C.H.U.D. Blu-ray Review
When people begin to disappear in New York City, it beings to affect a police Captain named Bosch, a man who runs a homeless shelter named A.J. “The Reverend” Shepherd, and a photographer named George Cooper. Captain Bosch has been following a number of missing persons cases but the higher ups are telling him to sit on them until the right time. Shepard has reported several of the missing people to the police but because they’re homeless, they aren’t a top priority. As for Cooper, he is mixed into to the situation because he took some pictures of some homeless that are living underground and he is concerned that something happened to them. The homeless are gathering guns and knives due to something being down there. Something dangerous.
CHUD is a cult horror movie directed by Douglas Cheek. This was his only feature film and it has that feeling of a gritty. 80’s movie. The effects rely on the talents of the actor inside the rubber suit with glowing eyes but that’s a part of the charm. There are plenty of moments where all you might see is the hands of the monsters, slowly building up to the reveal about 3/4 of the way into the movie. As for the plot, it is solid with an interesting way that the characters end up involved in each other’s lives.
John Heard as George Cooper
Daniel Stern as A.J. “The Reverend” Shepherd
Christopher Curry as Captain Bosch
Kim Greist as Lauren Daniels
J.C. Quinn as Murphy
Michael O’Hare as Fuller
The transfer is a 1080p AVC presentation. The original 35mm elements were scanned into 2k with the scratches in the film digitally removed. Unlike some of the other releases of this genre and time period, there isn’t the issue with color fluctuation. The skin tones are on the more natural side with only a touch or redness. Other colors have a cooler temperature and there aren’t a lot of bright or bold moments unless they’re outdoors. The details are sharp but they only really come out during the closeups. Overall, this is solid transfer and has high marks in the plus column.
The audio is a lossless LPCM Mono mix. The track does some of the audio well with the dialogue and music. The effects are not as strong as they could be especially with the monsters and gunshots. With keeping the mono track, there is not a lot of power behind them. That being said, the point comes across well enough.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-Audio Commentary: with composer Michael Felsher.
-Audio Commentary: with John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry, Douglas Cheek and Shep Abbott.
-A Dirty Look: This is a talk with production designer William Bilowit.
-Dweller Designs: creature make up effects designer John Caglione, Jr. talks about his involvement with the movie.
-Notes from Above Ground: Michael Gingold and Ted Geoghegan show some of the filming locations around the city.
-Extended Shower Scene: This is pretty self-explanatory.
-Behind the Scenes Gallery
-Theatrical Cut of the film
2 disc set w/ 2 Blu-ray Discs
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English LPCM Mono
THE BOTTOM LINE:
C.H.U.D. has earned its way to be called a cult classic. It has so many actors involved that went on to do other things and hopefully the people involved enjoy this on their IMDB page. They implored one of the oldest and most successful horror tricks by barely showing the monsters until about the end of the second/the beginning of the 3rd act. The Blu-ray is a solid release with a really good transfer and lossless mix that suits the movie. The extras on the release are also well done and including the theatrical version of the film and the extended cut is arguably the superior version. I can easily recommend blind buying this if you enjoy Arrow’s releases or films from this genre.