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C.H.U.D. II: Bud The C.H.U.D. – Collector’s Series

CHUD IIBelieve it or not, the original C.H.U.D. was a film that somehow managed to elude me after all these years.  So, this was all going to be a fresh take when tackling this Blu-ray for Vestron Video.  Thanks to a rental on Amazon Prime Video, I was able to do my research by watching the original film.  That movie, woof…kinda a slug.  It had Daniel Stern in it along with John Heard.  However, the film was a pretty big slug.  And there was not near enough C.H.U.D. at all.  It had its moments, but overall, I’m not sure its something I’d ever return to again.  So, going into this sequel, which I’ve always known because of its subtitle, which can go up there with Electric Boogaloo and Your Sister Is a Werewolf as an all timer.  Regardless of what my thoughts would be, I knew I’d be down for an entertaining overall release due to it coming from Vestron Video.  They’ll be making this one available the same day as Return of the Living Dead 3; November 22nd.

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Film 

Kevin, Steve, and Katie are an inseparable trio of friends doing some extracurricular snooping in the school science lab when, among the test tubes and beakers, they discover a corpse! But before they can say “Abra Cadaver,” the body disappears, rolling down Route 51 strapped to a gurney. The kids need a spare stiff, and fast. What they find is “Bud the Chud,” a half-dead decomposing humanoid, the result of a military experiment gone haywire. When Bud sets out on a killing spree, the kids, the Army, the police, and the FBI are hot on his trail, trying to save the entire town from becoming “Chudified!”

Maybe blasphemous, but I found CHUD II: Bud The CHUD to be a pretty solid leap over the first film.  It sacrifices the effects, throws out the tone, and proves to be something radically different than what came before.  This isn’t necessarily a soft reboot, though it could be seen that way.  This is just the result of carrying on a franchise that probably wasn’t sure anyone wanted to see another with no money at all, and everyone on set and in the cast game to just do whatever.

Bud The CHUD is a horror comedy.  There was a sliminess to the first one that could be construed that way, but it really kept things serious and almost too much so.  This movie is a teen comedy, with some Weekend At Bernies inspiration and then just a sort of finding the fish out of water guy angle for most of it.  And if you want your 80s kicked into even higher gear, there’s a dude from Head of the Class in this (And I’m talking a guy you ONLY know from Head of the Class, Brian Robbins). Not everything works, its not even great or good for the most part, but, its not dull and its pretty damn watchable.

Things got cheaper, but the CHUDS managed to still be entertaining.  The last movie had them very monstrous, but we barely got to see them and didn’t really see much of them in action.  Here, we get plenty of action, but they look just like cheap ass zombies from a high school movie.  And that’s fine, because they are more fun to be around and they actually do stuff ON SCREEN.

Maybe this movie just hit me right.  I can see people hating it. And I’m sure it was just hot garbage and reviled when it came out. Its a drastic turn from that first movie.  But, I think its aged better, because we’ve grown to find appreciation for these movies and horror-comedy is more realized and accepted now.  I found it fun, not recommendable, but a solid attempt at some horror comedy to kill some time by and get nostalgic for some things of that era for 85 minutes.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail:  One of the best things about Bud The CHUD’s debut on Blu-ray is how clean this transfer really looks.  Its not wow’ing, but compared to what’s been available before, it sure is.  Details are pretty strong and the image more than does the trick. Its pretty crisp and looks full.  I owned this movie on DVD, though I hadn’t seen it, it was in a multi-pack and this picture really is beyond that one  (I popped it in out of curiosity). Now if they could only do Slaughter High from that same set this kinda justice…

Depth:  Solid dimensional work.  This isn’t going to have you demanding 3-D, but its got good enough spacing and distance work.  Movements are smooth and cinematic.

Black Levels:  Blacks are decent and solid.  They’re kinda on a brighter end in terms of look.  Shading and shadows look quite solid, adding to the definition of a given scene. Detail lost in darkness and dark coloring is very minimal.

Color Reproduction:  Colors stand very solid and natural.  Nothing really pops, but all colors find themselves consistent with one another.  Reds are strong and the grays look very good as well.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and a feature a consistent appearance from scene to scene throughout the film. Facial features like make-up, dried blood, wrinkles, stubble and CHUD make up look very good from medium to close-up shots.

Noise/Artifacts:  A layer of grain and really minimal dirt/specs.  A pretty clean image overall.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Bud The CHUD jams on this 2.0 mix.  The music is probably the best highlight of the whole thing.  It gets a lot of the low frequency bumps.  There are also plenty of explosions that both accurately layers the blast as well as pushes the rush of the fire.  All in all, this is a sound effort that gets the job done, in what is probably the best this has ever sounded.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clean and clear.  Plenty audible and tracked for placement with good accuracy.

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Extras 

Audio Commentary

  • With Director David Irving

Bud Speaks! (HD, 16:18) – An interview with Gerrit Graham.  The actor talks about how he got onboard by being friends with the director.  He never expected his career to be known for his more B-level roles and takes a really in depth and masterful look to his performance and character when reflecting upon it.  Says the pool scene was the most difficult to shoot.

Katie’s Kalamity (HD, 12:45) – Interview with actress Tricia Leigh Fisher.  The actress candidly talks about her second film and seems to embrace and have embraced it when she was shooting it.  She goes over her audition process and what it was like working and talking shop with all the effects guys.  And yea, Tricia notes that her bathing suit in the film was really awkward.  A fun interview.

This C.H.U.D.’s For You! (HD, 14:44) – Interview with Allan Apone.  The effects man talks about how he’s a big Gerrit Graham fan.  He was finishing up a season on Miami Vice and was looking forward to working on it.  Apone goes through his work on the shop and the 2 weeks he was on the set.  Its accompanied by home video effects and behind-the-scenes footage.

Video Trailer (HD, 1:47) 

Still Gallery (HD, 6:20) 

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Summary 

For me personally, I’m down with Bud the CHUD.  A step up.  This Blu-ray gives this film more love and service than it probably ever deserved (Or was asking for).  There are some really fun interviews and ones that are overly insightful too.  The film loos and sounds terrific, too.  Big fans should check it out, but if you’ve never seen the film before, I’m not sure if this is a blind buy (Unless you just collect stuff that could possibly be rare down the road to collect it).

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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