In case you've misplaced your copy of The Dictionary of Movie Acronyms, C.H.U.D. stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller. Now there's no underground in C.H.U.D. 2 so don't any of you spelunkers get your hopes up (check out previous MonsterVision movie Grim). The cannibalistic humanoid part, though, we've got covered. Our cinematic opus opens with the military having determined that the C.H.U.D. project to create soldiers who can fight while "technically dead" should be terminated. One renegade colonel (played by Robert Vaughn, who's trying to pack hours of acting into his minutes of screen time) decides to save one of the C.H.U.D.s by sneaking it off to some facility somewhere in Middle America.
Story Two involves a couple of high school buddies in, you guessed it, Middle America. Through a chain of events not worth mentioning, they lose their biology professor's human cadaver. They assume -- correctly as it turns out -- that nobody will ever report a corpse on a gurney rolling down the middle of a busy highway. This prompts a decision that their only option now is to steal a body to replace the first one. Fortunately there's that high-tech military facility on the edge of town and, even more fortunately, it proves no match for two dim-witted American students, so soon they're the proud possessors of one bona fide dead guy. To make a short story even shorter, they end up reviving the deceased (prompting the almost-classic line, "You've got a real live dead guy in your bathroom") before heading out for a burger. Left behind in their nice Middle American home is Bud, aka the dead guy. Would he dare break loose and terrify the family poodle? Would he risk stalking the neighborhood, glancing through windows and dancing to aerobics videos? Would he turn a truckload of rednecks into zombies? The ways of Hollywood are mysterious indeed.
Bud is played by Gerrit Graham, a veteran of early Brian DePalma films and numerous B-movies. Much of the other cast also seem to have turned up in a trawl through the television backwaters. June Lockhart (Lassie, General Hospital, Lost In Space, not to mention MonsterVision favorite: Troll), the late Larry Linville (MASH), Norman Fell (Three's Company) and Rich Hall (Saturday Night Live) all have their moments, gamely keeping straight faces while twisting to the latest absurdist plot movement. You can even spot Bianca Jagger (Mick's ex) and supposedly Mr. Freddy Kruger himself, Robert Englund (though we admittedly can't tell you where). Even stranger is that director David Irving moved on from C.H.U.D. 2 to become Undergraduate Chairman of the Department of Film and Television at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Whew. We're guessing he's responsible for the almost three-minute single-take opening shot and the cameo by his mom, Priscilla Pointer (Dallas). In fact, Irving directed his mom and sister Amy Irving (which made him at one time Spielberg's brother-in-law) in the film Rumpelstiltskin. By the way, the screenwriter M. Kane Jeeves is actually novelist Ed Naha using a W.C. Fields made-up name.
There's undoubtedly plenty of other really fascinating information to dig up, but how about you hold on to the above gems until you catch Joe Bob at a tractor pull and share the wealth then.
C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud (1989)
Sunday, April 30, repeated August 5, 2000, Rating: TV-V
CHUD 2: Bud The Chud is available on video, but not DVD.