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C.H.U.D.
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31 out of 36 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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20 out of 22 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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27 out of 36 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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21 out of 25 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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15 out of 20 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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15 out of 22 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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13 out of 19 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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15 out of 25 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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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"C.H.U.D."'s No Dud, But It Sure Piles On The Crud!

6/10
Author: ferbs54 from United States
9 December 2009

A movie more well known today for its infamous acronym of a title than anything else, "C.H.U.D." (short for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers...as well as something else) is a shoddily made, dingy affair from 1984 that still manages to somehow entertain. In it, the city of New York has come under attack by these monstrous denizens of the sewer lines and subway system (or is that a redundancy?), the result of the ill-considered dumping of radioactive waste by those bastids at the NRC, and a beleaguered cop (Christopher Curry), a hippy-type soup kitchen owner (Daniel Stern) and a hunky fashion photographer (John Heard) try to get to the, uh, bottom of the escalating nastiness. Befitting its grimy underground milieu and many seedy characters, the film has a dark, dirty feel but is still fun to watch; "C.H.U.D."'s no dud, but it sure piles on the crud! The film would surely have benefited from a larger budget--its glowing-orbed monsters look pretty ridiculous when seen clearly--but still features decent-enough acting, an effectively somber synth score by Cooper Hughes, an explosive shower scene, John Goodman and Jay Thomas (of all people!) as a pair of goofy cops, and some mildly effective gross-outs. As far as monster movies go, it is nothing special, but still fun enough, and deserving of much more than the "Bomb" rating that the drips at Maltinville have given it. And really, how can you dislike any film that manages to quote from both the Grateful Dead's "Uncle John's Band" AND Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime"? The picture is well presented on this Anchor Bay DVD, and includes some interesting extras as well. As revealed in the book "DVD Delirium," not to be missed is the hidden "Easter egg" extra, located by clicking on the C.H.U.D.'s eyes in the main menu. Fans of the film's female star, Kim Greist, should certainly appreciate this one! And oh...I love the appropriate name of the actor who plays the film's coroner: Henry Yuk!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"They're not staying down there anymore!"

Author: Backlash007 from Kentucky
3 September 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

~Spoiler for Anchor Bay edition~

C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) is a classic monster movie with an urban exterior and a very gritty interior. It has a good story, cool looking creatures and lots of familiar faces. These faces include John Heard, Daniel Stern, Eddie Jones, genre veteran Frankie Faison, an unrecognizable Jon Polito, and even John Goodman. There's an originality to the movie as well. I really like the way the story comes together from so many angles; the cop, the cook, the photographer, and the reporter. There are bad elements as well (aren't there always). The first is the shower scene towards the end of the film. What in the hell was that all about?? The chick pokes her shower drain, blood spews everywhere, cut back later and she's fine with no mention of it again. That scene makes no sense whatsoever. Also, it has a really poor ending. There's is one line about the trucks being rigged to explode, so you really have to be paying attention. If not, when the truck does explode, you will be clueless. There's no real resolution to the C.H.U.D. situation either. We're left to believe they all just died in the sewer. All this negative stuff happens in the last 20 minutes however, so the good portion outweighs the bad. All in all, C.H.U.D. (and I'm going against the grain here) is well done B-movie.

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