Wednesday, November 01, 2006


(1988) ***1/2

When Head of the Class was popular, American high-school girls would watch Brian Robbins and think, "Gosh, he's so funny and charming. And he's got such bitchin shoulder length hair and a fantastic wardrobe. I'd totally stay up past 11 on a school night with him!" And then Kurt Cobain caved in his skull with his Fender Jag-Stang and nobody ever looked back.

Ugh, the 80's. I don't know what was wrong with you people, but all of the lamest people became popular in the 80's. I mean, Dabney Coleman got his own television show in 1991 -- So powerful was the fame accorded to Dabney Coleman in the 80's that it spilled over into the next decade. Then everyone came to their senses and the show was cancelled in 92.

Despite Brian Robbins and his bodacious to the max style sullying every square inch of this movie, it still managed to be the funniest horror-comedy I've seen this year. This is largely on the strength of Gerrit Graham's (Used Cars, Police Academy 6!) performance as Bud the CHUD and a completely over the top performance turned in by Robert Vaughan.

Three high-school kids boost the incapacitated Bud from the local morgue to replace another dead guy they...forget it, the series of mishaps behind why Bud was able to hit the streets defies any attempt at logic.

Anyhow, Bud's on the loose and our three teen heroes spend the entire movie chasing him down. Hot on their tail is Robert Vaughan and his markedly unthorough team of military men. Vaughan himself spends most of the movie indescriminately hitting things (like poor defenseless orchids) with his riding crop and speaking without any kind of filter for taste or politeness.

Meanwhile Bud runs amok across town infecting people everywhere he goes with his CHUD virus. The CHUD project was an attempt by the military to create a merciless army, immune to pain or even death. All it really does though is make the infected lurch about and groan for meat. It's this last part which puzzles me the most --- the CHUDs get so psyched by the idea of feasting on meat and not a single one of them actually spends any time eating a person. All the CHUDs do is take one, maybe two bites out of a person's neck before moving on to other projects. So it appears that their taste isn't so much for meat as it is for making more CHUDs.

Also, unlike ordinary zombies, the CHUDs still have their full range of facial expressions and there are some classic looks coming from Bud.

The teens manage to corral all of the CHUDs in one spot, due mostly to the massive CHUD love for the female heroine --- all of them, man and woman alike can't get enough of Katie and she bravely uses herself as bait for much of the movie's last act. The heroes' solution to the CHUD problem is a pretty ambitious idea for a gang of high school students, so maybe Brian Robbins is hiding some extra brain in that gorgeous hair of his.

Octo picked this one out deliberately so that he could add a one-star rating to his list. Then he slept through most of it, which would make just about any movie from the 80s seem boring. Stay awake through this one and you'll be rewarded with a few pretty good laughs.


JPX said...

I love this bit from The Simpsons:

Episode:The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson (Season 9)

Homer (recounting why he hates going to the city): "And That's When The C.H.U.D.s Came For Me"

Marge: "Oh, Homer, of course you'll have a bad impression of New York if you only focus on the pimps and the C.H.U.D.s."

Octopunk said...

I love that!

"C.H.U.D." is just such a funny word. When I watched Humanoids from the Deep I wanted to call the monsters C.H.U.D.s.

And, when I saw the first C.H.U.D. movie I wished the monsters looked like the HFTDs.

Heh. C.H.U.D.

Octopunk said...

And I did not sleep through this movie! Although if I'mnotMarc hadn't been there, I would've stretched out on the couch, fallen dead asleep and missed it completely.