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C.H.U.D.
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Reviews & Ratings for
C.H.U.D. More at IMDbPro »

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25 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Good movie, GREAT commentary track.

6/10
Author: RetroRoger from United States
10 September 2004

Best exchange of the movie, between Daniel Stern's 'Reverend' character, and John Heard's 'Cooper', after Stern has just rescued Heard from a homeless couple who were transforming into cannibals:

Stern: "You Cooper?"

Heard: "Yeah ... who are you?"

Stern: "I run the soup kitchen ..."

Heard: "On Kenman?"

Stern: "Right ..."

Heard: "THANK GOD THEY DELIVER!"

You have to see it to appreciate it. The fact that this dialogue was ad-libbed says a lot about the gonzo film-making that produced C.H.U.D.

Story writer Shep Abbott came up with the word, "CHUD" during a party with actors Stern and Heard. The trio then brainstormed a movie idea around the word, Abbott wrote up an extreeemely rough draft (he'd never written a screenplay before), and it ended up on the slush pile of producer Andrew Bonime.

Bonime tried to get Abbott to polish the script, but was never satisfied with the rewrites (partially due to Abbott's inexperience), and took the screenplay away from Abbott, giving it to writer Parnell Hall.

Bonime had picked up the project partially because Abbott could get Daniel Stern and John Heard to star. (Heard and Stern have worked together in a number of movies over the years, including 'Home Alone I & II' and 'The Milagro Beanfield War'.)

The two actors agreed to work for scale plus a percentage of the profits, but insisted that Christoper Curry be hired to play the part of Police Detective Bosch, and that Douglas Cheek be hired as director. This didn't sit well with Bonime, but he agreed and the movie was produced.

Stern and Heard were not happy with what had been done to their friend's original script, and did their own page re-writes and ad-libs, which director Cheek left in the final cut. Bonime insisted that a shower scene with actress Kim Griest be written in, which Stern, Heard, and Cheek still complain about, 17 years later, on the DVD's audio commentary.

However, the unedited version of the shower scene (with Griest's body double) appears as an easter egg on the DVD. (From the main menu, click on Extras. At the top of the Extras menu is 'Trailer'. Click the Up button on your remote, and the eyes of the C.H.U.D. in the background will be highlighted. Click Enter, and the 'Unabridged Scene' will play.)

Despite, or perhaps because of, the civil war on the set, C.H.U.D. is a pretty decent horror relic from the 80's. Watch the movie first, then listen to Stern, Heard, Curry, Cheek, and Abbott do a hilarious commentary track. Stern boos and hisses when Parnell Hall's name comes on the screen. You'll find out that most of the cast are wives, sisters, or good friends with Stern and Heard. You'll learn how they wanted the monsters to look, and much more. And they really have fond, funny memories of the film, despite all the turmoil.

As a counterpoint to their comments, producer Andrew Bonime set up a website, telling his own side of the story.

Don't miss sitcom stars John Goodman and Jay Thomas in bit parts as extremely unlucky cops, during the movie's last half hour. This scene was placed at the end of the movie during its theatrical release, but has been moved to its correct sequence for the DVD.

I rate the movie, 'C.H.U.D.' a 6; with the commentary track running, it's easily an 8 or 9. Best cut-ups since the MST3K 'bots.

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24 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

C.H.U.D. DVD is a Director's Cut!

10/10
Author: theCHUD from Toronto, Canada
6 February 2001

I have been a big fan of this movie for many years (I love the 80's genre films). Just this weekend I bought the DVD and watched it. To my surprise, I found this version of the film to be about 7 minutes longer than my VHS copy (an original former rental). There are 4 noticable new scenes, the original ending is placed in the middle of the film and the ending is now different (no hint of a sequel). The extra scenes explain Captain Bosch's erratic behavior in the final 15 minutes of the film and gives the overall movie an better flow. If you are a fan of this film, I strongly suggest you pick up the DVD, as this new version is even more enjoyable. Also, it has commentary by the director, screenwriter and the three top billed actors.

Highly recommended for DVD collectors out there!

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable b-grade trash.

Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia
29 April 2003

I can't make a case for 'C.H.U.D.' being one of THE great lost horror movies of the 1980s, but it's surprising just how watchable it is almost twenty years later! The acronym in the title stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (as well as something else, revealed in the movie), and that just about tells you everything you need to know. John Heard, a talented actor who never became the star he was tipped to be (just rent 'Cutter's Way' for proof of his potential), plays a photographer who had taken some photos of homeless people who now seem to have disappeared off the face of the Earth. Kin Griest ('Brazil') plays Heard's supportive girlfriend, Daniel Stern ('Diner') an oddball who runs a soup kitchen who has noticed the absence of many of his regulars, and Christopher Curry ('Starship Troopers') a cop investigating a series of mysterious murders. Their investigations all lead in the same direction.... the sewer. The supporting cast also includes small roles from John Goodman ('The Big Lebowski') and quite a few other comic actors, though 'C.H.U.D.' unlike its sequel is not SUPPOSED to be a comedy. No doubt you will get a few unintentional laughs out of it, as it is pretty cheesy, but it's still entertaining enough in a b-grade way. I haven't seen the DVD of this one yet, which I believe has some amusing commentaries by the cast, but as a stand alone movie it's enjoyable trash and worth a rental.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

B-listers battle homeless monsters for food stamps...

