Book Review: “C.H.U.D. Lives! (A Tribute Anthology)”

image of a CHUD

Let’s talk about C.H.U.D.

C.annibalistic H.umanoid U.nderground D.wellers to some, C.ontamination H.azard U.rban D.isposal to others (who are buying into the government cover up!)

C.H.U.D. Lives! is a scifi-horror anthology that Crystal Lake Publishing released back in April of this year that expands on the universe of the original 1980’s cult classic film C.H.U.D., but thankfully not on its sequel C.H.U.D. II: Bud The Chud which was horrifying for all the wrong reasons.

The stories range from yarns that build upon key scenes from the movie (whatever happened to that little girl and her grandpa in the phone booth?) to more speculative tales that take us into the future and other locales outside of New York City. The common thread is always C.H.U.D.’s. People that have been exposed to toxic ooze and transform into violent, flesh-eating mutants with glowing yellow eyes.

Like most anthologies, the quality of story varies. I’m happy to report that almost all entries are well written and strong. My favorites were “The City Will Eat You Alive” by Ryan C. Thomas, and “Lost and Found” by Greg Mitchell, with a special mention of “That’s Entertainment!” by Mort Castle due to its timely humor and social satire. Most of these focused on people dealing with C.H.U.D.’s in different horrifying scenarios that called back to the film. The stories that didn’t hit home for me were the more action-oriented offerings. While I’m sure some readers would love them, I’m not really into the whole “military procedural” style of action fiction. If someone uses a sub-machine gun, I don’t care what model it is or how it sounds, specifically.

cover of CHUD Lives anthology book

Crystal Lake Publishing has been knocking it out of the park with the horror anthologies lately. I have been a massive fan of C.H.U.D. since I first saw the movie over two decades ago. In that time, the Internet has shown it’s love as well, but there has been very little in the way of new content for fans. This book fills a much needed gap, and I can definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the film.

If you’ve never seen C.H.U.D. and have even the slightest interest in horror movies, fix that! Grab some popcorn and treat yourself to one of the most beloved cult-schlock gems of the 1980’s. It’s gory, funny, and totally over-the-top. Plus it stars John Heard, and a young Daniel Stern.

Two horribly mutated, glowing, thumbs up!

WHAT I LIKED:

  • C.H.U.D.’s
  • World building that expanded upon key scenes from the film
  • Gross-out violence along with tongue-in-cheek humor

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:

  • It was over a little too soon, could have used a few more stories
  • A few entries bordered on “gun p*rn” which I’m not a fan of
  • A couple stories contained ‘howlers’ that the editor should’ve caught before it went to press

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