CHUD, or C.H.U.D., is an 80s cheeseburger, delicious and deep-fried, high in calories and saturated fat and low (if not utterly devoid) of nutritional value. It’s a pure B-movie, in other words, and a glorious one. CHUD stands for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers” or “Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal”. If you take both of them in one swallow, they explain the movie perfectly. The Guv’ment has been dumping toxic waste into the abandoned subway tunnels beneath New York, and this has mutated the homeless people living in those tunnels into bloodthirsty monsters.
When we got our first peek at the creature in SHORTCUT, I leaned over to my lovely better half and gleefully whispered “It’s a CHUD!” The beast, the “Nocturnal Wanderer”, sure bears a resemblance to the CHUD (sans the glowing eyes), and it shares the latter’s hankering for human blood. How a CHUD got from the bowels of New York City to some creepy tunnels in Italy (or wherever SHORTCUT is supposed to be set) I don’t know. (This would make for a groovy movie in and of itself. Maybe it would explain the reason the creature was nicknamed “Wanderer”.) But if it waddles its little tail like a duck and it quacks like a duck, and it has feathers like a duck, and webbed-feet, and likes water—it’s a mallard. The question is, did the creators of SHORTCUT deliberately take inspiration from CHUD, or was it a happy accident?