Plot: What’s it about?

Maria is having nightmares, nightmares that continue to become more real every time she falls asleep. With the recent suicide of her sister and constantly being an outcast, she is on the verge of a breakdown, but after being invited on a vacation getaway with a few “friends” she thinks it’s just what she needs to stop the terror at night. The 4 girls head to Arizona for a while to get away from the busy L.A. life and just relax and party. Things get a little strange right at the beginning of the trip when they get pulled over on a desert highway. After working their way out of the ticket they agree to meet the deputy in town for a drink at the local bar, but this isn’t your normal bar. Every evening there is a show that takes place, it consists of a mental challenge man singing some sort of death metal music. It doesn’t really make too much sense, but it’s enough to scare the girls out of there and force them on their way. They soon arrive at their home for the remainder of the vacation, a house that one of the girl’s uncle’s is letting them stay in while he is away. Maria is still plagued by nightmares and eventually, through some sort of vision, finds out that she is the remaining member of a bloodline that has been cursed for years by El Charro. Back in the 19th century El Charro was a normal person who was in love with a beautiful girl, but when the girl told him she didn’t want to be with him anymore he refused to hear it. He murdered her entire family and her and vowed to come back and murder anyone that still remained of the bloodline.

The premise of the film itself seems a little absurd and ridiculous, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. There are a few parts where the film cuts to a black and white silent movie to explain the background of “El Charro” that don’t seem to fit in with the rest of the film and seem like an odd way to explain the back story. But despite the weird filler scenes, the horror aspect was pretty good. The suspense didn’t build very well, but the death scenes were pretty cool. Lots of blood and gore in this one and the video does a great job of presenting it. If your looking for a no-brainer horror movie with good looking girls and lots of bodies then check this one out, but don’t expect to be blown away by any means.

Video: How does it look?

When it comes to low-budget movies, horror in particular, I tend to expect the worst out of the video and audio quality. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised though and that is the case with this one. Everything looks very good, all the blacks look very dark and the colors pop very nicely. Most of the film takes place at night so crisp, clear video is essential to make sure that everything is able to be seen clearly. Overall I didn’t find much wrong with the video quality. There were a few instances of noise, but only during a few scenes and they were far and few between.

Audio: How does it sound?

Again, very surprised by the audio tracks on this one. I watched the movie in 5.1 Dolby digital and it sounded outstanding. The dialogue was very loud and very crisp and the soundtrack was powerful, but not overpowering. This mix definitely makes use of the rear channels to add to the atmosphere as a lot of low budget horror movies do not. Overall the sound quality was definitely impressive.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Not too many extras on this one, but enough for what the film is. There is a 22 minute “Behind The Scenes” look at “The Curse of El Charro”. The featurette delves into the movie from beginning to end, how the movie first came about, how the characters were cast, how the special effects were done and so forth. A typical behind the scenes featurette, but at 22 minutes it is very short and to the point which I found to be a good thing. Seeing as how the movie itself wasn’t very good, I would have rather sat through a 22 minute featurette than an hour long one. Next there is a short film that was directed by Rich Ragsdale entitled “Into Something Rich and Strange”. It is only a minute and 42 seconds long and consists of a montage of weird/strange images and clips. The DVD is capped off by a few trailers and a photo gallery. So overall a decent amount of extras for a low budget movie, I always enjoy seeing the behind the scenes featurettes on movies like this so that was a nice addition.

Disc Scores