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“Little Johnny didn’t sleep well that night. It may have been due to his new Hasbro’s Demon from Hell night-light.“
When I was a young kid my biggest fears were 1. Having my parents continue to dress me in country western shirts and friction inducing corduroy pants for school and 2. That creatures living in the sewer would come up through the toilet and drag me down to their netherworld. Both of which give me bad flashbacks and why to this day I have yet to use a public bathroom in a rodeo bar. My older cousins would also say those giant green porta-potties were simply a means to transport the toilet creatures from one part of the country to another only furthering my phobias. Sure maybe it was a hoax on a gullible fashion-challenged kid or perhaps it was a part of a larger undercover government conspiracy to thin crowds at county fairs and racing events. The truth may never be known.
In the movie C.H.U.D., the director apparently suffered some of the same childhood dramas as myself and used filmmaking for his therapy. C.H.U.D supposedly stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. Run for your lives! It’s an acronym movie title… oh the horrors! but wait it turns out that it actually stands for Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal which is the name of a secret government policy to dump toxic waste under the city streets of New York. Would New Yorkers even notice the difference…probably not, that is until a cute little dogs get mutilated and a photographer starts screening his calls…thats when the cops are called into action. Christopher Curry plays Captain Bosch…a good cop with a disturbing mustache who is trying to find out the cause of the sudden disappearance of his wife and dozens of homeless people in the city. He meets A.J. played by City Slicker Daniel Stern, a centaurian looking fellow who runs a soup kitchen and is occasionally out-acted by his enormous hair or stained shirts. A.J. (when will the acronyms end!) is convinced that his homeless friends are being snatched up by someone or something in the sewers like a demonic Leona Helmsley looking for a few new hotel servants. The captain isn’t convinced though until they discover a giant moon boot and a clock radio that also acts as a geiger counter…shoot I have those things in my basement and I don’t have a CHUD problem….yet. The clock radio lights up like a Christmas tree indicating something is moving towards them and then the something starts growling. They express mild concern in the possibility of a horrible mutant creature about to munch on their innards and casually head back to the surface to attend a board meeting, successfully diffusing what could have been a actual tense situation.
Meanwhile in what seems like a completely different movie, George Cooper played by John “made for t.v. movie” Heard is taking photos of his pipe-cleaner shapely girlfriend, Lauren, who complain about pimples on her butt and wants to have lots of babies. George is also trying to hunt down one of his other star photo models, a homeless bag lady whom he has to bail out of jail. She brings him down below the city streets for a tunnel of garbage tour and to show him a chewed up leg which resembles someone’s unfinished BBQ ribs dinner platter.
A plot finally tries to rear it’s ugly head but thankfully is squashed via long scenes of useless dialog and dull boardroom scenes that play right out of a community theater production. Where is the cannibalism!? Government and city officials deny the existence of the C.H.U.D.S. then Daniel Stern has a temper tantrum and throws a book silently across the desk and suddenly they starting telling the truth. Guantanamo Bay should take notice on these interrogation techniques.
The officials decide to destroy the mutants by attempting to gas the tunnels and seal off the manholes. Meanwhile the captain simultaneously decides to send in a squad of police officer armed with standard issued flame throwers apparently forgetting the devastating results of what happens when you light a fart only on a much bigger scale.
A.J. and George end up trapped underground as a few escaping mutants attack John Goodman dressed as a copy at a local Diner. The John Goodman sized-snack doesn’t seem to ruin their appetites and they continue their night of rampage. Luaren is also attacked by a C.H.U.D. in her apartment but her class on samurai sword fighting self-defense at the YMCA finally pays off. She then steals a police car with keys still in the ignition and hightails it to the diner to find out where her boyfriend is. The scapegoat government official will do anything to make sure the public doesn’t know about the mutants and attempts to kill all the witnesses including A.J. and George still trapped below the city streets. Always better to kill every innocent bystander then letting them know you were illegally dumping toxic waste.
C.H.U.D is pure 80’s horror cheese. The gory effects are great and the over the top acting made this an enjoyable afternoon movie between info-mercials about carpet cleansers and botox creams. So I say CHUD it out….and always be sure to check the toilet seat before sitting.
Keep an eye out for….
– professional phone screening
– elf-like neighbors
– canine lynch mobs
– standard police issued flame throwers
– mutant neck extenders
– extreme shirt staining
– epileptics with rambo knives
– boardroom theater shows
– coin eaters…keep the change
– lost moon boots
– ground chuck-o-legs
– clock radio’s with optional geiger counters
– aggressive pay phone collectors
– shower clogs
– highbeam eye-lights
– gratuitous use of the term “manhole”
– explosive bread delivery trucks
Name that CHUD
a. Chihuahua Hound Undersized Dogs
b. Communist Hungarian Urban Development
d. Contortionist Hiding Under Desks
e. Contaminated Husband’s Underwear Discovery
f. all of the above
rated 7.6 out of 10 for the movie
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Watch the trailer for “C.H.U.D.”