Kevin, Steve, and Katie are an inseparable trio of friends doing some extracurricular snooping in the school science lab when, among the test tubes and beakers, they discover a corpse! But before they can say “Abra Cadaver,” the body disappears, rolling down Route 51 strapped to a gurney. The kids need a spare stiff, and fast. What they find is “Bud the Chud,” a half-dead decomposing humanoid, the result of a military experiment gone haywire. When Bud sets out on a killing spree, the kids, the Army, the police, and the FBI are hot on his trail, trying to save the entire town from becoming Chudified.
The First C.H.U.D is a favourite of mine. Right from the get go by its terrifying VHS cover in my local video shop. A schlocky slice of urban monster terror against a dirty 80’s NYC backdrop that pushed all the right buttons for this movie fan. The sequel I had seen in passing but never really gave it an attention. I was rewatching the film on DVD on my day off and decided after it had finished to get some lunch from my local supermarket and low and behold, the sequel for C.H.U.D 2 was in the DVD bargain bin. The stars had aligned it seems that day and I was destine to pick it up and have a double creature feature whilst enjoying my nachos and beer.
The only way I could describe my first viewing can be summed up in six words……. WHAT THE F**K DID I WATCH??!! I was honestly baffled after 90 mins and sat there through a range of emotions. Sadness that I had wasted £3 of hard earned money on it, anger at the fact that it was not even close to what I was expecting, betrayal that it was called C.H.U.D in the first place (trivia, it was a rejected script for Return of the Living Dead part 2) and finally perplexed because I honestly didn’t know what had just happened. It took a few days to get over the initial shock of it and I decided to go back and give it another watch and my view changed dramatically. Even though the film is an absolute pile of testicles that (tries to) goes for the funny bone instead of the jugular, it’s 90 mins of awfulness that you can’t help but laugh at it throughout. Any fans of James Gunn’s Slither might also see a little bit of resemblance between both but maybe that’s just me but the film would have been just unwatchable if it wasn’t for two elements. The funky and catchy theme tune and actor Gerritt Graham who portrayed Bud the Chud. The guy has this on screen charm that shows that he knows that it’s not to be taken seriously and really ramps the comedy up and this is the saving grace of C.H.U.D 2. So even though the film itself might be a steaming pile of you know what, it’s ridiculously entertaining!
C.H.U.D 2 : Bud the Chud munches its way onto Blu-ray with a 1080/24p MPEG4-AVC codec that presents the film in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Considering the DVD I had originally was literally a VHS master put onto disc, and the multi-set version which three other films compressed onto a dual layer DVD making it resemble a badly compressed YouTube video, the HD presentation is nothing short of a minor miracle in itself. Obviously the film won’t be demo material as the print on display here is pretty flat and no real colour pop or anything. The image does look a bit soft throughout but considering this was a very low budget film, I’m not going to pick holes in the picture quality. The disc itself is fine with no pixelating or post processing like DNR or halos etc.
The film comes with a DTS-MA 2.0 audio track that preserves the film’s original stereo mix. Much like the video quality, it was a low budget film and holds very little to recommend (apart from a little LFE output which gives the synth heavy score some weight). Using Dolby pro-logic to open the mix up a bit, there is a little directional sound every now and again (like a car passing) but that’s about it.
Audio Commentary with Director David Irving
Bud Speaks! with Gerrit Graham
Katie’s Kalamity with Actress Tricia Lee Fisher
This C.H.U.D.’s for You with Allan Apone
So C.H.U.D and C.H.U.D 2 : Bud the Chud arrived on Blu-ray this year both within a month of each other from different studios so the world is about 1% better now for me as having both films on the Blu-ray format has been long desired by myself. Where Bud didn’t get a fresh scan like the original film did, it looks and sound perfectly fine on Blu-ray and will be the best it will ever look probably. Lionsgate new Vestron label is something I think will be popular with fans over time as their output so far has been pretty good (getting The Gate on Blu-ray was another winner this year for me, fingers crossed for part 2!), and with the addition of newly made special features to round the package off, you really couldn’t ask for anything more for titles like this.