Back during the dvd boom of the early 2000’s when Anchor Bay was king, I picked up C.H.U.D. dirt cheap. I love horror movies (obviously) but my favorite kind of horror movie is the monster flick. Gimmie a monster and i’m a happy fan. I watched it and liked it, but didn’t love it. The print was in poor shape and was really grainy. Thanks to Arrow Video, I had the chance to revisit the film in a much more pristine format: Blu-ray.
C.H.U.D. takes place in New York. It stars John Heard as George Cooper, a photographer. His most recent project is taking pictures of homeless people that live underground. He’s invited into the subterranean home of one of the homeless people he knows and finds that one of them has been bitten by…something. Elsewhere, A.J. (played by Daniel Stern) runs a soup kitchen. He’s noticed that nearly all of the homeless people he feeds that live underground in the ancient sewer system have disappeared. He notifies the police and they send Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry) to investigate. Together they discover that there is a cover up going on and that there are…things…living in the sewers that pose a threat to the populace: Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (C.H.U.D.)
The film itself is solid. It features good performances from well known actors and features some fantastic underground locations. This version of the film is a bit longer than the version I had on dvd (i think). There are scenes that i have no recollection of that helped boost the movie in my opinion. There was more gore than i remembered though this certainly isn’t a gore film. We get to see the C.H.U.D.s more than i remembered but i still would have liked even more. As a film, it’s good, not great. If you like 80’s monster flicks, you’ll enjoy it. Will it be your new favorite movie? Maybe not, but you’ll get your money’s worth. Speaking of value, the Blu looks fantastic. The image is sharp and clear and much of the poor image quality is gone. It’s likely the film was shot on 16mm and there’s really only so much that can be done to improve the image but it looks like Arrow did it. The blu also comes with a commentary track, interviews with the crew, an extended shower scene, and a second disc that has the theatrical cut of the film which is a bit shorter.
Once again Arrow has done a great job on a genre film. This flick has lots of fans and for them this blu is a no-brainer: it’s great. If you haven’t seen it, this is the way to go. It looks great, better than I’ve ever seen the film look and it’s got some good special features to boot.
This flick was followed up by C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud which also made it’s debut on Blu recently. It’s a horror comedy and very silly. It isn’t anything like this film at all.