C.H.U.D. (1984)

Posted: January 30, 2014 in Movie Review
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Directed By: Douglas Cheek

Starring: John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry, Kim Greist, JC Quinn, George Martin

Synopsis: Underground creatures are abducting citizens of New York and it’s up to an unlikely trio to stop them.

Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.  What a fantastic acronym and name for a movie.  C.H.U.D. is one of those movies from my youth that I remember fondly, and quite frankly still love to this day.  There are a boatload of movies from the 70s and 80s that I loved that just don’t hold up.

First off, the cast is fantastic.  Daniel Stern is fantastically crazy as the guy running the soup kitchen and looking out for the people on the streets.  He’s just unhinged enough that his performance is perfect.  He teeters on the edge most of the movie.  John Heard is also great as the lead, trying to figure out just what is going on in the sewers and why people are disappearing.  For a treat, you have to listen to the commentary from these guys on the DVD.  They are a blast and were obviously having a good time while recording it.  It remains one of my favorite commentaries to date.

I was baffled to see that Douglas Cheek, the Director of CHUD has only one directorial credit to him after making CHUD, and it was a documentary.  Maybe after making this, he walked away, knowing that he couldn’t top it! In all seriousness, he’s done a lot of editorial work in the documentary world since making CHUD.

Above all else, I remember seeing my first CHUD onscreen and being pretty damn freaked out.  The glowing eyes and mottled skin is a brilliant design.  They really look like they were born of radioactive waste.  They are one of my favorite creatures of the 80s and a huge part of the reason that I love this movie.

It’s difficult for me to label a film a cult classic because I watch so many of them, that they don’t seem that cult or underground to me, but I think you can consider this a cult classic.  It doesn’t usually find its way on to any lists of favorite or top movies but it sure does seem like a lot of people like it.  If you haven’t checked out this little gem, you need to give it a shot.


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