The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been storing radioactive waste in the sewers under the streets of New York. And since most of the homeless live rent-free in the fragrant underground, the dots connect themselves.
Radioactivity has time-tested body distorting properties, so it’s an easy leap to assume the C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) are in fact the grotesquely mutated creatures that have been feasting on those who are not.
Looking like something that came out of a heavy metal song, these inside-out-faced creatures leave a wake of half-eaten humans all around the sewers. Waste not, want not. They could at least wrap up the leftovers for citizen stew or street chili.
Topside, they’re planning to gas the sewers in a feeble attempt to put the thud on the C.H.U.D. They better hurry – the monsters, with glowing eyes, can-opener-strength claws, and radioactive slobber – are getting into apartment buildings and restaurants.
Underpin all of this with testy New Yorkers and a government cover-up, and sit back and watch the mutated flesh hit the fan. They don’t show the monsters actually ripping apart humans and dining on skin snacks, which was a big disappointment. All you see is brief flashes of the underground dwellers, which is a shame as they look kinda cool.
Most of C.H.U.D.’s (1984) action centers around ill-tempered New Yorkers who act as though radioactive sewer monsters were just a part of every day life. Maybe they are.