Thursday, May 6, 2021

80s Thursday Night at the Movies: Bud the CHUD & Jaws 3D


When you see that duo for the night, I can imagine the immediate response is: why would he want to put himself through this, is he a glutton for punishment?• Yes, these two selections are just not good movies. I wouldn't pretend that they are. As much of a softie as I am today as opposed to 2006 or 2007 where I could go for the jugular like a lot of 20 year old know-it-alls. Even at 43, I can't just ignore bad when I see it. I will say that Gerrit Graham as the zombie resurrected by high schoolers, Robbins and Calvert, accidentally in a bathtub remains such a gift to the film even if the humor too often just doesn't land successfully. I gave the film a 5/10 fourteen years ago, but, in all honesty, that was being generous. I just knew the cast really wanted to bring a smile to your face. Tying this film to the 1984 C.H.U.D. film was itself a major mistake. Nothing about this film is remotely a CHUD movie. Maybe the shark teeth in the mouths of the zombies that Graham bites (and his victims bite) is enough, but never did I think this had any reason being connected to C.H.U.D. The cameos of Norman Fell, June Lockhart, Bianca Jagger, Larry Linville, and Rich Hall are so desperate to charm us. I can't really fault all those many viewers who just demolished the sequel-in-name-only. The use of "freeze" and electricity to just blow up the CHUDs is grade-Z quality plotting and presentation. The problem is, even as a silly exercise knowingly meant not to be taken seriously, I felt tonight a bit satisfied never to watch it again. But I remember when I watched this on an old VHS tape borrowed from uncle all those years ago thinking, "What the hell is this?!" It is purposely loony and wacky, but I'm today good never to need to revisit it.

The third Jaws film is just not a good shark movie. It isn't really even intense or suspenseful because the 3D special effects on screen absent the theater gimmick show their age terribly.° Unlike the review I just posted today, I do like the leads okay. Dennis Quaid has the urgency and maturity as a lead engineer needing to find his missing employee and fix issues for the underwater Seaworld walkway, and Bess Armstrong as his lover and expert aquatic biologist who must help him eventually kill the female Great White after her baby died in a pool while onlookers are stunned is quite likable with plenty of personality. Lea Thompson, so cute and young, is a bright light when she's on screen, with John Putch as the "little brother" coming to visit Quaid from a college in Colorado, eventually becoming Lea's romantic interest. They are a core cast I think I felt helped my revisit of the film tonight. But the special effects are brutal and the quality of the DVD version I have in my possession is the drizzling shits. I do plan to watch this one more time on HBO and see if a better quality print helps. Louis Gossett, Jr., is an actor I can't dislike so even if he was critically skewered for his "Seaworld Barnum", I admittedly just enjoyed his presence even if he is made to look foolish when a real and present danger could do him irreparable harm.

CHUD II: Bud the CHUD : 2/5

Jaws 3D: 2/5

•The main reason I did revisit Bud is that it was featured as one of eight films in a Vestron set featuring an eclectic bunch with no relationship to each other. My daughter was looking at the set when we were watching Waxwork (1988), wondering about Bud.

°I looked back at previous posts about the third Jaws film to make sure I hadn't mentioned that there is some minor nostalgia because I used to watch it on the old TBS Superstation. And I remember that great TV guide ad for the third film, really emphasizing the size and terror of the Great White. If only the film were anything but a gimmick.

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