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John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Eight: C.H.U.D.
Today’s episode focuses on a movie that I haven’t even mentioned in passing in any blog, and this confuses me. The movie is called “C.H.U.D.” It was filmed in 1984 and stars John Heard and Daniel Stern. Who are those two, you ask? Does “Home Alone” ring a bell?
At any rate, the movie is about monsters. Radioactive ones. So it seems like something straight out of the 1950’s. Except these monsters were once human, and they lived in the sewers. When a toxic waste cover-up takes place in the New York sewers, some people who call those sewers their home end up getting turned into cannibalistic creatures with glowing eyes.
Daniel Stern plays the part of a crazy hippie soup kitchen worker named simply “The Reverend.” He has a sneaking suspicion something’s going on, but unfortunately can’t relay his message. I think it may have something to do with the constant sarcasm in his voice.
Meanwhile, Detective Bosch, played by Christopher Curry, notices many people in his precinct disappearing, including his wife. He enlists the help of The Reverend and they end up breaking into photographer George Cooper’s (played by John Heard) house to steal some photos.
Of course, things get chatty, as always happens in horror films, as Cooper and his wife begin discussing useless, pointless things such as baby plans. A lot of dialogue scenes in the movie are just filler, and they certainly slow down the action.
However, during one dialogue scene, a reporter approaches Cooper and tells him he’s being tracked. The two of them venture down into the sewer and find some of the CHUDs, and eventually, through horror movie magic, Cooper and The Reverend cross paths. The Reverend knows of a plot by a company called “NRC” to cover up the story of the toxic waste. The company is ran by a total jerk named Wilson, who at one point, when asked how he’d cover up killing a cop, simply replies, “I don’t know. But I can’t let this story get out.”
The ending is completely unsatisfying. And worse yet, a sequel appeared five years later, but seemed more like a mix of “Weekend at Bernie’s” and “Return of the Living Dead.” It had so little to do with its predecessor that I can’t understand how it is considered a sequel other than in title.
All in all, not a terrible flick. The creature effects are lacking a bit, but again, it seems a throwback to the 1950’s. There is a scene involving what appears to be a bitter-face face-off, and it’s can’t miss stuff.