C.H.U.D. came highly suggested by a friend of mine. I was aware of the film before, but only got around to finally watching it due to his urging and I’m glad he did. C.H.U.D. is a great film with only one real flaw, more on that later. I really enjoyed the number of actors I recognized, mainly Daniel Stern and John Goodman.
C.H.U.D. opens with a woman walking her dog when she’s taken by a monstrous hand that drags her into the sewers. C.H.U.D. then follows two different sets of people. One being George Cooper (John Heard) a successful professional photographer with his girlfriend Lauren (Kim Greist) and Police Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry), who teams up with A.J. “Reverend” Shepherd (Daniel Stern) who runs a soup kitchen. Bosch wife, the woman taken in the opening is one of many missing people cases in his precinct. He visits Shepherd, when he learns that Shepherd has reported a large number of Undergrounders missing. Shepherd and Bosch explore the tunnels under the city and find a Geiger counter along with other suspicious equipment. Cooper gets a call from a bag lady as her one phone call. He pays her bail, she then takes him to see her brother who has been badly bitten by some kind of creature. Bosch and Shepherd eventually confront Bosch’s superiors as well as a man named Wilson (George Martin) who works for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This proves futile as the monsters keep coming topside to feed…
As much as I enjoyed this movie its pacing is a bit slow with me feeling very front loaded. C.H.U.D.s pacing is more that of a mystery over that of a thriller. I’m fine with slow movies. I’m a fan of slasher films and almost nothing ever happens in the first sixty minutes of those films. But C.H.U.D. isn’t just slow, it drags. As we often have to watch both groups learn the same information.
What I liked the most was the acting. C.H.U.D. is full of great actors. I can’t help but wonder if John Heard and Daniel Stern talked about their time filming C.H.U.D. when they were making the Home Alone films. John Goodman’s role is more of a cameo. Except when you have to be already famous to make a cameo and C.H.U.D. was his fifth film role.
I also actually like the script. The characters are fun and sympathetic. Everything that happens advances the plot forward, leaving the film with almost no filler. But it does feel all over the place at moments and it really over reaches for what I will suspend my disbelief for at others.
Final thoughts, it’s good and earns its cult movie status. Sure the monster look like wet rubber suits, but that’s easy to forgive. I’m happy that I finally know more about the C.H.U.D. then the Bud the C.H.U.D. song from the film’s sequel. The script, while a bit chaotic is still solid, the acting is great, but that pacing… so at the end of the day I have to give C.H.U.D. a respectable 7/10.