5/10
Author: Jonny_Numb from Hellfudge, Pennsylvania
27 February 2006

"C.H.U.D." is one of those semi-name oddities that always stood out on video store shelves when I was a youth (lamenting the 'parental lock' on all horror movies I so badly wanted to rent), what with the darkened figures congregating around a manhole, eyes glowing white. Years later, I have finally gotten a chance to see the film, and my response is pretty mixed: it lies somewhere between the Land of Campy and the Dominion of Creepy, with some elements of the Retro Rest Area thrown in for good measure. "C.H.U.D." takes a formula familiar to anybody who's seen a '50s 'Big Bug' flick: Evil Guys In Suits are dumping toxic waste where it doesn't belong (in this case, the sewers below Manhattan), thus inspiring some unexpected and unpleasant side effects in the homeless people living under the city--they transform into C.H.U.D.s (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers), reptilian-looking monsters with a taste for human flesh. While the premise is extremely cheesy, director Douglas Cheek teeters the line between camp and horror rather well--not all-out serious nor a straight romp, it strikes a fair balance (the creepily minimalist, synth-driven score helps, too). The cast of semi-name actors (John Heard, Kim Greist, and a wonderfully wiggy Daniel Stern) treat the material at face value, but never wink at the camera, thus engendering a bizarre charm to the events that transpire. Unfortunately, even for a film that plays as fast and loose as "C.H.U.D." does, it leaves a few too many unresolved plot points for my liking. But if you want something a fair distance from the mainstream radar, greased with the grimy spirit of the 1980s, look no further than "C.H.U.D."

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Brother Can You Spare a Dime

Author: BaronBl00d (baronbl00d@aol.com) from NC
17 April 2001

C.H.U.D. is one of those movies that should be bad because its about subterrainian ground-dwellers that are cannibalistic living in a poor area of New York City. There are no big stars in the film, yet John Heard and Daniel Stern are not nobodies either. The budget for the film was obviously limited, yet, despite these possible criticisms, I was pleasantly surprised after seeing this film. This is a wonderful film filled with tension, good acting, a thoughtful script, witty dialogue, and some creatures that certainly looked pretty scary to me. The basic premise of the film is that homeless folks that live underground have come in contact with radioactive materials which transform them into horrible-looking mutants that go on a rampage and kill men and women for dinner. The creatures look quite impressive. This film also throws some social commentary into the mix as well concerning the ever burgeoning homeless problem as well as the storage of harmful wastes. The acting all around was pretty good with Christopher Curry standing out as a policeman and George Martin as a city official seemingly in charge. Good Stuff Here!

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Poorly made but fun 80's trash!

6/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
24 November 2005

The coolest abbreviation in horror cinema stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (as well as something else) and refers to hideous monsters with fluorescent eyes that live in the sewers of Soho. Their existence is the result of years of dumping radioactive toxic waste down there and now these monsters are responsible for an incredible amount of missing-persons cases. Everyone in Soho is affected by the city council's cover-up. Soup kitchen owner A.J reports a lot of his homeless friends missing, independent photographer Cooper is begged for help by people who live underground and police captain Bosh has even lost his wife. For some incomprehensible reason, I always loved this trashy 80's film and can't possibly bring myself to spread negative comments on it, no matter how stupid the plot is or no matter how cheesy the make-up effects actually are. For what it's worth, "C.H.U.D" is a hugely entertaining monster film with a couple of atmospheric set pieces and several comical dialogues. Elements that increase the fun-level are a pointless, yet bloody shower sequence and a C.H.U.D who stretches his neck muscles seemly without a specific goal. This poverty row horror production is surprisingly blessed with a great cast! Daniel Stern, John Heard and Christopher Curry all prove they're gifted actors who never got the breakthrough they deserved. Good fun, highly recommended but – whatever you do – keep away from the retarded sequel.

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

The best B horror movie of the 1984!

9/10
Author: Josh Stoik
13 January 1999

This movie is a perfect blend of bad writing and a cheesy plot. Somehow, the acting was decent and they managed to scrounge up Daniel Stern and John Heard (both of which who were in respectable movies before this). There was also a cameo role from John Goodman. It was a great movie. It is like a bad dream come true, and you can't really admit to liking this, but admit it, you do! You cannot go wrong with people living in the subway and monsters eating people left and right because of a toxic sewage problem under New York.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the best monster movies of the 80's...

10/10
Author: Lone Wolf (cbaile@msaa.com) from South Jersey
29 May 2001

I'm not one who goes for slasher flicks... I never understood the popularity of Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street. But then, this isn't the typical 80's slasher flick... it's a fun and scary monster movie that actually draws emotion from its viewers that make you root for the heroes, despise the villains, and cheer when the CHUDs get the ***t kicked out of them.

