People are disappearing all over the Big Apple. Nobody cares, though, because most of the missing are homeless. But when investigative reporter Murphy (J.C. Quinn) tips off principled photographer George Cooper (John Heard) to a government conspiracy involving the dumping of nuclear waste beneath the streets, Cooper decides to dig a little deeper. Soon he discovers the existence of C.H.U.D.s, or "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers," derelicts who have become grotesque monsters after being exposed to the mountains of hazardous waste. Meanwhile, Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry), a cop whose wife is among the missing, forms an unlikely alliance with the Reverend (Daniel Stern), a leftist soup-kitchen cook who knows the score. Murphy, Cooper, Bosch, and the Reverend soon run up against the stonewalling tactics of Wilson (George Martin), a government toadie. As the titular monsters begin to tire of their underground habitat, the protagonists -- including Cooper's wife, beautiful model Lauren Daniels (Kim Greist) -- face a race against time to defeat not only the C.H.U.D.s, but the government's cover-up. The debut, and only film, from writer Parnell Hall and director Douglas Cheek, C.H.U.D. was followed by 1989's C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the C.H.U.D. Co-stars Stern and Heard would later appear together in the first two Home Alone pictures, while Curry would appear in the third.
by Brian J. Dillard synopsis