Director: Douglas Cheek
Starring: John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry, Kim Greist, Laure Mattos
Ugly. Slobbing. Ferocious. Carnivorous.
The homeless people who lives underneath the streets in New York is being terrorized by C.H.U.D.’s (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller). More and more have turned up dead, but since no one pays attention to the homeless, nobody knows just how many or even cares about the danger they are in.
Captain Bosch has been stuck with several of these cases without being able to resolve them, but when his wife ends up missing he takes this personal. He joins the photographer George and the soup kitchen cook The Reverend to find out what is causing all of these problems and get rid of it once and for all.
C.H.U.D. is a cheesy 80’s horror film that I in fact had NOT seen before sitting down to watch it last night. I’m not sure how it has escaped me all these years since it has become a cult classic that has been refered to in even the hit TV show The Simpsons. It also got a great title, who wouldn’t want to be a fan of something called C.H.U.D.?
I can’t say that I loved the film, but what I did like is the focus that they put on the homeless in a big city such as New York. How many of these have been killed by the C.H.U.D.’s and how sad is it that the politicians couldn’t care less about them.
The characters also felt well written and the setting was done really well. It’s gritty and dirty, just the way I want my 80’s New York to be. I do think that they could have cut down the main characters and instead of having both the photographer and the detective, they could have focused on only one of them and given him more time to flesh out his character. It also feels like there was a lot of love behind this project, even though I don’t think their abilities lived up to their ambitions.
I loved Daniel Stern’s character A.J. “The Reverend”, he is dirty and perfect for the part and it looks like he had been working at a homeless kitchen for several years before they started to film this. Christopher Curry also delivers a good performance as Captain Bosch and the reason why I would keep him instead of George is because of his drive to find out what has happened to his wife, while I didn’t care much for what the George character was doing and he felt a little redundant to me.
This was the first feature film that director Douglas Cheek had done and he only did a TV movie twenty years later. With a different director who had some experience with genre films then we could have gotten a much better pacing than what we did and I was not convinced by him on this film.
C.H.U.D. might have a cult classic stamp and it’s not that easy to see why. It does have some charm and it’s not terrible by all means, but there’s so many other better monster films from the 80’s out there. If you do like some cheesy 80’s horror, then you should be entertained by this though.