C.H.U.D. (1984) Movie Review

C.H.U.D. Cover Poster Art

1984 | Horror, Sci-Fi
88 minutes /

User Score: 62/100

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C.H.U.D. Review


A bizarre series of sudden disappearances on the streets of New York City seems to point toward something unsavory living in the sewers.

Douglas Cheek’s urban horror fable C.H.U.D. deserves to be seen in its natural habitat--a Times Square grind-house theater--but horror enthusiasts will have to enjoy this widescreen version from the comforts of their homes. John Heard stars as a former fashion photographer now pursuing a "real" career in photojournalism. While working on a piece about the homeless, he discovers that toxic waste stashed in New York’s sewer system is turning tunnel squatters into the title acronym (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers). Teaming up with frazzled soup kitchen capo (and fellow Home Alone alumnus) Daniel Stern, Heard uncovers a government conspiracy behind the mutations; horror fans will know exactly how the government handles its uncovered wrongdoings. While Gary Sherman’s Raw Meat (1973) remains the final word in homeless horror films, C.H.U.D. has a threadbare charm, thanks to Cheek’s poker-faced direction, the endearingly slap-dash effects (courtesy John Caglione Jr. and Ed French), and game performances by a surprisingly A-list cast, including appearances by John Goodman, Jay Thomas, Patricia Richardson, and Jon Polito.

Anchor Bay’s DVD is uncut and retains all of the cutting-room footage added by New World Pictures to beef up the butchered TV version; furthermore, it features a rollicking commentary by Cheek, Heard, Stern, cast mate Christopher Curry, and writer Shephard Abbott, which is worth the purchase price alone. Easter-egg hunters should click on the C.H.U.D.‘s glowing eyes in the main menu for a longer version of the grotesque shower scene.

About C.H.U.D. 1984

Title: C.H.U.D.
Year: 1984
Runtime: 88 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Score: 3 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.1/5 stars from 29 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 29
Starring: John Goodman, Frankie Faison, Ivar Brogger, John Heard, J.C. Quinn, Hallie Foote, Daniel Stern, Peter Michael Goetz, Sam McMurray, Ray Baker, Christopher Curry, Bill Raymond, Graham Beckel, Michael O'Hare, Henry Yuk, Jan Saint, Vic Polizos, Gene O'Neill, John Bedford Lloyd, Cordis Heard, Robert Toupin, Eddie Jones, Jay Thomas, Frank Adu, Ruth Maleczech, Parnell Hall, Patricia Richardson, Mark Mikulski, Lou Leccese, Beverly Bentley
Writers: Parnell Hall, Shepard Abbott, Christopher Curry, Daniel Stern
Director: Douglas Cheek