BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
When Vestron Pictures originally released C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the C.H.U.D. back in 1988, they knew exactly the type of movie they had on their hands. And it wasn’t a horror flick. The sheer lunacy of following up a horror film with a straight comedy might have put a few people and critics off (sometimes it works), but the ballsy move signaled a rather forward-thinking approach to the home movie market. Its debut might have been on VHS and laserdisc, but the film – now available on blu-ray thanks to Lionsgate’s revamped Vestron Video Collector's Series – was obviously aiming for something bigger.
Starring Head of the Class’ Brian Robbins, Bill Calvert, Tricia Leigh Fisher as “Kaaatieee”, and Gerrit Graham as Bud the C.H.U.D., this loose sequel earns its laughs thanks to a rather rowdy screenplay from M. Kane Jeeves (of Dolls fame). It’s a wisecracking piece of work that plays up the military’s mindless involvement in the C.H.UD. factor as two college students manage to steal from a small town’s Center for Disease Control building and then resurrect a C.H.U.D. of their own.
They don’t realize what they’ve done, though, until it is far too late. Turns out that Bud has created an army of his own and they aren’t living underground anymore. Chowing down on everything they possibly can, Bud’s army turns dogs, cats, barbers, and children into C.H.U.D.s and they all – because zombies just want to dance – meet up at the Halloween dance party at the local school.
C.H.U.D. 2 is completely ridiculous. You should know that before anything else. It takes nothing seriously. You shouldn’t expect much. The goofball gags are low-browed attempts at humor for sure, but the sheer lunacy of the project is entirely worth sitting through. Plus, its cast, which features cameos from Bianca Jagger, Larry Linville, Jack Riley, Sandra Kerns, June Lockhart, and Norman Fell becomes a sea of familiar faces last seen on the boob tube. Even Robert Vaughn as Colonel Masters gets into the shenanigans and delivers a fun and over-the-top performance as the film’s protagonist.
Forget the original. They only casually mention the events in the first one and, even then, they get most of what happened completely wrong. This is army intelligence after all. They don’t have to understand events in order to react to them and director David K. Irving reminds you of this throughout the film. Colonel Masters is an uproarious dick about military matters, threatening to kill the trio of teens involved in the mutated monster
If you enjoy your mutant zombiefied sequels with a lot less bite, this C.H.U.D.’s for you.
MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime: 84 mins
Director: David Irving
Writer: Ed Naha
Cast: Brian Robbins, Bill Calvert, Tricia Leigh Fisher
Tagline: They're not staying down there anymore
Memorable Movie Quote: "Only the God damndest, ugliest barber I've ever seen."
Theatrical Distributor: Vestron Pictures
Release Date: May 5, 1989
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: November 22, 2016
Synopsis: A military experiment to create a race of super-warriors go awry, and legions of murderous zombies are unleased upon a surburan neighborhood.
Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Available on Blu-ray - November 22, 1985
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD-50)
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A
Offered courtesy of Lionsgate Films and its new Vestron Video imprint in 1.78:1, the AVC-encoded 1080p transfer is a relative goldmine of previously unseen details and colors. The clothing in and of itself is a reason to appreciate the visual “pop” throughout the high definition transfer. The stumbling zombies through the town’s yards and streets are especially nice. The crisp image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this and, admittedly, even a bit better than expected. Some stuff from the same era hasn’t made the HD transition quite as well, but C.H.U.D. 2 looks better than it did on VHS. Colors are perfect. Blacks are solid. Skin tones are detailed and appropriate. The sound – offered here in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono track - is decent enough with dialogue and synthesized score pulses.
Hosted by Michael Felsher, director David Irving provides a recollection of the making of the movie and his own career. This one is for fans of the director only.
But, first, a note from Lionsgate: “Vestron Video has been a leader in providing the most unique and wide-ranging selection of films. We honor the spirit of Vestron Video by presenting the Vestron Video Collectors Series - a line of classic genre films newly remastered and with a wealth of supplementary features.” They aren’t kidding either. While a bit brief, the NEW interviews with the cast and the crew are fun and lively and, apparently, no one has seen the first film. Housed in a nice slipcover, Lionsgate is doing this Vestron revitalization correctly.
- Bud Speaks! with Gerrit Graham (16 min)
- Katie's Kalamity with Actress Tricia Lee Fisher (13 min)
- This C.H.U.D.'s for You with Allan Apone (15 min)
- Video Trailer (2 min)
- Still Gallery (6 min)