GGNQR: C.H.U.D. (1984)

Truly the most acronym-heavy headline ever to grace this webpage. Last night I was feeling really blog-lazy, and almost posted a review body that just read “sucks.” Then when I woke up this morning, I fought away the temptation to type “D.U.D.”—which I’m sure was used to hilaaaarious effect back in ’84—and leave it at that. I guess what I’m getting at is I watched C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) for the first time on Sunday and didn’t really dig it.

It’s not going to take long to boil down what doesn’t work about C.H.U.D., though, it’s just a completely directionless flick with a great premise and no one capable to deliver on its potential. There isn’t even really a lead to hold everything together. John Heard seems like he might be the protagonist at first, but then the movie forgets about him for a while as it focuses on Daniel Stern, a shelter worker that knows the ins and outs of the underground homeless community, while he helps Christopher Curry solve a missing persons case.

Then it occasionally goes back and forth between the two and Heard, eventually unleashing the titular humanoids on the audience in a couple forgettable scenes of violence. That’s where the real disappointment lies. The creatures themselves look pretty rad, and there are some other good effects like some convincing prosthetic heads and decent, if brief, gore. There’s a lot that could have been done with the simple setup of radioactive humanoids living in the sewers and eviscerating winos as they rise to the surface, but it’s really just boring.

C.H.U.D. is the kind of “cult classic” that should be remade. Not because it’s a movie that deserves the treatment, but because it’s one that needs it.

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