C.H.U.D. – that’s Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller for those who might not know – was an unexpectedly fun, no-nonsense variation on the zombie film in 1984; straight-faced, action-packed and pleasingly old-fashioned at a time when horror was rapidly being Tromatised with cynical, deliberately crass, instant cult movie efforts like The Toxic Avenger. It probably didn’t need a sequel. It definitely didn’t need a 1989 sequel that was a dumb-ass comedy with the kind of awful, over-age teenage frat boy characters that every awful film of the 1980s was infected with.
Entirely disregarding the original film, this has two hapless college students – the nerdy guy and his mulleted, ‘cool’ friend – who accidentally revive a C.H.U.D. (which are now zombies, not mutants) – and have assorted, painfully unfunny adventures with him.
Depressingly, there are names in the cast who should have known better. Robert Vaughn looks completely embarrassed during his mercifully brief time on-screen. Gerrit Graham must have cursed some ancient God in a past life to have ended up here. I can only hope both were well paid, at least. Everyone else is terrible in the way that only late 1980s teen comedy casts can be.
Everything here is unforgivably dismal and horribly dated: the dreadful, overbearing score (complete with a theme song, for crying out loud), horrible, horrible people, bad acting, lousy dialogue and a smug, don’t-give-a-fuckness to the whole thing that could hardly be less insulting if the director had simply filmed himself pointing at the camera and laughingly mocking you as a complete loser for 90 minutes.
If you want to watch a film about two losers goofing around with a dead guy, there’s Weekend at Bernies, made the same year. There was no reason for this film to have been made in the first place – there’s even less reason to watch it now. This new release is as welcome as an envelope full of anthrax.