Tuesday, 15 November 2016

C.H.U.D

Just reading Nathaniel Thompson’s Blu-Ray review of C.H.U.D over at Mondo Digital, and I’m pleased to see Arrow have turned in another fine job. I caught the film again a few weeks ago courtesy of the 2001 Anchor Bay DVD (which still looks pretty good!), and the film remains a smart, witty and fast-paced monster romp. Watching the film again, I was particular struck by one sequence which anticipates Aliens – when a search and destroy team descends into the sewers, complete with flame-throwers and helmet cameras relaying their progress back to a monitoring station. Inevitably the mission goes awry. I’m not suggesting James Cameron was taking notes, but it’s a nice bit of serendipity all the same. C.H.U.D is notable for being Kim Greist’s film debut and she’s very good too, landing one of the film’s most memorable moments and I had to wonder why such a talented actress didn’t become a big 80’s star – at least she’s in two of the decade’s finest films, Brazil and Manhunter.


If my Aliens connection seemed tenuous, my ear caught two music references spoken by Daniel Stern – at one point he shrugs off Christopher Curry’s police captain with “It's a Buck Dancer's Choice, my friend” (a line from The Grateful Dead’s song Uncle John’s Band) and later upon entering the sewers, Stern warns “This ain’t no disco” (a line from Talking Heads' Life During Wartime). I went back and listened to the commentary during these scenes but nothing was confirmed in the riotous chatter between the Stern, John Heard and director Douglas Cheek… Incidentally, the excellent UK quad poster above was sourced from the very impressive Film On Paper site which I stumbled across preparing this post. Be sure to pay it a visit.

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