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WRITTEN REVIEW: C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud

Oh boy! I’ve been a huge fan of C.H.U.D. for years now. I think it’s a wonderfully underrated chunk of 80’s monster greatness. What sold the movie, in my opinion, were the C.H.U.D. themselves. They look frickin’ awesome! So naturally when I learned that there was a sequel, I couldn’t wait to see it, and wait I did. Years went by without my happening across a copy on VHS and it had not been released on DVD until this year.

C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud, was sold as part of one of those eight movie horror collections that fill Wal-Mart’s $5 movie bins. It shared the bill with such mediocre films as [that‘s not fair, most of these are pretty good even though I can‘t understand why making another Ghoulies movie seemed like a good idea]; Waxwork, 967-Evil 2, Ghoulies 3, The Unholy, Slaughter High, Class of 1999 and Chopping Mall, which is yet another film that has eluded me for years, making this collection all the more sweet.

I can’t tell you how many miles I drove and how many Wal-Marts I scoured for this collection only to turn up empty handed. After a few weeks of bitter personal conflict, I gave in and paid over $20 for a copy on eBay. In fact if I found it on Wal-Mart’s shelves with a $20 price tag I might have very well paid that price without a second thought. After all, I really wanted to see these movies. But knowing that I paid over $20 to some dude who bought the damn thing for $5 got me a little steamed. Call me cheap if ya want, but it’s the principle, ya know?

So like I said, I couldn’t wait to crack the seal on this puppy, jam it in the ol’ DVD-O-Matic, and watch the C.H.U.D. eat some more poor homeless bastards, or super models, or whatever they did in the sequel. I just wanted to see more C.H.U.D.!

Today’s film begins at a military facility as Colonel Masters [Robert Vaughn], and others, are discussing the future of C.H.U.D.. We learn that C.H.U.D. is part of a U.S. military chemical warfare program. Similar to The Return of the Living Dead, deceased military personnel are re-animated by chemicals and used as weapons. The C.H.U.D. program is in jeopardy of losing its funding. It seems that the C.H.U.D. have proven to be too unreliable as they often become cannibalistic and on rare occasions mutate [referring to the first film].

C.H.U.D. V2.0 - A kinder, more handsome C.H.U.D.

When put to a vote, the nays have it and the C.H.U.D. program is put on ice. The remaining C.H.U.D., former Bud Oliver [Gerrit Graham], is frozen for storage and shipped to a disease control center located in the small town of Woodhaven.

Meanwhile in Woodhaven, our protagonists, Steven and Kevin, have been assigned to work in their high school biology lab as punishment for some fire related hijinx earlier in the day. These two are standard 80’s characters types. Steven [Brian Robbins], the outspoken weirdo who is constantly finding himself and his friends in trouble and Kevin [Bill Calvert], the nerdy shy guy who lets the outspoken weirdo lead him into awful situations.

The two are feeding frogs and rummaging through various supplies when they encounter tomorrow's biology exhibit [a dead guy] on loan from a local funeral home. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that this is probably illegal. Just a little bit.

As the two teens look over the cadaver and pretend to give it C.P.R., it gets away from them. As if launched by catapult off the edge of the schools loading dock, the stiff heads down Highway 51 on a stretcher, narrowly escaping multiple collisions. Reminiscent of some old Charlie Chaplin film, the boys try their best to catch it but the dead guy luge is too quick for them.

Instead of following the stretcher and retrieving the cadaver, because hey, it has to stop somewhere, the two teens decide that it would somehow be easier to find a new dead person and pass it off as the first dead person. In what universe this makes sense, I don’t know.

It is at this moment that I became aware that C.H.U.D. 2 was not going to be the film I had hoped for.

Lead by Steven, Kevin and their friend Katie [Tricia Fisher], acting as getaway driver, acquire a replacement body by breaking into the very disease control center where the military is storing C.H.U.D.. You seem like a bright crowd, I’m sure that you can figure out what happens next. The stolen body is C.H.U.D. and when the teens return it to Steven’s house, it re-animates and breaks lose. “Bud the Chud” goes on a meat devouring rampage, feasting on human and animal alike, and spawns a legion of mutated C.H.U.D. followers.

Good lord, how many bad decisions can two teenagers make? Don’t answer that! I can see it now;
Earlier this evening Todd & Anna were voted prom king and queen and have now just arrived at their hotel room for the night. The two lay down and begin to make out. Todd pays no mind to Anna’s complaints of long lasting crotch itch as he fumbles with his pockets. Disappointed, Todd raises his head and proclaims that he forgot to bring his lucky condom. “It’s okay stud, I’m on the pill”, Anna replied, but this was a lie. She was not on any pill. “Just ram that nasty meat hook in me daddy!”, exclaimed Anna, so Todd did. Life was good until late in the third trimester when “It” hatched from Anna’s womb, ripping her to pieces. This ill-formed, venereal disease carrying love child tore through town consuming other children and small animals.
LOL, Now that’s a movie I’d go see! It’s a hell of a lot better than this drek!

