Say it with me now! Cannibalistic Humaniod Underground Dweller. Music to your ears? Well perhaps a discordant jangling but pleasurable none the less. Somehow C.H.U.D has managed to force itself into the conscious of horror fans and beyond despite bad acting, bad story and bad effects. So what is it that makes C.H.U.D such a fan favourite?
The plot is pretty outlandish from the start and follows two arcs that eventually unite at the end. Photographer George Cooper (John Heard) and his “model” girlfriend Lauren (Kim Greist) finds solace in his unsatisfying career by working on a project about New York City’s homeless “undergrounders” population and the second thread involves police chief Bosch (Christopher Curry) who is investigating a rash of mysterious disappearances with the aid of A.J. “The Reverend” Shepherd (Daniel Stern) proprietor of a local homeless shelter. As the plot threads start to weave around each other we discover that the city is harbouring an unsavoury secret in its bowels that have had more frightening consequences than could have foreseen; namely the breeding of a toxic breed of superhuman with a lust for human flesh and the nifty moniker C.H.U.D. Unfortunately they have grown tired of dwelling below and decide to come topside to wreak bloody havoc on the city’s residents.
I think there is something inherent in fans of the genre that compels that to take in waifs and strays off Cinema Street and turn them from crap to cult. Whilst outwardly this probably belongs in the sewer with its namesake I could not help but find myself curiously riveted despite the fact that my taste in horror has refined itself as I’ve gotten older.
One thing that I will give the film is that it kept me guessing due to the frantic nature of the film and its choice to sacrifice well crafted characters for caricatures. However they are fun caricatures and the monsters themselves are deliciously bad and are without a doubt the real gold in the movie. I think I would have been happy to watch an hour and a half of them stalking C.H.O.D’s (Cuntish Human Overground Dogwalkers).
For some trashy, pulpy fun I would recommend this, but for those who have gotten too big for their horror boots to remember their roots, well I’d give it a miss.
Video sourced from Youtube.