WEIRDO’WEEN #18: C.H.U.D. [1984]

PLEASE NOTE: If you follow me on Facebook, I posted saying that this was technically supposed to be posted yesterday, and with Firefox being lame, my entire post deleted itself and didn’t save a draft copy! I was also extremely busy after getting frustrated, as I was part of something all day so I didn’t get home last night until about 10:30pm; therefore, I’m stuck writing two reviews today, starting with yesterday’s now; and today’s tonight. [if that makes any sense]

Thanks for understanding, and now-

on to the actual review!

weirdoween2015It’s always in New York isn’t it? [sorry, any New York readers] It’s either Monsters, Aliens, Super heroes, or anything else that isn’t supposed to happen in the world..

Today’s [although, technically yesterday’s] movie review also takes place in New York, specifically – New York City where a group of bizarre murders seem to point to a group of grotesquely deformed homeless people living in the sewers. To find out what’s happening, it’s going to take a courageous policeman, a photo journalist and his girlfriend, and a nutty bum – who seems to know a lot about the creatures then he lets on, to try and figure out just what is going on, and how to stop them from continuing.

The movie itself isn’t a masterpiece to say in the least, with it’s small budget and little to unknown actors but, it has itself a cult following that the fans love – for being less than good. But for as awkward, terrible, and weird of a film it comes across as – I enjoy the movie. That’s right, I enjoyed C.H.U.D.

weirdo'ween-#18

C.H.U.D. or Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, is an odd film. It’s notorious for having a low budget… but the story is alright, and the sewer sets look decent when they crawl to the underground. Daniel Stern is the cook/manager of a soup kitchen who is wondering where his assorted homeless buddies have disappeared to. But it’s Christopher Curry who is very good as a police officer searching for his missing wife. These scenes with Curry and Stern are funny [and not only due to the bad acting] and it’s interesting to watch their friendship develop as they deal with the rampaging CHUDs. One interesting note: watch for John Goodman as a cop, being as this is one of his earliest roles, he does get slaughtered in a diner. It’s cheesy, but it’s entertaining to say in the least. It’s not a bad scene, it just could have been..more.

If we were to look back to when the movie was made, the creature effects were actually quite good..at least for what they were. But, of course, with today’s standard – they are quite primitive looking and they feel like they’re out of date. The music score in the movie bears typical tones of 80’s horror music, being symphonic in a way that will almost always lead up to the scares. And it does work well, think about it; without such music, horror movies would be less interesting to watch.

Unfortunately, this is where the entertainment value drops – dramatically. The problems are high with movie, with it’s direction feeling like it’s lacking, the pacing being really off, and one of the biggest flaws is with it being it’s basic story construction. Simply put, there are too many characters. Kim Greist is an alright person to look at, but her character is really tacked on – I mean, she just gives us a pretty face to put in danger.. She and John Heard have no chemistry whatsoever, and it’s damn near impossible to believe they’re supposed to act as a couple. Even if these kinds of problems are found in some of the most watchable of horror films, why is it so noticeable here? One flaw, that people bring up a lot is that C.H.U.D. just isn’t scary or even remotely exciting.. The C.H.U.D. “monsters”, who we learn are actually homeless people exposed to radiation, look kind of cool. [see above!] But they don’t seem to move fast enough to be a threat to anyone under age 80.. It’s as if the movie itself relies on their sharp claws and teeth to make them seem formidable; which doesn’t work as effectively as one would hope. We don’t see enough of them in action either, and when we do; it’s only body parts and wounds that are shown on their victims. If you know even a little bit about movie editing, this is a sure tell sign of a very low budget.

Also, because of it’s alright script, why wouldn’t the government, who’s working with big industry types, be the big bad? One concern/complaint I have is by the end of the movie, after things seem to going for the worse, the head of the chemical company is killed – and then the film concludes abruptly. Wait. What this implies then is killing man in charge of all that chemical waste was all that really needed to be done in order to stop the C.H.U.D.s? But, what about all of the other monsters still left in the sewers?? Other than the one beheaded by Ms. Greist, I don’t recall seeing any of the others killed! Is that the movie’s way of saying that there is a homeless problem in New York City? That’s…kind of strange actually. I don’t get it.

C.H.U.D. is one of those movies that is hard to recommend because it isn’t that great: it’s cheesy, it’s ridiculous, and it’s a cult classic for a reason. It isn’t a gory film, or even remotely scary; but for some reason [probably for how bad it is] it’s enjoyable. So if you’re looking for a movie to waste some time, and you don’t care about the fantastic writing skills – why not try it out? If you don’t make it all the way through the film though, I’ll understand. Y’know, maybe I should talk about an actual good movie next..

But, If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tonight [to make up for having to rewrite yesterday’s] when I talk about weirdo’ween #19! – STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

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