Col. Masters is now wise to the teenagers and he is in hot pursuit of both them and Bud. At every turn he encounters C.H.U.D. and the result is wacky dialogue, exploding burger joints and Sam [Judd Omen, aka Mickey from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure], being attacked by a toy poodle C.H.U.D..

Oh, and Robert Englund, seriously!

Avoiding military capture while attempting to stop Bud and the C.H.U.D., the teenagers head to the town’s Halloween dance. They know that the C.H.U.D. will be attracted to all the warm flesh bumpin’ and grindin’ and have hatched a scheme to neutralize them for good. Also, they are anticipating the arrival of Bud himself because somewhere along the way a Bride of Frankenstein style love story developed between he and Katie. Poor Katie.

I won’t spoil how things with Bud are resolved but I have to say that the very ending is weird. I mean weirder than the rest of the film. It makes no sense and even has a cameo by a C.H.U.D. version of Mic Jagger’s wife, Bianca Jagger. . . I told you it was weird. I expected a Return of the Living Dead ending in which everything blows up but that wasn’t the case.

C.H.U.D. 2 is like waiting in a really long line at the check out of your local convenience store. It’s one of those record breaking hot summer days and all you want is some refreshing ice cream, which is melting in your hands as you stand in line for what feels like an eternity because some bimbo is paying for a pack of gum and a vitamin water with a check. Naturally the 16 year old drop out behind the register doesn’t know how to handle this sudden turn of events and the manager is called. Just then you feel a bubbling from within. A percolation if you will. With people both, in front and behind, you’re hoping for a “silent but deadly” and aside from the wretched stink, none will be the wiser. At least that’s what you tell yourself, because what reality serves up is a total evacuation of bowels. There is nothing like the unmistakable feeling of runny poop matter streaming out from under your pleated khaki shorts and down your legs, reaching its final resting place, your socks. That my friends, is C.H.U.D. 2. I waited too long it see it, and when I did, it frustrated me to the point I could only shit my pants to somehow feel better about myself.

Allow me to explain. C.H.U.D. 2, for whatever reason, became some kind of 80’s physical comedy/buddy movie. A cross between Ferris Bueller's Day Off and a cheap zombie movie. There were very few scares, and nearly all of them were played for a gag. The single most offensive example of this is an early scene in which Col. Masters is searching for Bud. Being followed by Military Police and a number of research scientists, Masters, Elmer Fudds around as if it were hunting season. After opening broom closet after broom closet, he finally flushes out Bud. However, that is not before encountering the old “Cat Scare” bit to which there wasn’t a shred of suspense to support, nor did it make any sense considering the location was well within the boundaries of a highly guarded military facility. . . WHY THE FUCK WAS A CAT THERE ANYWAY?!

I could go on all day about other specifics that made me cringe but I won’t bother.

Aside from the obvious, this flick has two additional problems. The first being director David Irving. C.H.U.D. 2 was one of five feature films ever directed by the man. Aside from Night of the Cyclones, the rest of his film career seems to be centered around the adaptations of 3 classic children stories, Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Emperor’s New Clothes, all from 1987.

The second problem is writer Ed Naha. Poor Ed has a similar track record, writing scripts for such films as Troll, Dolls, Honey I Shrunk the Kids and screenplays for the Honey I Shrunk the Kids TV Show and Tales from the Cryptkeeper cartoon .

Neither of these two seem to have a very strong horror background, and have made a career catering to the interests of children. Because of this, C.H.U.D. 2 turned into some goof ass, suspense-less, rigmarole that forced a cyanide capsule down the throat of a part of my youth. Maybe they planned on the film being funnier than it was. I don’t know.

C.H.U.D. 2 even had a theme song!

Now I have to admit that by the end of the movie I began to warm up to it, or maybe it was Stockholm Syndrome setting in, I‘m not sure. My problem isn’t that C.H.U.D. 2 is such a bad movie, but rather I had high hope for a C.H.U.D. sequel and it just wasn‘t what I expected. Now I know how all those Texas Chainsaw fans felt when they saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in theaters. Something they loved had been warped into a less scary comedy. Oh well, I suppose I still recommend this to any C.H.U.D. fan. Check it out, but remember, leave all expectations at the door!

After having watched and reviewed C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud, I feel dirty inside and must drink heavily. But until next time, WATCH MORE MOVIES!

C.H.U.D. 2

★ ½