Sure, it's got a low budget... but the story is good (probably with a grain of truth, too!) and the sewer sets look good. Daniel Stern is great as the cook/manager of a soup kitchen who is wondering where his assorted homeless buddies have dissapeared to. Christopher Curry is also very good as a police officer searching for his missing wife. The scenes with Curry and Stern are funny and it's neat to watch a friendship develop between them as they deal with the rampaging CHUDs.

Watch for John Goodman as a cop who gets slaughtered in a diner... this was one of his earliest screen roles. Stay away from CHUD 2 unless you REALLY like bad, campy horror. CHUD is freaking Shakespeare compared to CHUD 2.

In short: CHUD is a fun monster movie. Watch it by yourself or with friends... either way it's a good way to spend an hour and a half. Not overly gory like a bad slasher flick, not packed to the gills with nude women. Just a good cast and some funny, scary, and exciting cinema.

It's interesting to note that the original cut of the film that I saw on HBO differs from the regular TV version. The original mentions a slaughter in a diner where there's blood on all the walls but no bodies. At the end, a couple of bums see the CHUDs approaching "another" diner (the John Goodman cameo) and quickly scamper off. The last thing you see is a few CHUDs breaking into the diner to wreck havoc. The TV version has the diner slaughter in the proper timeline... you see it before, during, and after (when the cops find the bloody diner with no bodies). Strange that it would be edited that way, but so be it. 7 out of 10 - but not recommended for the uptight or "serious" moviegoer. If you can't appreciate Tremors, Lake Placid, or even Godzilla, then don't see this movie.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Pathetic movie

1/10
Author: the_big_calhoona from Winnipeg
1 August 2000

This is the most pathetic movie I have ever seen. This movie broke an obvious rule, NEVER TRY TO MAKE A B GRADE HORROR MOVIE SERIOUS. What were they thinking. The high point of C.H.U.D. was a scene where Reverend goes to use a payphone, a guy walks up trying to look all cool and intimidating, clicks the reciever down and eats the quarter. Eventhough this scene makes no sense it provided me with enough entertainment to give this movie 1 star. But I even give it that under protest.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Clichéd, predictable, poorly-made monster movie with some redeeming humor.

3/10
Author: capkronos (capkronos00@hotmail.com) from Ohio, USA
30 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

George Cooper (John Heard) is a burnt out photographer who's trying to take his career in another direction. After spending years shooting fashion and commercial campaigns, he's finally received some acclaim for a piece he's done about the homeless. Now he's being pigeonholed all over again and has been roped into doing a second story on the homeless; this time one about "subterranean bums" living in the tunnels and caves beneath New York City. George doesn't really seem sure what he wants, but his model girlfriend Lauren (Kim Greist) is pregnant and he's happy about it, so I guess he has that much going for him. Elsewhere in the Soho district of Manhattan, people have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Soup kitchen worker A.J. aka The Reverend (Daniel Stern) has noticed a lot of his regulars haven't been showing up for dinner, but the police - headed by Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry) - don't bother starting an investigation until Bosch's own wife and other more esteemed members of the community start turning up missing.

C.H.U.D. stands for two things in this film. Seeing how one of those is "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers," you can probably guess just what has been responsible for the sudden rash of disappearances. The creatures, which are clawed, fanged and have glowing eyes, had once been bums living in the sewers beneath the city until being mutated by exposure to radioactivity and picking up a taste for human flesh in the process. They stay out of sight until they're hungry and then pop out of manholes long enough to drag dinner down there with them. Our trio of heroes eventually learn that Wilson (George Martin) and his cohorts at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have been dumping toxic waste into the NYC sewers for years, and the city's police chief (Eddie Jones) has been helping them cover it all up.

I have no clue what some others see in this dreary and completely routine film aside from the fun title. Hardly anything surprising ever happens. Nearly every frame has been shot before, every character has been seen before, any chance at fun is consistently undermined by the depressing, grimy setting and the whole cover-up subplot is THE laziest possible way to structure one of these things. Other moments, like Greist's character (who contemplates getting an abortion earlier on) getting sprayed down with blood after trying to unclog a bath tub with a clothes hanger, seem like botched attempts at social statement. The creature design isn't exactly awful, but you can certainly see much better-looking creatures elsewhere. C.H.U.D. is also excessively talky. There's a surprisingly low amount of horror scenes, nearly all of the carnage takes place off screen and the creature action is slim, which are the only things that could have possibly made the useless plot worth sitting through.

The only real pluses here are a few good lead actors (whose talents are wasted in service of a film beneath them) and some amusing lines of dialogue (apparently much of it improvised on the spot). There are also brief appearances from some up-and-coming (and now fairly well-known) actors like John Goodman, Sam McMurray and Patricia Richardson. None of them are given much of anything to do here. In fact, the scene with Goodman and comedian Jay Thomas was completed removed from some prints of the film and was also moved around in the narrative to several different places in other cuts. The fact you can put an entire scene in the middle of a movie, at the very end of a movie or remove it altogether and it doesn't make any difference whatsoever pretty much says all that needs to be said about the movie in general.

The film received terrible reviews upon release and wasn't a big hit or anything, but a sequel nobody asked for was made anyway. It turned out to be a follow-up in-name-only and was a zombie comedy that has nothing at all to do with this original film.

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