C.H.U.D. (Chud)

1984

C.H.U.D. (Chud)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

29%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 14

33%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,850
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C.H.U.D. (Chud) Photos

Movie Info

People are disappearing all over the Big Apple. Nobody cares, though, because most of the missing are homeless. But when investigative reporter Murphy (J.C. Quinn) tips off principled photographer George Cooper (John Heard) to a government conspiracy involving the dumping of nuclear waste beneath the streets, Cooper decides to dig a little deeper. Soon he discovers the existence of C.H.U.D.s, or "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers," derelicts who have become grotesque monsters after being exposed to the mountains of hazardous waste. Meanwhile, Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry), a cop whose wife is among the missing, forms an unlikely alliance with the Reverend (Daniel Stern), a leftist soup-kitchen cook who knows the score. Murphy, Cooper, Bosch, and the Reverend soon run up against the stonewalling tactics of Wilson (George Martin), a government toadie. As the titular monsters begin to tire of their underground habitat, the protagonists -- including Cooper's wife, beautiful model Lauren Daniels (Kim Greist) -- face a race against time to defeat not only the C.H.U.D.s, but the government's cover-up. The debut, and only film, from writer Parnell Hall and director Douglas Cheek, C.H.U.D. was followed by 1989's C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the C.H.U.D. Co-stars Stern and Heard would later appear together in the first two Home Alone pictures, while Curry would appear in the third.

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Cast

John Heard
as George Cooper
Daniel Stern
as A.J. 'The Reverend' Shepherd
Kim Greist
as Lauren Daniels
Christopher Curry
as Captain Bosch
Laure Mattos
as Flora Bosch
Kim Geist
as Lauren Daniels
Brenda Currin
as Francine the Landlady
Cordis Heard
as Officer Sanderson
Eddie Jones
as Chief O'Brien
Frank Adu
as Interrogation Cop
J.C. Quinn
as Murphy
Ray Baker
as Ad Man
Gene O'Neill
as Jackson
John Ramsey
as Commissioner
Henry Yuk
as Coroner
Ivar Brogger
as Goonery NRC Man
John Goodman
as Cops in Diner
Jay Thomas
as Cops in Diner
Hallie Foote
as Waitress
Jon Polito
as Newscaster
Mark Mikulski
as Cop at Wrecked Diner
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Critic Reviews for C.H.U.D. (Chud)

All Critics (14) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (10)

Audience Reviews for C.H.U.D. (Chud)

