If you grew up in the 80s and early 90s you probably have some vague memory of seeing Daniel Stern in a (gritty) New York City movie called C.H.U.D. It was one of those films that always played after reruns of Star Trek and helped inform the tastes of a whole generation of burgeoning nerds. The truth is that I had not seen this film since my teens and I was excited to visit this movie again with fresh eyes. What I remembered was a very basic monster flick, but what I got was a smart and entertaining piece of Americana. In my younger years I never noticed all of the social commentary (and there is tons of it on display in this film)…but lets not forget that there are also some kick ass monsters too.
C.H.U.D. tells the story of a police captain (John Heard) who is investigating the mysterious disappearances of people in a neighborhood of New York City, including his wife. His investigation leads him to the sewers and he uncovers a gruesome monster (or monsters) that is preying on unsuspecting victims. He teams up with a local (Daniel Stern) and the two attempt to discover what is behind it all.
This film holds up and documents a lost era of a truly dangerous feeling New York City that my generation will only know from movies like this. Most monster movies have some thinly veiled social message, but C.H.U.D. addresses social issues head on. We are dropped into a world of homeless people and government cover ups that feel just as relevant now as it did in 1984. This Blu Ray release keeps the magic this film offered over thirty years ago and will (hopefully) expose a whole new generation to its subtle genius.
Brand new restoration from the 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 with 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 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 [Limited Edition Exclusive]
C.H.U.D. IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM http://www.arrowvideo.com/product/chud/762
There is not a lot to say about this 1977 classic that has not been said hundreds of times. This is one of those great films that you may not appreciate when you are young, but grows on you as you get older and more jaded. Wes Craven started his career with the one-two punch of nihilism know as (back to back releases) Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. What is fantastic about “Hills” is that it works out all of the goofiness in “House” and shows why (the late) Wes Craven would go on to be a master of horror. He sets the tone and maintains it from beginning to end, making outlandish characters feel real and alive. When it is time to turn up the tension, he never hesitates to show true ugliness and violence. While being a great film, most of its releases have been fairly sub par. Luckily the good folks at Arrow Video decided to rerelease it and give it the care/attention that it has always deserved.
The 4k scan used for the blu ray looks great and you finally get to see the detail and great photography in this film. Most prints have that very “brown” look that instantly makes a film seem older and less impressive, but this print corrects that. The color shines through and you get a real feel for the desolation and heat these actors are enduring. My favorite part of this release is the hour long “making of” that managed to bring back most of the central cast and crew. Wes Craven tells stories and we get to hear the details of what it took to get this story from page to screen. If you don’t dig great movies, then you can watch the “feel good” alternate ending (that is also included). Overall, this is the home release that the film deserves and it offers a lot of goodies that make it well worth the sticker price. THE ARROW VIDEO RELEASE OF THE HILLS HAVE EYES IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT RETAILERS, INCLUDING AMAZON.COM
Brand new 4K restoration of the film, supervised by producer Peter Locke and viewable with both original and alternate endings
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
6 x postcards
Reversible fold-out poster featuring new and original artwork
Limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Brad Stevens and a consideration of the Hills franchise by Ewan Cant, illustrated with original archive stills
Brand new audio commentary with actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier and Martin Speer
Brand new audio commentary by academic Mikel J. Koven
Audio commentary with Wes Craven and Peter Locke
Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes – making-of documentary featuring interviews with Craven, Locke, actors Michael Berryman, Dee Wallace, Janus Blythe, Robert Houston, Susan Lanier and director of photography Eric Saarinen
Brand new interview with actor Martin Speer
The Desert Sessions – brand new interview with composer Don Peake
Alternate ending, in HD for the first time
Trailers and TV Spots
Original Screenplay (BD/DVD-ROM Content)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper