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
Dave Parker (AKA Mr Parka) has been dabbling in filmmaking over the last few years. After some great performances in movies (such as Headless and Applecart) he has decided to step into the director’s chair with a new anthology film called Slimy Little Bastards. This film is a love letter to some of my favorite movies; the little monster sub genre. It is a brand of horror that exists in its own world of silly effects and (mostly) crass humor that appeals to the inner fourteen year old in us all. Slimy Little Bastards is a confident, no budget debut that has the charm of a much older film. It is pretty rough around the edges, but makes up for it in fun and a very DIY attitude.
The film opens with its eccentric Curator talking about his “collection” to a man whose car has broken down nearby. He tells three stories to the man, all linking back to these bottles of fluorescent sludge that are on display. The first is “Organic Shit”, a tale of a green blob forming in a man’s garbage disposal. Next is “Brain Busters”, where a young lady is prescribed a mysterious drug to deal with her mental illness. Lastly is “The Crusties” and this is the ultimate send up to Ghoulies. Pitting a group of flatulent role players against a gang of little monsters.
Ultimately this is a collection of shorts, but the oddly fun wrap around ties it all together nicely. If you are familiar with Dustin Mills’ films, you will recognize a lot of faces. The acting is pretty good and it feels like everyone is having a blast making the movie. There are some flaws, but most are minor technical issues. Sound and lighting is a little off, but this is a debut and I am sure that these issues will get better as Mr Parker keeps making films. What works the best is the pacing. The vignettes never overstay their welcome and the whole film clocks in at only 66 minutes. Overall, this is a fun send up to shot-on-video, rental store-era fun that is worth picking up and watching with your friends. Slimy Little Bastards is currently available on DVD at Amazon.com