Monster Monday Part 2: C.H.U.D.

Our second venture into the world of monsters will commence with a discussion of the 1984 film C.H.U.D. For those not in the know... That's Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.

Director: Douglas Cheek
Starring: John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry

The Plot:

An influx of bizarre murders in New York City seem to point to a group of grotesquely deformed creatures dwelling in the soggy sewers of NYC. A courageous cop, a photo journalist and his girlfriend, and an eccentric bum, who seems to know a lot about the creatures, band together to determine what the creatures are and how to stop them. Absurdism abounds as the C.H.U.D.'s continue to wreak havoc on the Big Apple.

The Monster(s):


C.H.U.D. is one of these interesting films whose infamy is wrapped up almost entirely in its title. Any film whose title is an acronym immediately draws attention to itself; however, when the acronym in question includes cannibalistic undertones manifested in humanoid like creatures, you can be sure that the attention is going to be even greater.

Unfortunately for C.H.U.D., the film doesn't have a lot going for it outside of the admittedly quirky title. The trouble is that, while the film portrays itself as a creature feature of the highest caliber (due to the fact that the very title refers to a specific kind of monster), it also fails to deliver in this same regard. That is, the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers really play a secondary role to an overarching theme of governmental conspiracies and environmental cover ups. Indeed, the CHUDS themselves are given very little screen time.

The film can be commended for the portrayal of the creatures themselves when they do make an appearance; however, these appearances are so sparse and shrouded by non-creature antagonists (in the form of governments and its representatives) that their effects are minimal and ephemeral. Thus, considering that the film's reputation has been so wrapped up with its inclusion of creatures, and the actual implementation of said creatures in the film remain marginalized, it can be concluded that the overall quality of the film (at least from the perspective of a creature feature analysis) is lacking and hence, disappointing.

My Review:

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