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Movie Review- C.H.U.D. (1984)- The Terror Beneath

A blood-soaked creature feature, like its titular monsters, C.H.U.D (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller), has managed to lurch out of the night and into cult status, being referenced throughout popular culture, from The Simpsons to Castle and even receiving an ill-fated sequel C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud (1987).

The plot centres around photographer George Cooper (John Heard), who finds himself drawn into the bizarre, sprawling subterranean world of New York’s homeless population when a number of them start to go missing. Also drawn into this mystery are a police captain (Christopher Curry) and the manager of the local soup kitchen (played by Daniel Stern, of later Home Alone fame) who launch their own investigation into the mystery when the authorities fail to. They discover that the vagrants are being preyed on by flesh-hungry mutants, born of toxic waste haphazardly discarded in New York’s sewers. But they face a far worse monster in the form of a corrupt bureaucrat (George Martin), whose attempt at a cover-up only exacerbate the problem.

The film suffers from an inconsistent focus, with the two main plots that run throughout the film become entangled at points. and interfere with the pacing of the film. It’s clear that it would have been a far stronger film had it chose to focus on just one. Nevertheless, the film sustains the viewer’s investment through a cast of likeable characters, great practical effects with some genuine scares sprinkled in. It incorporates the science- fiction horror of the fifties along the lines of Them! (1952) and with the grimy, poverty-riddled Taxi Driver– esque New York cityscape to create a film with a truly unique aesthetic.

In conclusion, C.H.U.D. is a gleefully schlocky, bloody monster movie that is a welcome selection for any Friday movie night.



One thought on “Movie Review- C.H.U.D. (1984)- The Terror Beneath

  1. I’m kind of surprised I’ve only seen this once, maybe twice. Been meaning to check out the sequel because of how bad it reportedly is. Daniel Stern is an underrated actor. I liked him in Leviathan too.


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