'C.H.U.D. (Special Edition)' [Blu-ray]
(John Heard, Daniel Stern, John Goodman, Frankie Faison, Patricia Richardson, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray / R / (1984) 2016 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: From the subterranean depths it crawls! Finally making its long-awaited debut on Blu-ray, director Douglas Cheek's cult 80's favorite 'C.H.U.D.' is the ultimate underground movie experience!
Blu-ray Verdict: Basically summed up, 'C.H.U.D.' is a bizarre story about a bizarre series of murders in New York City that seem to point toward the existence of a race of mutant cannibals living under the streets!
Ha, so, yeah, sure it's got a low budget, but the story is good (probably with a grain of truth, too!) and the sewer sets look good. Daniel Stern is great as the cook/manager of a soup kitchen who is wondering where his assorted homeless buddies have disappeared to. Christopher Curry is also very good as a police officer searching for his missing wife. The scenes with Curry and Stern are funny and it's neat to watch a friendship develop between them as they deal with the rampaging "CHUD"s.
Hey, also watch for John Goodman as a cop who gets slaughtered in a diner, because this was one of his earliest screen roles. "C.H.U.D." (short for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) is just chock full of silly goodness and most all of it is played out just perfectly fort he viewer - who is, most definitely, in on the gag!
I mean, there's an originality to the movie as well. I really like the way the story comes together from so many angles; the cop, the cook, the photographer, and the reporter. There are bad elements as well (aren't there always), so playing Devil's Advocate for a second, the first one is the shower scene towards the end of the film! What in the hell was that all about?! The chick pokes her shower drain, blood spews everywhere, cut back later and she's fine with no mention of it again. I knew it was coming, I rewound five times and yet it still makes no sense to me, sorry! It's like that one scene had been forgotten to be cut or something! Oh, and for the record, as most everyone will testify, it has a really piss poor ending, sorry!
That all said, 'C.H.U.D.' is a leisurely-paced movie with a few good shocks and cool effects. I loved the C.H.U.D. costume too! The movie has an amateurish quality about it at times, but that works in its favor. There's a griminess about it that can't be easily faked. You certainly don't see movies that look like this in today's era of horror, where everything is smoothly polished with an over-reliance on CGI. But, WARNING! ... stay away from the terrible comedy sequel 'C.H.U.D. 2 - Bud the Chud' (1989) unless you REALLY like bad, campy horror. 'C.H.U.D.' is freaking Shakespeare compared to 'C.H.U.D. 2', trust me! This is a new High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Brand new restoration from original film elements
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original Uncompressed Mono PCM audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary by director Douglas Cheek, writer Shepard Abbott, and actors John Heard, Daniel Stern and Christopher Curry
Brand new crew interviews
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film