C.H.U.D. (1984) *1/2
D: Douglas Cheek
C: John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry, Kim Greist, J.C. Quinn, Michael O'Hare, Peter Michael Goetz, John Goodman
Plot Synopsis: A bizarre series of murders in New York City seems to point toward the existence of a race of mutant cannibals living under the streets.
Review: The premise, which involves homeless people being turned into flesh eating monsters after coming into contact with government disposed toxic waste, could've made for an intelligent & thought provoking film. However, with a title like C.H.U.D. (short for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller), it's obvious that they were going for the more sensationalist aspects of the premise vs the more nuanced & considered elements that could've been explored.
Taking that into consideration, the only logical way to judge this is as a guilty pleasure, but even on that level, it misses the mark. There's precious little action involving the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. The creatures, from a special effects standpoint, aren't all that inspired. While there's a few effective scenes of gore & violence, those scenes come few & far between. The cast is solid, but unremarkable. You know things aren't going well, when the high point comes in seeing John Goodman in an early, though brief appearance.
No matter. In a way, C.H.U.D. was doomed from the get go. With such a distinctive title & eye catching artwork, C.H.U.D. had a tall order to live up to and the movie simply isn't up to the task. If I was to judge the title & artwork, alone, I would give it four stars. The film, on the other hand, that's a different matter altogether. [R] 88 minutes.
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