Have A Cold One



John Heard as George Cooper
Daniel Stern as AJ Shepherd
Christopher Curry as Captain Bosch
Hanna Lee as Claudia
Kim Greist as Lauren Cooper
JC Quinn as Murphy

Michael O'Hare as Fuller
Sam MacMurray as Officer Crespi

"Cooper, you son of a bitch. I'm in jail. I only get one phone call. You think I wanna waste it talking to some goddamn fucking machine?" – A homeless lady that Cooper has befriended.


CHUD…or C.H.U.D. if you want to type those periods… (I don't) is a movie from 1984 that is typical 1980's monster movie fare for that time. I should know, I was alive back then. We loved our monster movies back then. If it had a monster, ghost, or alien or even just a crazy axe-murderer we wanted to see it. It's funny to know that nowadays the horror and gore in those movies is like a gentle spring rain to what you can find in the present.

But I will admit, I NEVER saw this movie in the 80s. Yeah, I'd see it on the shelf of video rental stores (remember those?) but I personally never rented it. But in the 90s when I worked at the Pentagon I had a good friend, we'll call her Corporal D, because I won't use her real name. She would make references to the "CHUDs coming out of the sewers to get us" as a joke so I had to ask what the hell is a "CHUD" and why are you frightened of them? (Hey she was afraid of birds, so it was a legit question). Her response was "You've never seen that movie?".

Well, D, I saw it now. I picked it up in a bargain bin years ago, and I gotta tell ya…I ain't afraid of CHUDS. The only people they killed were people that really should have seen them coming! Oh, I forgot, CHUD is supposed to mean "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller".

In the movie, the government had a bad habit of throwing away radioactive toxic waste in the sewers under New York. Yeah, I know, out of all the places they could do this they pick the Big Apple. They could easily just dispose of the stuff in some Podunk town in West Virginia or something, where no one would notice the mutations, but they did it the big, big city.

Since all of us Sci-Fi geeks know that Radiation turns people into monsters or superheroes this ends up bad. It turns a bunch of homeless people living in the spacious sewers into…um, CHUDS. The CHUDs come out of the sewers at night and grab the unwary for food. Soon enough the rising amount of missing people attracts the attention of a police man, Captain Bosch.

Now this flick would have done better to stick with one or two main characters, but they had this weird rotating band of people that I'm supposed to care about but I can't because they aren't that interesting. Bosch is interested in missing person's cases because his wife is missing. AJ Shepherd never takes a bath or wears clean clothes but he's interested because a lot of his homeless friends that eat at his soup kitchen have gone MIA….and they take shelter in the sewers. …BUT…

We get a sub story with George Cooper and his wife Lauren…George is a fashion photographer and Lauren is a model. There's also some freelance reporter named Murphy who just kind of pops in and out. I'm guessing that Bosch is supposed to be the main character but he's not in the movie long enough at a time to care or focus on him. It ain't Shepherd for the same reason…and let's face it, George and Lauren are boring. They could have NOT been in the movie and it wouldn't have been a major deal. I felt like the movie was punishing me with their scenes.

That's the problem with the entire movie. The monsters don't make a big enough appearance and the audience doesn't get a character or group of characters to focus on or care about. None of them spend a lot of time around each other and their personalities aren't even barely sketched out. You end up just wanting someone to get eaten because the flick changes from character to character without anything really happening.

There aren't really any interesting kills…there are no moments where you will go "Dang, that dude got killed in a great way!" or "He really gave it to that monster! That was cool!" parts. I get it, that this movie has cult status because of the time it was made. But my biggest issue was as I said. After shifting from the Coopers, to Bosch, to Shepherd, to the Coopers, to Bosch and Shepherd Together, etc. I didn't care anymore! Even adding the standard government jerk, Wilson didn't help. There was no big monster fight at the end and this being the 80s you know Wilson was going to get his evil ass killed. You know the only character I cared about? The little fluffy dog in the start of the movie.

Too bad he didn't make it.


1.) So, did the monster eat the dog at the opening of the movie, too? We saw a woman walking a little fluffly white dog get yanked into the sewer, but it's not clear on if the dog got ate too.
• Averted. We find out later in the movie what happened to the pooch. It ain't pretty.

