Three local high school kids have found themselves in a bit of a pickle. They’ve managed to accidentally lose a cadaver their science teacher was going to use in class. Being the upstanding, conscientious students that they are, they decide to replace the missing corpse… by stealing one from the local Center for Disease Control. Unfortunately, they get a bit more than they bargained for when they accidentally re-animate the corpse and find out that it was actually part of a military experiment that was trying to create unkillable super-soldiers. Oh, and said unkillable super-soldier has an insatiable thirst for blood and his little love nibbles are highly contagious. So now not only do they have an angry military leader hounding their asses, but they’ve also got to stop their undead friend before he infects the entire town with C.H.U.D.-itis.
Once the infected have formed a dance troop, I think it’s safe to say that you failed.
Okay. So. According to the movie’s subtitle this is the story of Bud the C.H.U.D.. This suggests that Bud is, in fact, a C.H.U.D.. Now, for reference purposes (and because I really didn’t post a clear picture of them in the previous write-up), according to the first film, this is a C.H.U.D.:
Aka, an angry Mutant
And this is Bud:
Aka, some hungover dude who fell face first into a bag of flour and chipped his teeth
Doth thou see the same issue I did?
Yeah, that comparison alone should suggest to you that this film is not going to be anything like the first one. And, in fact, that assumption would be completely correct. Like Sleepaway Camp II, C.H.U.D. II deviates completely from its dark, horror/monster source material roots and jumps straight into the realm of comedy. And I don’t mean any kind of ‘dark’ comedy, either. No, this thing goes for straight-up slapstick goofiness.
Despite this, there is an loose effort to connect the two films together. They call the creatures C.H.U.D., mention their cannibalistic instincts and refer to the enzyme that created them. But that’s where the similarities stop. Other than that, the rest of the movie just feels like a satirical zombie comedy. I have strong suspicions that the film started off as something completely different and was only given the C.H.U.D. moniker to give the cover some name recognition in the video rental stores, but I digress.
Yeah, I can’t see this fitting into the first movie…Also, there’s no way in hell this can be regulation high school swimwear, C.H.U.D. II. I don’t care what decade it’s from.
That isn’t to say that C.H.U.D. II is not enjoyable, though. Quite the contrary. The film is actually blissfully self-aware of how completely ridiculous it is and revels in its stupidity, something that works strongly in its favor. Which is great, because with a plot that involves self-aware-sorta-dead cannibals, a zombie poodle, a pissed-off Colonel who seems simultaneously horrified and delighted by the upcoming apocalypse he’s caused, and a plan to somehow stop the “C.H.U.D.” that involves a scantily clad woman and a swimming pool, you need as much self-awareness as you can muster. It’s stupid fun, is what I’m saying.
“Honey, the mailman come yet?”
“He’s gone.” A zombie outbreak and oblivious parents. I do not envy this poor child’s upcoming therapy bills.
The acting in the comedy of not-as-many-errors-as-I-thought-there’d-be (god, that was awful to type) is actually pretty impressive, all things considered. Yeah, the three main characters can be a bit wooden or come across as trying too hard, but it’s made up for a bit by the rest of the cast. The supporting cast is filled with a bevy of familiar faces that make surprising (at least to me) cameos that I wasn’t expecting. You’ve got Bianca Jagger, Larry Linville, Jack Riley, Sandra Kerns, June Lockhart (wait, what?), and Norman Fell all making appearances. Hell, even Robert Englund makes a blink-and-you-miss-him un-credited (how dare you, film!) walk through. As for the others, Gerrit Graham, who plays the titular Bud, is a delightful little cannibal to watch. He’s filled with just enough dorky energy for me to find him amusing. And Robert Vaughn, aka Colonel Masters, looks like he’s having a blast. But then again, I guess I would be too if you gave me a bazooka and let me blow up half a town.
Ah, the era before Yelp! reviews….Those were dark, dangerous times.
Still managed to hang onto his little fry basket, though. Good thing. Those things ain’t cheep.
The film seems to have had a fairly decent budget, considering its apparent schlockyness. Sure, the C.H.U.D. all look like the members of the local PTA ate some bad brownies and developed a huge vampire fetish, but the movie seems to have used what little savings that garnered them to good use. There are several explosions (sweet), a good bit of blood, a zombie dance number and several instances of C.H.U.D. popsicles. I wouldn’t say it’s anything to write home about, mind you, but it all looks good enough to suggest that some thought was put into this strange follow-up.
Oh, and they had enough money left over to finance a theme song for Bud. It is titled, shockingly, “Bud the C.H.U.D.” and sounds suspiciously like an amalgamation of several 80s songs you can’t quite name, except that it has zombie lyrics.
It’s surprisingly catchy and not that bad.
So, is C.H.U.D. II any good? Well, it depends on what kind of a mood you’re in. If you’re looking for a serious follow-up to C.H.U.D., then you are going to be supremely disappointed. It may be called C.H.U.D., but it’s really just a sequel in name only. And on top of that it’s not much different from similar zombie-esque movies and there’s not really anything here that makes it stand out even if it was. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a goofy comedy to spend the evening with, you could do a lot worse than C.H.U.D. II. Is it great? No. It’s cheesy as all hell. But it’s got some charm to it and was entertaining enough to make me genuinely laugh out loud a couple times. True, I may never watch it again, but I think that Robert Vaughn made sure that one view was worth it.
C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
It has also received a Bluray release from Vestron Video. Just don’t be fooled by that cover. There ain’t no mutants popping out of the sewer in this film. The cover is a lie. A LIE!