CHUD appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. It should come as no surprise that CHUD looked like a low-budget movie from 1984.
Sharpness was adequate, as most of the movie came across as passably distinctive and concise. Wide shots tended to look somewhat indistinct, but the flick was acceptably defined for the majority of its running time. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and no edge enhancement was detected. As for source flaws, I thought the image looked clean.
Colors were passable. The film went with a low-key palette that favored blues, and the hues seemed average. Blacks were similarly decent but somewhat flat, and shadows tended to be a bit dense. The image had its ups and downs but was good enough for a “C+“.
When we moved to the film’s LPCM monaural soundtrack, it showed its age but usually sounded decent. Dialogue was adequate, as only occasional edginess affected the lines. Speech could’ve been more natural, but the lines seemed okay.
Music wasn’t particularly bold, but the score and songs showed reasonable clarity and vivacity. Effects seemed clean and without substantial distortion; though they didn’t have much kick, they reproduced the material well. While nothing here dazzled, the mix held up fine for a 32-year-old mono track.
This two-disc release includes two versions of CHUD. We get both the film’s Theatrical Cut (1:26:29) as well as an extended ”Integral” Cut (1:36:25). Because this Blu-ray represented my initial screening of the film, I can’t detail the differences.
I did want to mention the presence of both, though. Note that the film review above addresses the “Integral Cut”, not the theatrical version.
Alongside the “Integral Cut”, we find an audio commentary from director Douglas Cheek, writer Shepard Abbott and actors John Heard, Daniel Stern and Christopher Curry. All five sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and other topics.
Sort of. For the most part, the participants do little more than joke around and complain. Do we learn anything substantial about the movie across this commentary? Maybe, but I can’t think of many nuggets of value – this ends up as a loose chat that provides some entertainment but lacks real information.
We also find an Isolated Score/Composer Interview. Along with moderator Michael Felsher, composers Martin Cooper and David A. Hughes give us a discussion of musical influences and how they got into the business, aspects of their collaboration and their work on CHUD. The chat looks at the requisite topics well.
The interview fills the first 32 minutes of the film, and then the isolated score appears. Obviously this means the music doesn’t become scene-specific, but it’s still good to get the score in its (apparent) entirety.
A few featurettes follow. A Dirty Look goes for 19 minutes, 11 seconds and provides an interview with production designer William Bilowit. He covers how he got into movies as well as aspects of his work for CHUD and other parts of his experiences. Bilowit delivers an enjoyable chat replete with good observations about the film.
During the 12-minute, seven-second Dweller Designs, we hear from special makeup effects and creature creator John Caglione Jr.. Like Bilowit, he chats about his roots in show business as well as what he did for CHUD and related topics. This becomes another engaging discussion.
Notes from Above Ground, we locate a nine-minute, 10-second program with writer Michael Gingold and filmmaker Ted Geoghegan. They take a tour of CHUD locations and give us a little information about these spots. We learn some minor details about these spots, but don’t expect much real insight.
An Extended Shower Scene lasts one minute, 24 seconds. As far as I can tell, it only adds a few seconds of Kim Greist’s nude body double. That makes it worth a look.
A running Behind the Scenes Gallery goes for five minutes, 32 seconds. It focuses mainly on effects work but it also includes publicity materials and concept art. The “Gallery” works well.
In addition to the film’s Trailer, we find a Booklet. This piece includes photos, credits and an essay from Michael Gingold. The booklet completes the package well.
For a low-budget 1980s horror flick, CHUD proves to be above average. Despite some iffy storytelling choices, the movie builds well and delivers a good punch in the end. The Blu-ray offers mediocre picture and audio along with a mostly informative set of supplements. It’s not a classic, but CHUD entertains.