2.) I know living in a big city can be very expensive, bat dang, George and Lauren live in a really crummy building. It looks like it's condemned, to be honest.
• George is a photographer and Laureen is a model. When we first meet them Lauren says she is going to be late for a photo shoot for a perfume ad. You'd think she'd want to live in a less dreary looking building if she's a model getting ad work. Unless it's some really cheap Dollar Store Perfume company.
• Maybe they're broke. As soon as we meet George he's blowing off a reporter that commissioned some photo work. Thats a good way to make sure no one hires you. You think this guy won't tell everyone else not to hire George Cooper because he'll blow your deadline? Trust me, in the 80's a missed a deadline for some artwork for a NON PROFIT AGENCY and they never forgave me for it (even though I did it FOR FREE). The next time I was coming up short on a deadline I freakin' chased the Fed Ex man across town.

3.) Why CAPTAIN Bosch personally investigating a missing person's case? Wouldn't a captain be in charge of directing other detectives?
• Averted. Bosch admits to Shepherd that he's interested in the growing list of missing persons because his wife is one of the people that disappeared. Of course that begs the question of wouldn't the department tell him he can't investigate his own wife's disappearence? For all they know he "disappeared" her. Isn't that a conflict of interest?

4.) Shepherd and Captain Bosch go into the sewer to investigate the missing homeless people that live down there. Shepherd tells Bosch how he found a radiation detector down there and even shows it to him. A few minutes later they find a geiger counter that starts beeping furiously and they hear a monstrous roar. Now I don't know about you, but if I were anywhere near a geiger counter that started making warning sounds I'd be haulin' ass. If I'm near one that does that and then I hear a monster sound I'm going to freaking teleport like Nightcrawler outta there.

5.) After the CHUD throat grabs the old man in the phone both the little kid grand daughter doesn't scream or anything. Heck, she saw the monster before her grandfather even knew it was there and didn't scream or yell. Ok, maybe she was just in shock. But later at the police station one of the cops tells Bosch "She's hysterical, says a monster ate her grandfather!" laughingly. Um, she ain't hysterical. She's either catatonic or she has ice water in her veins. This kid is nothing near hysterical though.
• By the way, what kind of dickhead cops do they have in this city? The cop that tells Bosch this is laughing about it! Hey meathead, whether you believe a monster did it or not, it's a LITTLE KID and she has clearly seen something that traumatized her. Jerk.

6.) Wilson, the Obstructive Bureaucrat from the Nuclear Regulatory Committee sends one of his goons to tail Shepherd after they first meet. Presumably to keep Shepherd from gathering more evidence about the existence of the CHUDs. When Shepherd goes into the sewer to get a slightly crazy homeless man he knows out for his own safety the goon puts a lock on the sewer opening trapping Shepherd down there. (Spoiler, the homeless guys dies in a non-CHUD way). What's the point of that? It's clear that Wilson doesn't think Shepherd can prove anything and the goon has no idea whether the CHUDs will get Shepherd killed real fast or not. Shepherd knows the guy was tailing him, too, so theres the chance that he might get out of the sewer and go axe crazy. I mean would if that creep had done that to me.
• Shepherd had a run in with the guy earlier. He was trying to make a phone call at a payphone when the goon took his coin away and glared at him. So maybe the goon isn't afraid at all of Shepherd. I mean, usually that would get you a throat punch at the very least in 1984. (Nowadays you could get shot) Shepherd did nothing.


Captain Bosch...a police Captain walks around the station with his gun tucked into his pants. No holster, he's doin' it gangsta-style. It seems like a small detail (and I almost missed it) but it took me right out of the movie.

♦ Bosch sends some New York City police officers on a CHUD hunt in the sewers armed with Flame Throwers! Do New York City cops even have flame throwers? In 1984? ...and for God's Sake, why?

♦ Considering the craptastic way Wilson handles things and that Bosch already has an act to grind because his wife is a victim of the CHUDs why doesn't he just go to the press and blow the wole story all over the media? Yeah there was no internet in 1984 (at least not as we know it today) but it would attract enough attention to bury Wilson and maybe avoid more CHUDing's!


Wilson is the definition of the Obstructive Bureaucrat in this movie. To the point where when it's obvious that his cover up is causing more than good for anyone he still insists on doing things his way just to avoid bad press.


Leaving only the less than .001% chance that you'e wiped a "cult" movie from your bucket list, CHUD will leave you craving for a stronger and more consistent brew. This blend is better for people that really want to watch 80's schlock. If that's not your poison you might want take a beer from the score.

three beers

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