Directed by Douglas Cheek, 1984
Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. That is all you need to know about the letters C.H.U.D. to know what kind of movie it is.
I understand some things age better than others. Cheese can age well. Milk cannot. Night of the Comet aged well. C.H.U.D. did not.
The U.S. government has been forced to secretly store a boatload of radioactive waste under New York City. Said waste is mutating the underground homeless into monsters with gigantic, floodlight eyeballs. The only thing that can stop them is the father from Home Alone (John Heard), the dumber of the two burglars from Home Alone (Daniel Stern), and Casper Van Dien’s father from Starship Troopers (Christopher Curry). That is one elite group of heroes!
If only the movie wasn’t a complete bore, even by 1984 standards.
The script maintains interest for the first 30 minutes as the mystery of the disappearance of homeless and socialites alike is investigated, but nothing ever really happens. They find out about the waste, they find out about the government trying to cover it up, and some crazy Government guy goes postal trying to keep it covered up, but that’s about it. The C.H.U.D.s themselves have about 6 collective minutes of screen time at best.
The only reason to watch this movie is to understand all its pop culture references. Such as the Simpsons, when Homer says his first trip to NYC was ruined when the C.H.U.D.s came, or that the movie website Cinematic Happenings Under Development takes its ridiculous name from this ridiculous movie.
The only time I ever got any real reaction, good or bad, out of the movie was at the end when the two Home Aloners are trying to escape from the sewers, only to have a van parked on the manhole. The crazed government guy gets in the van and tries to drive away, they get free and shoot him as he is trying to run them down. The van then rolls along, its tire falls 6 inches into the manhole and the entire van explodes.
It has to be the most inane reason for an explosion I’ve ever seen. And C.H.U.D. is an equally inane movie. It’s not that the movie is poorly made, as you may think given its B-movie status, it is just dull.