Sunday, October 09, 2005


(1984) **

Stupidly, I was hoping for more out of this one, in which some of NYC's underground homeless population are transformed into nasty beasties courtesy of some radioactive waste. This flick commits one of my most hated movie sins: too stingy with the monsters.

These monsters aren't all that much to begin with; since they're transformed people, they're wearing ratty clothes that cover most of there mutated bodies. Most of the attacks are a shot of the CHUD's head with its light-up eyes, then a close-up on its toothy mouth. The other shot you see more than once is CHUD hands lifting up manholes and feeling around. You can see plain as day where the actor's hands really are inside the oversized scaly claws.

When this started, I thought there might be some goofy fun ahead. Daniel Stern, of all people, delivers a convincing, energetic performance as a ex-criminal who runs an underground soup kitchen. Together with a honked-off police captain, they get after the mystery of the CHUD phenomenon. Daniel Stern gets pissed off at The Man, I laugh. Forty-five minutes later I'm not so amused. I'm all "where's the CHUDs?" Nope, the movie's more interested in decrying the evils of illegal stashing of toxic waste under Soho, leaving me wondering if there's a stupider place in the whole freakin' country to try that covertly than a tiny island with millions of people living on it.

This could have been a Humanoids from the Deep. Instead it's a Wolfen.


JPX said...

I think of that line from The Simpsons when Homer recounts a bad experience he once had in Capital City. After a series of mishaps, he ends by falling into a sewer, "And that's when the C.H.U.D.S. attacked me." I haven't seen this in years but I recall having the exact same complaints about the lack of monsters.

Octopunk said...

I called the creatures CHUDs at one point in my Humanoids from the Deep review last year, even though I knew it was wrong. "CHUD" is just a fun word to use.

Octopunk said...

CHUD. heh heh...CHUD...