A rash of bizarre murders in New York City seems to point to a group of grotesquely deformed vagrants living in the sewers. A courageous policeman, a photo journalist and his girlfriend, and a nutty bum, who seems to know a lot about the creatures, band together to try and determine what the creatures are and how to stop them.Written by
Philip Brubaker <email@example.com>
A recent article in a New York newspaper reported that there were large colonies of people living under the city... The paper was incorrect. What is living under the city is not human. C.H.U.D. is under the city. See more »
I first heard about '80s creature feature C.H.U.D. in the pages of Fangoria, where I was particularly impressed by a selection of gruesome stills featuring mangled corpses, victims of the film's Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, homeless people who have mutated into hideous monsters after exposure to toxic waste dumped in the sewers. Unfortunately, when I finally caught up with the film on UK home video, I was extremely disappointed: not only was most of the juicy gore absent—which, at the time, I put down to the scissor-happy attitude of the British censors—but the film's pacing was weak and the narrative disjointed.
I later learnt that the version I saw on video was actually a heavily butchered TV edit which screwed around with the order of the scenes. The Director's Cut, now available on DVD, not only includes the missing gore, but also puts events back in their correct order; however, even though things are now as they were originally intended by director Douglas Cheek, C.H.U.D. still feels like it could do with more work, the film devoting far too much screen-time to dull chit-chat when it should be delivering monster mayhem. When the creatures do appear, the film is a lot of fun, the creepy critters boasting rubbery claws, snaggle teeth and glowing eyes; there just isn't enough of the good stuff to offset all of the scenes where very little of interest occurs.
4.5/10, rounded up to 5 for the decapitated heads, one of which belongs to a C.H.U.D. that meets the business end of a samurai sword.
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