  • Jun 03, 2016
    Not fantastic in practice, but presents a sweet idea and wraps it around some complex characters all the same. The suspense it tries to cultivate would probably have worked more efficiently if it wasn't spoiled in the opening scene. At least the C.H.U.D.s looked cool.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2014
    You know exactly what to expect when the film's initials stand for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller. You can't go into this expecting a cinema masterpiece. Something as revolutionary, or essential, as Fritz Lang's Metropolis or M. I mean maybe this is an essential if you're talking about midnight movies, but I highly doubt that. Granted the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller is a bit of a red herring as it the initials end up standing for something else. But, for all intents and purposes, let's go with the cannibalistic part. I can't even begin to think about how to review this film. First of all, this film brought Christopher Curry, Daniel Stern, James Heard, Sam McMurray, John Goodman to the character actor forefront. So this movie is certainly more influential than most others of this ilk. Then again, I really doubt that this film could be solely attributed to each of those actors' subsequent successes. But it's impressive to see how many great character actors came out of this film. The film is almost exactly what you would expect. It's certainly very rough going at the start and it took a while before I really got into it. Once the mystery starts to unravel about what is happening underground, that's when the film certainly picks up. It's obvious this isn't meant to be taken seriously, it's really played for laughs, I don't think there's any way that this was meant to be something serious...even in the early-to-mid 80s. I think these people had the foresight that this film would, somehow, stand the test of time and in a lot of ways it actually ages better than most 80s horror movies. I say that in the way that so many of these films have characters, songs, elements, etc. that were far heavily influenced by the time they were in. That's more than understandable, no complaints there. Of course the era the movie is made in is gonna have some sort of influence. But this movie has none of that. There are no jokes that are pertinent to the era it was made in. No cultural, political, or societal jokes that only adults alive in the 80s would understand. Either that or people born post-80s that are so obsessed with the decade that they know every little nuance and detail of every joke. I think that makes the film infinitely more watchable than a lot of films of the decade. With that said, I still think a lot of 80s horror movies are fun because of their campy charm, so it's not like I'm complaining. It's just something about this movie that instantly jumps out at you. The gore is actually surprisingly good as well. I don't wanna say it's super realistic, but it's more realistic than other slasher films of the same era. It's another facet of the film that ages surprisingly well. Of course, the costumes for the C.H.U.Ds aren't great, but even in the 80s, this looked like an incredibly low-budget horror film. But they still made it work as far as the gore went. I mean this film is absurd, it's ridiculous, but it's funny. Don't let the rating fool you, the movie is more fun than the rating implies. It's one of those movies that you can watch once every year and have fun watching it, even if the film itself isn't great, or even good. So I can't really complain, even if I found this average, there's still some fun to be had here. You get what you expect with a movie called C.H.U.D.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 04, 2012
    *1/2 out of **** With a title that literally serves as an acronym for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller, "C.H.U.D." probably wants to be a whole lot crazier than it actually is. That is perhaps the film's biggest crime; it has a set-up that could be used to spread the word of thoughtful and intelligent horror movie-making but at the same time it could be a textbook example of shlock cinema of the 80's, but instead if fails to meet either of those standards, which are both higher and lower than they initially seem. I will say what I say every time a cult horror film doesn't work out for me: I fail to understand how for some people, one or two bizarre scenes amount to a good time. This film feels so restrained and so distant; as if it wants to break free and simply be wild as it should be. Nevertheless, it is what it is; and while I'm not exactly sure what "it" is, I do know it's not a good movie. Here's the premise (you're gonna love this, probably more than the movie itself): Manhattan's homeless population are retreating to the sewers and coming into contact with toxic waste which in turn transforms them into mutant beasts with sharp, demon-like claws and eyes with a bright yellow glow. These creatures are first noticed when the unaffected homeless start requesting guns and the like. The police get involved; particularly Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry), who goes underground to investigate the disappearances of homeless people with the man who runs the city's homeless shelter, known as "The Reverend" (Daniel Stern). A down-on-his-luck photographer (John Heard) is also involved in uncovering the dark secrets that lurk just below them. The film was obviously conceived as a response to New York's underground homeless population at the time (which was the upper end of the 80's). I've always felt that good horror movies serve as parables for real-life issues and concerns and events, but "C.H.U.D." is far from the best of horror films. It is a watchable attempt, but a failed one nevertheless. And by failed, I mean near-miserably failed. It's bland, it's stupid, and it's mostly unimaginative; but no disrespect to those who admire it. If you enjoy your trash simple and lame, this is bound to be your cup of tea. Me, I'm a little more tasteful when it comes to my tasteless entertainment. No matter how much of your brain you leave behind, "C.H.U.D." appears to either be demanding that you use more or it or less. It doesn't seem like a very big-budget production to me (the monsters are pretty goofy looking when you finally do get a good look at them, and they should have remained in the shadows the entire time, because the mere presence of the glowing, yellow eyes is kind of ominous on its own), but I know from experience with other films and other directors that if a filmmaker is truly inspired and creative, they can turn rags into riches. This film in particular really confuses me. It doesn't feel professional, yet I'm told the studio still interfered with the script and such, even forcing an extensive re-write, which a lot of the people on board were unhappy with. I don't know what to think about that. The original script probably would have produced a better movie overall, but at the same time it would take more than just that (like, you know, kicking Douglas Cheek out of the director's chair) to make the damned thing work. I conclude that "C.H.U.D." does kind of suck, thanks to low production values and an uninteresting plot that consistently juggles urban horror story with big-city cop drama with perplexingly disorganized results. I'm giving it a few points because as I mentioned earlier, it's not completely unwatchable; and it's got a few good scenes (like a bloody shower sequence and some nice shots that truly highlight the film's NY backdrop) that assist it when needed. The actors aren't necessarily God-awful and everyone seems at least somewhat dedicated to trying to make this one work out. But this is a bad, boring, and near-horrible movie; there's no mistaking that. I know that some people like it, probably for purely nostalgic reasons (which I can totally understand), but even from a movie with such a ridiculous premise going for it, I expected a lot more. But a lot more what? More insanity, more creativity, more passion, more entertainment value. The film isn't devoid of heart, but it is unfortunately completely devoid of any intrigue.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2011
    For a film with a cheesy, self-explanatory title, the characters are shockingly well-developed and multilayered. A seemingly random attack in the opening actually interlocks with Bosch's rabid motivation in determining the source of the disappearances. George is a cynical photographer whose girlfriend is expecting their first child. Reverend is an ex-convict who is mystified why his homeless customers are not frequently returning. Everyone in the cast (which is like a 'Home Alone' reunion) grounds the mutant shenanigans around them. A scene with a geiger count and a hazmat team skulking through the sewer is eerily reminiscent of 'Aliens' which proves its influence on other filmmakers. Truthfully, the monsters are only glimpsed occasionally and should've had more screen time. In summation, this is a pungently written, suspenseful and loquacious B-movie that is the epitome of why 80's horror movies were superior to current horror movies: we mold an inextricable bond with the characters and feel squeamish when they are in danger.
    Cory T Super Reviewer

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