'Neath the manholes of New York City lurk the CHUDs. Is it a zombie? A monsturd? Some kind of gooey morlock? I don't know man, but they're certainly harmful ugly dudes, and it's up to one honest cop - and a photographer and a reporter and a fashion model and a soup kitchen hippie - to stop Mister Wilson putting his garbage down there.

hey cool
The word "CHUD"
but YUCK
Surprisingly few CHUDs

Hello C.H.U.D. As horror fans we must all pass this way. Most of you probably saw it on TV a million times as brats, but I escaped its groping rubber hands so I reckon it's high time I finally got my CHUD badge. And yes I'll be saying "CHUD" a lot here 'cause it's such an enjoyable and necessary word. It's really a linguistic milestone in hominid history. Before this movie we could only point and grunt in confusement when we encountered that which is CHUD.

Sadly though the movie seems too afraid of its own CHUDS to actually show much CHUD action. The real villain it turns out is Mister Wilson, who's every bit as menacing as he sounds. I don't think they tell us his first name so I'm going to pretend it's Hannibal. You do not want to piss that guy off or he'll open a can of smugly sarcastic remarks on your ass.

We don't actually see any CHUD attacks at all other than a quick jump cut of one taking a swing at a guy in a phone booth. It puts me in mind of a cheap 50s monster movie that can't afford monsters so they mostly just have people talk about 'em. The protagonists first must convince each other, one at a time, that there are CHUDS, then try to warn the authorities and be made sport of by Mr Wilson, then figure out the authorities are actually to blame, then hatch a plan to defeat both the CHUDS and Mr Wilson, and occasionally between all that you'll see a CHUD hand or footprint or CHUD victim to remind you the movie has anything to do with actual CHUDS. Take out a few F words and maybe one gore scene and it's basically a TV movie.

It does succeed in making the CHUD menace sort of interesting though. Maybe that's too strong a word; let's say not horribly boring. It has enough of that something's terrorising the city vibe to at least sort of feel like a monster movie. Mostly it's just funny though. Not Ed Wood bad funny; more like Roger Corman bad funny. Like the scene where a bag lady is trying to kill that photographer guy and Daniel Stern rushes in and just shoves her out of the movie. Didn't know you could do that. I guess it explains why there are no movies about sumo wrestling.

And when you finally see the CHUDS you'll understand why they don't show many CHUDs (they look bad).

I'd have enjoyed the movie more if it didn't stop to persecute me at regular intervals with that aggressively dull couple having soul searching conversations about whether or not they want to start breeding brats. Screenwriters think we can't go ten minutes without being spoon fed our pablum, like "here you go baby, here's your people going through some sort of personal banality that has nothing to do with the movie so you can feel all connected with them". Then it insults me further with a scene of a toddler fumbling with a locked door while CHUD hand appliances are trying to get in. Thank god its mom calls it away! But oh no it goes back to fetch its toy, to be not killed a second time. Yeah like you ever had the brass, movie. We all know that CHUDS, like all monsters in all movies, are completely harmless to children.

I don't think I understand the ending. The credits roll after Mister Whipple, I mean Wilson, gets blowed up when his van explodes from running over a manhole - which the movie did explain earlier with something about the vans being super easy to explode - but unless I'm missing something the movie forgot to destroy the CHUDs. Was the entire population milling around directly under that one manhole? City seems to be saved so I guess so.

There is a sequel, and a CHUD is still a CHUD by any other name so their enigmatic race is represented in many other fine motion pictures. Famous CHUDS include the Toxic Avenger, Swamp Thing and yo momma, so I've heard, though they may not be practising the traditional way of life. So let's raise a toast to that irrepressible breed, those princes of biodiversity, the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.