C.H.U.D. – Review (Arrow Video Blu-ray)

Arrow Video Horror
9.5

Amazing

Just like my Arrow Video Creepshow 2 Blu-ray review, I have already discussed the C.H.U.D. movie in the past, and I ended up loving it. I was surprised by the seriousness of the flick, given the name of the film and my incorrect preconceived notion of it being a cheesy flick. Due to me loving the movie, I knew I had to get my grubby hands on the Blu-ray from Arrow Video and boy; I’m glad I did. The stunning new 2K transfer is a sight to behold, and the special features will be keeping you entertained for days. Like Creepshow 2, I’ll post some quotes from my previous review and some nice screengrabs from the folks at caps-a-holic, so that you can see how damn good the flick looks. With having said all that, let’s take a dive down a manhole (hmm, that sounded dirtier than I wanted it too.)

PRODUCT INFORMATION

DISCS: 2
RUN-TIME: 88 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
RESOLUTION: 1080p
AUDIO: LPCM Mono
LANGUAGE: English
SUBTITLES: English SDH
REGION: A
RATING: R
PRODUCTION DATE: 1984
RELEASE DATE: Nov 22, 2016

PLOT SUMMARY

THEY’RE NOT STAYING DOWN THERE, ANYMORE!

From the subterranean depths it crawls! Finally making its long-awaited debut on Blu-ray, director Douglas Cheek’s cult ’80s favorite C.H.U.D. is the ultimate underground movie experience.

In downtown Manhattan, a police captain’s hunt for his missing wife leads to the discovery of a series of mysterious disappearances in the area. Extending his search into the tunnels and sewers below the city streets, it soon becomes clear that something monstrous is lurking in that subterranean world – and it won’t stay there much longer…

Starring John Heard (Home Alone) and Christopher Curry (Starship Troopers) alongside an early appearance from John Goodman, C.H.U.D. has justifiably built up a huge cult following in the years since its release in 1984, with one of the most iconic creature designs of the period.

MOVIE REVIEW

I thought going into it, I was going to be served up a platter full of 80s schlock, but instead I was given a tense, sometimes graphic film that took itself seriously, but not so much that it left you rolling your eyes

“C.H.U.D. downplayed the monsters, slowly offering bits and pieces of information on their existence, the set pieces were varied, with the sewer settings offering up some tense claustrophobic moments and the story is pretty basic, but the actors help sell the plot.”

…no one in this film has any sort of involvement in the outcome, cause in the end nothing was actually resolved.

The music was a treat to the ears and really ratcheted up the tension in the scenes. One scene in particular comes to mind (woman holed up in her apartment, with a nasty C.H.U.D. outside the door). The sound design wasn’t just your cliche 80s horror music, it was original and I have to applaud it for that. As for the look of the film, it was grimy and dirty, just like the sewer dwellers themselves. This film managed to take what little money it had ($1 million) and use it well.

BLU-RAY OPINION

As you can see from the quotes, C.H.U.D. certainly surprised me in a good way. Arrow Video, on the other hand, doesn’t surprise me, as once again they do a fantastic job restoring C.H.U.D. for high definition and they provide the fans with plenty of special features.

The new 2K transfer of the integral cut (if you are wondering what is different between the theatrical and the integral, expect about 9 minutes more of footage shot for the TV edit) is truly something special. The video quality is crystal clear, providing the viewer with that lovely grimy and dirty look I mentioned above. As for the theatrical version, it took looks just as damn good. There is also no need to fret about the audio options, as the Uncompressed PCM Mono audio perfectly blares out that beautiful soundtrack from composers Cooper Hughes.

As you can see below in the special features section, the disc for C.H.U.D. is jam packed full of features to peruse. I have to say the highlight for me is a tie between the audio track interview with the composers and the extended shower scene featuring a clear as day body double of Kim Greist showing off her boobies. Would new interviews with the cast have been nice? Of course, but you take what you can get and what you get is a treat.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Brand new restoration from original film elements
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Integral Cut from a new 2K film transfer
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Original Theatrical Cut [Limited Edition Exclusive]
  • Original Uncompressed PCM Mono Audio / Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary by director Douglas Cheek, writer Shepard Abbott, and actors John Heard, Daniel Stern and Christopher Curry
  • A Dirty Look- an interview with production designer William Bilowit
  • Dweller Designs – an interview with special make-up effects and creature creator John Caglione, Jr.
  • Notes from Above Ground: The NYC Locations of C.H.U.D. – featurette hosted by journalist Michael Gingold and filmmaker Ted Geoghegan
  • Brand new audio track featuring isolated score selections and an interview with composers Martin Cooper and David A. Hughes
  • Behind-the-Scenes Gallery
  • Extended Shower Scene
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford
  • Fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Gingold

VERDICT

C.H.U.D. remains high on my list of unexpected hits and the Blu-ray from Arrow Video will be my go-to option for seeing the film in the best way possible. If you have the money, don’t hesitate to pick up this gem.

Good

  • Cool creatures
  • Simple, but sweet story
  • Amazing transfer
  • Loads of special features

Bad

  • No clear ending resolution
  • No new interviews with key cast members
9.5

Amazing

Movie - 9.5
Blu-ray - 9.5

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