C.H.U.D. (1984)
November 7, 2022 9:58 AM - Subscribe

Photographer George Cooper (John Heard) is documenting the lives of subterranean homeless people, a population that has mysteriously dwindled. After receiving information from a reporter, George becomes aware of a conspiracy theory about cannibalistic monsters lurking in the sewers. He teams up with the reporter, a policeman (Christopher Curry) and an eccentric who runs a soup kitchen (Daniel Stern) to fight two battles: one against the cannibals and the other against corrupt government conspiracy.

Also starring Kim Greist, Frankie Faison, John Goodman, Jay Thomas.

Directed by Douglas Cheek. Written by Parnell Hall.

29% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Amazon Prime, Hoopla, Tubi, Arrow, Pluto, and Plex. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is really a lot more po-faced serious in tone than something titled "CHUD" and billed as a horror comedy would lead you to believe. Whatever magical nostalgia kitsch junk charm this has for other people did not land for me. It's weird enough and has enough famous people in it that I can see how it could be fun in some cases, though.

Also appallingly badly lit.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:00 AM on November 7, 2022

(On the lighting... It's low budget, so yeah, it's cheap in lots of ways, but the lighting is remarkably similar to my first year Film & Video production class, when we just fired up a more or less random--though nearly always excessive--combo of the stage lights above us and let 'er rip.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:10 AM on November 7, 2022

Watch the first one just so you can enjoy the sequel, where they were much more aware of what people wanted from a movie called C.H.U.D. and delivered it.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 10:30 AM on November 7, 2022

the opening scene of Jordan Peele's Us shows a TV playing Hands Across America. to the sides of the TV are some VHS cassettes. one of the is C.H.U.D., nice little bit of foreshadowing...
posted by supermedusa at 10:35 AM on November 7, 2022

C.H.U.D. has its pleasures to be sure. I remember a truck exploding due to a pothole? delightful. But I feel like it gets attention over more enjoyable B-movie shtick because "C.H.U.D." is so very fun to say. Which is fair play as far as I'm concerned when you're talking about movies this stupid.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 11:38 AM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

This is really a lot more po-faced serious in tone than something titled "CHUD" and billed as a horror comedy

It's an Alien/Aliens thing -- CHUD 2 is an entirely different genre than CHUD, and is much more straightforwardly a zombie movie like Return of the Living Dead.

CHUD goes in the same pile with Prophecy, the one about the mutant bear.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:37 PM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

How weird. I decided to watch this a few weeks ago. I remember seeing it in the video store all the time back in the '80s and '90s and finally decided to check it out.

It's not great. But it's kind of fun in a "watch a cheesy movie" way. The photographer is living with the model and apparently they make money by him taking pictures of her all the time? Doesn't work that way... it's a purely goofy idea. And though the film is pretty sympathetic to the plight of the homeless characters, they do use the term "bag lady" to describe a homeless woman, which is pure 1980s. Daniel Stern is fun to watch, and the other actors do a pretty decent job with what they were given. The acting is pretty good overall, the problem is that it looks cheap and is not even sorta scary.

And yeah... I'm not so sure they were really going for comedy with this. It's really "po faced" as mentioned above, and my guess is they leaned into the concept of it being a comedy-horror after audiences started laughing at it.

I'd recommend it if you like goofy '80s flicks.
posted by SoberHighland at 3:49 PM on November 7, 2022

Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. Taking up space in my head since 1984.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:53 PM on November 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

Aw man, I lost this and Prophecy and a bunch of others in a box of basement tapes that got wet in a flood. Off to see if some kind soul has uploaded The Boogens to YouTube.
posted by bartleby at 12:09 AM on November 8, 2022

The Boogens is $1.99 on prime video nowadays.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:48 AM on November 8, 2022

I would only pay two bucks to confirm my memory that Boogens is the movie where some guy says "I'm going to town for supplies", and comes back in the next scene with a cardboard box marked 'SUPPLIES'.
posted by bartleby at 11:01 AM on November 8, 2022

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