So, I have this thing I do in “real life” all the time. I’ll be somewhere with a friend and I’ll be reminded of something and I will turn to said friend and say, “Hey, have you ever seen [insert movie here]? Because this totally reminds me of that.”
Usually I’m met with a blank stare, not because my friends aren’t into movies, but because seldom few people I know are into movies like I’m into movies, so apparently I’ve seen more movies than most “normal” people.
However, I trust if you’re reading this, you’ll get this reference. C.H.U.D., straight up, is not a good movie. In fact, it really, really blows. But it’s hard for me to take the CHUDs seriously when your creatures look like they’re the long lost cousin of Sloth from The Goonies. Allow me to present the damning evidence:
Seriously, every time one of these things popped up on screen, I just mentally shouted, “Hey, you guyyyys!”
C.H.U.D. is the story of a corrupt set of officials that hide nuclear waste in the city’s subterranean sewer system. Unfortunately for the wrongdoers, there’s a whole bunch of homeless people that have taken up residence in the sewer tunnels who, upon exposure to the waste, mutate into C.H.U.D.s: Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.
The C.H.U.D.s begin to eat other homeless people before beginning to attack surface dwelling New Yorkers.
The script’s no good, the camera work’s not that great and the story itself is a variant of approximately 75,000 other horror/sci-fi movies. But there is one moderately interesting thing about this movie — the cast.
I mean, after finishing this movie, my initial instinct was to think — goodness, Daniel Stern and John Heard were willingly involved in this movie? What’s funnier is after watching Daniel Stern yuck it up in such classic, charming fare as Cabin Boy, his straight-laced, serious performance in C.H.U.D. of all movies as a tireless advocate for the homeless is surrealistic at best. John flippin’ Heard? What’s even weirder is that later on these two would both go on to be in Home Alone.
In a small cameo part is John Goodman. Yes, John flippin’ Goodman was in C.H.U.D. for what felt like 46 seconds as an irritating cop in a diner. This was the only thing that electrified me. I was laying down, half-heartedly watching this piece of crap when all of a sudden, I bolted upright. “Is that really John Goodman? Jesus, that really IS John Goodman!”
When that is the only thing that piqued my interest, you’ve got a problem. It’s an ill-conceived, poorly executed film that only still attracts viewers because of the well-known names in the film. Even the beginning “initial death” in the first three minutes of the frame, which is intended to shock and thrill the viewer, fails miserably.
Close your eyes and imagine your version of what a film involving cannibalistic Morlocks would entail. Chances are, it’s light years better than this movie, and it’s probably involving Sloth-like C.H.U.D.s running around screaming, “Hey, you guys!”