8/29/08

The Real Terror At Baxter U is Watching It


Terror at Baxter U (2003) starring Bill Vincent, Janet Lockwood, and Ryan Gaffke. Directed by Jeff Burton.

Michigan State University which stands in for the fictional Baxter U in this film looks like a cold place. When I think about cold places and start to dwell on cryptozoology, the first thing that comes to mind is the chupacabra. Sure you might say that the wikipedia article on the chupacabra says its been seen mostly in places in Central and South America, Puetro Rico, and Texas. Sure, but read on and you'll hear about sitings in Maine and Russia which are known to be pretty chilly places themselves. So the chupacabra gets around; especially when its aided by the dark magic of a rogue archeology professor.

Seems that at good old Baxter U people have been getting killed there under mysterious circumstances for 25 years. I'm sure they don't let on to that when you come for a visit. I'm sure its all our tenured professors, and our academic program, and our great sports facilities. Somehow the whole mysterious murders thing gets left out. Hence students still attend BU and we meet a group of them. They are archeology students studying under Professor Moxie (Bill Vincent) an older but revered professor with a specialty in tribes of ancient Mexico. When a murder happens in the dear old professors office, the hated rival ancient Mexico scholar Professor Dregstone (Janet Lockwood). Jason Hardcastle (Ryan Gaffke) , who's father attended Baxter in the '70's and was a suspect in one of the murders then, and the other students get drawn into the mystery. Professor Moxie thinks Dregstone has been using rituals to summon a chupacabra, and the students set out to stop her.

Is it the chupacara? Is it the work of Professor Dregstone? How much would it suck to meet your final moments dressed like the third rate inbred cousin of Bozo the clown? All these questions lead only to one answer. Who cares. The whole movie comes off like a Goosebumps book with foul language. I know I was watching something with a low budget, but we never even get a half glimpse of the creature. Every time it strikes we get quick cuts of a red tinted shaky cam moving along quickly. I'm sure Sam Raimi would like his royalties for every time a shot like that is used.

Speaking of Sam, it seems he was a student of Bill Vincent's at MSU back in the day and has even included him as an extra in Army of Darkness and as a writing consultant on The Gift. Bill Vincent was the sole writer for this flick and maybe he should have hit up Sam for a little script doctoring. Hell even see if Ted Raimi is available to help. Basically moonies, this is one to miss because you wont be missing anything.


Bug Rating

On a side note there's a cool video going around of a chupacabra siting. You'll get more out of that to enjoy.

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