Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Written by: Pamela HorrorSlut

I asked if I could take a shot at the Classic Horror section this week because I have a film I've been dying to review. I know many of you have heard of C.H.U.D. (1984), directed by Douglas Cheek. This happens to be one of my faves, though I know it received low ratings. Even so, for many like myself, it has become a cult classic. Real Queen of Horror and I go back and forth about this film, but I love it to death.

The film opens with an attractive night shot of a wet Manhattan street. A lady enters from a side street, casually walking her dog. As she ascends the path to the camera, the sealed manhole before her begins to open. In a flash, monstrous hands seize her and the dog, leaving the viewer with just a shoe to remember the woman.

As the story unfolds, we discover that bums have begun to live underground. However, main operator of a soup kitchen, A.J. Shepherd (Daniel Stern), hasn't seen certain regulars in two weeks. He phones the police station but is bombarded with harassing questions of his past by Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry), the same police officer who busted him years ago. Shepherd, also known as the Reverend by his regulars, uncovers that he found radiation spikes in the sewers. He has even contacted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding radiation detectors and other irregular items he discovered from their recent underground probe inspection. They denied their presence there and assumed no action in retrieving the equipment. Matter of fact, they began dipping further into Shepherd's identity. Captain Bosch, having recently lost his wife Flora (the woman in the intro) and enduring his boss's refusal to file a missing person's report, follows Shepherd into the sewers and witnesses Shepherd's discovery. Immediately, Bosch begins to question the higher ups at the station, who also firmly cover up any connection to these recent disappearances.

Meanwhile, photojournalist and fashion photographer, George Cooper (John Heard), leaves his wife's photo shoot to pick a homeless lady up from the police station. The lady, whom George previously met for an article he wrote on the undergrounders, follows her into the sewers, asking her why she tried to steal a gun from a police officer. She takes him to her brother Victor, who is bedridden and fearful after the ominous event that ended with a chunk bitten out of his leg.

I want to tell more, I really really do; but I'll leave off here to avoid given out anymore spoilers.

Like I said before, this is a classic in my book. It had everything that scared me as a kid: monsters, blood, dark streets, sewers, cops, people, phone booths, tires...the list goes on. The monsters were hideous creatures with spiked teeth, large eyeballs with a yellow glow, and massive hands with sharp nails. There was also something about green blood from the 80's that made me damn near pass out whenever I saw it.

Two minor (well, in my little mind at the time, major) things pissed me off about the movie. In one quick scene, a monster rips a man from a phone booth. The man's granddaughter is left, knees to chin in a corner of the booth. The upsetting part is that the girl didn't scream, didn't cry, didn't laugh; honestly, she didn't do anything. She just stared like a toddler watching a Baby Einstein video. The crew behind C.H.U.D. picked the most boring girl and placed her in a scene that could have been epic and memorable. The only memorable thing was what a horrible job she did. Then later at the police station, she was still a mute with a fake tear planted on her cheek. Why in such an epic movie would you pick her of all people to act sad? I remember asking my dad about her performance when I was five or so. He just shrugged because he didn't understand either. That's when I realized that most adults don't have a damn clue about most things in life.

Actually, I'm glad I'm on my dad. He brings me to my next pissed off topic. I understand it was the 80's, so I have no quarrels with the movie, but I just can't do thick mustaches. Sorry for those out there who do. Hugs and Kisses because I still love you. But my Dad used to have one, so if I see a sexy as hell guy with a mustache, his sex appeal drops faster than panties in the 70's. I feel like walking up to every guy with that mustache and calling him "Daddy," but not in that seductive, take my clothes off way men typically crave. I mean like "Daddy, I can't reach the Fruity Pebbles on the top shelf kind of way. Or, will you have a tea party with me and my dolls?"

As for what I loved about the film, each scene added something major. Neither a shot nor a sentence was wasted. Even though the film moved at a fast pace, the seamless development paved a fulfilling path to the end. I even liked the infusion of government activities right under one of the greatest cities in the world. They knew about the program all the time, titling it C.H.U.D. (Cannabalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller), later to be re-interpreted as Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal by Captain Bosch.

Lastly, I'm not as rough of a girl as I used to be, but whenever I get the urge to beat the hell out of a character, then I know the movie did it's job. If you don't want to beat the hell out of Wilson (George Martin) by the end of the movie, then something is wrong with you.

So, watch this film if you haven't. Buy this film if you don't own it. Love this film, now. If it were a man, it would be a notch on my belt without question. I give this film a nine out of ten dirty kitties. Now that's saying something. 

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