Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
Something is lurking beneath the city streets in Manhattan. And it seems the men in suits with glowing eyes are looking to move up in the world, by attacking a few helpless victims that happen to be at the wrong pot hole at the wrong time.
Is it good movie?
One of my favorite feelings in the world is being able to see a movie that is twenty-something years old, and realize that it is better than you remember it to be. That is exactly what happened when I sat down to watch C.H.U.D., or Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers as fans lovingly refer to it. As I sat down with this blast from the past, I was ecstatic to see it hold up so well. I guess it helps if you have actors who have talent, as you do here. They include Daniel Stern, John Heard, Christopher Curry and the lovely Kim Griest. You even have a brief scene with John Goodman and Jay Thomas as police officers in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you donít know the storyÖ well, Iím sort of surprised. But if you were too young, and you never caught up with CHUD, here it goesÖ Down in the depths, in the sewers of Manhattan, it seems the government has been harboring a secret involving toxic waste. Many of the homeless inhabitants living beneath the city are starting to feel the effects of it. They are turning into CHUDs. Basically, they are men in suits with big glowing eyes. And as cheesy as that sounds, it is so damn much fun that you donít care how lame they look. These monsters from the depths are beginning to come out and feed on the good folk on the streets of Manhattan, including the wife of Captain Bosch (Curry) who was only considered missing because her body was not found. So the detective, along with ďThe ReverendĒ (Stern) who runs a soup kitchen, and a photojournalist named George Cooper (Heard) doing a story on the downtrodden, try and do what heroes always do in these types of movies.
With all the cheap effects and the sometimes silly script, there is so much goodness within. Director Douglas Creek injects enough suspense without taking CHUD too seriously. Itís not a horror/comedy necessarily, but it is a horror flick that isnít afraid to make a little fun of itself. And the actors themselves add so much to it by just having the chops to make it believable. I really like all these guys and it makes it so much more fun to root for them over the men is suits. Iíll tell you, Iíve seen so many modern horror films with fantastic monster effects, and I would easily choose this over most of them any day. This has everything. It has gore, it has a gratuitous shower scene without nudity (look for the glowing eyes when you check the ďextrasĒ menu and click on those to see the T & A) and it has a kick ass tag line, ďTheyíre not staying down there anymore!Ē. Just buy this already, itís cheap and it makes for one of the coolest Eighties horror films to ever grace the local drive in cinema.
Video / Audio
Video: This 1.77:1 Widescreen Presentation is very good. It is nice to see the film as clear as it is here.
Audio: The Dolby Digital is fine, but nothing to get all CHUD-y about. Iím not sure what that meansÖ CHUD-y.
The special features are not that bountiful here. Although the Commentary with actors John Heard, Daniel Stern and Christopher Curry and director Douglas Creek and writer Shepard Abbott is one of the best commentaries Iíve ever heard. It is not that itís really that informative, itís just fun as hell. The constantly rip on each other, whether it is with the homoerotic nature of the film, or the crappy men in suits, they have a blast talking about the film. But I think they are a little harsh on some levels, because audiences love this film, and for good reason do they call this a cult classic.
Rounding out the features includes a Trailer and a Behind the Scenes Still Gallery. Plus, donít forget to click on the glowing eyes for those looking for a tit shot (NOT Kim Griest, by the way).
C.H.U.D. is fun times. It is gory, sort of creepy and a whole lot of fun. Everyone involved clearly had a good time making the flick and it offers up a few fond horror memories that hold up surprisingly well. All of the actors do terrific work with sometimes questionable dialogue. But what makes this DVD a must have for horror fans, besides being a classic Eighties horror entry, is the wonderful commentary. Now if you already own the original DVD, it seems to be the same exact thing, so donít bother with this one. But if you have not purchased your CHUD, now is as good a time as any. CHUD-y? Oh yes it is!