C.H.U.D. (1984)

chud poster 1984 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

C.H.U.D. is awesomely average

Great C.H.U.D. effects.

Movie Info

Movie Name: C.H.U.D.

Studio: New World Pictures

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): August 31, 1984

MPAA Rating: R

chud cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller

Here come the C.H.U.D.s!

George Cooper (John Heard) is doing a photography piece about the people living under the streets of New York City but learns that the underground people are disappearing and fearing for their lives.  Meanwhile, soup-kitchen operation Reverend Shepherd (Daniel Stern) finds his clientele are also disappearing.  As both Shepherd and Cooper seek answers, a detective named Bosch (Christopher Curry) searches for his missing wife, and all three are about to discover the cause of the disappearances…C.H.U.D.s.

Directed by Douglas Cheek, C.H.U.D. had a small release.  The film had a major rewrite, and the reedited version was the film that was released to theaters.  The film’s VHS released gained a cult audience became both a joke and a pop-culture reference.  The original edit of the film has since been released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

chud neck stretch cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller

The C.H.U.D.s display magical neck powers!

C.H.U.D. was one of those horror movies I rented multiple times as a kid.  Monster movies weren’t the biggest thing in the ’80s (slashers of course ruled) and C.H.U.D. was relatively harmless with little nudity and some really fake gore…creating my love for the film.

C.H.U.D. (of course) stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller but also is referenced as Containment Hazard Urban Disposal which appears on the nuclear waste boxes causing all the problems.  The homeless got into the nuclear waste and became C.H.U.D.s…and everyone knows C.H.U.D.s just want to eat.  The movie is completely based around this and has the C.H.U.D.s randomly attacking people in New York City (the dirty ’80s NYC).  It is fun and light hearted but poorly written with tons of anticlimactic moments…but I can’t help loving it as a result.

The cast was rather decent for the time with John Heard coming off the popular Cat People and Breaking Away vet Daniel Stern as the preacher.  He is joined by Christopher Curry as the police officer who is out to solve the disappearances.  Kim Greist has the obligatory shower ’80s shower scene (immediately after calling the cops to come over…guess she thought they’d take a while).  It is a rather low-key cast but despite the goofy premise of the movie, all the actors seem to take it seriously.  The movie also features early small roles by John Goodman and Jay Thomas…victims of the C.H.U.D.s.

chud new york sewers cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller

Once the C.H.U.D.s work their way into your hearts…there is no way to let them go.

C.H.U.D. also has rather low budget effects.  The monsters were originally intended to look more human (which would make more sense within the context of the plot), but evolved into weird mutated monsters…that randomly can stretch their necks really long to get their heads chopped off.  It doesn’t make much sense, but that is part of the beauty of the film.

C.H.U.D. is kind of a joke of a movie, but it is a movie that made the leap to pop-culture with even The Simpsons, Castle, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force referencing it.  C.H.U.D. is probably more frustrating in that it isn’t as bad as it could be but it also isn’t great…landing it in that limbo between “so bad it is good” and actually being good…but I still love it and could watch it at any time…just like it was 1984.  C.H.U.D. was followed by a straight-to-video movie called C.H.U.D. II:  Bud the C.H.U.D. in 1989.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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