Wednesday, April 25, 2018

C.H.U.D. Lives! A Tribite Anthology [Book Review]

C.H.U.D. Lives! A Tribute Anthology [Early Review]
Be advised - this is a long one!

This book officially releases on Friday.
I am sure you are aware that I have been anticipating this book's release for over a year now. Since I was able to obtain an advance copy, I thought I would share what made me so eager for this release, before posting my official review on Friday (the below will not be a part of said review).

I believe that it was last summer when author +Franklin E. Wales (my favorite indie author) contacted me that he had submitted a story for a C.H.U.D. tribute anthology. Being a fan of the film, I was immediately excited and asked if he would send me a copy of his story, to which he agreed. The title of his story was Arthur Jackson II and the Forgotten Dream Park aka C.H.U.D. Florida Style Frank's story opens in 1972 in Liberty County, FL at the Gator Kingdom Amusement Park. It then jumps 44 years later leading into present day.

We all know that C.H.U.D. stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers and fans of the film will remember the acronym also standing for Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal. Well, Frank has come up with a new one - Central Humanitarian United Defense. . .

Needless to say, Frank's story is fantastic (especially towards the end), and I became even more excited for the anthology. Now, imagine my surprise when Frank told me that his story had not been accepted. (Why, Eric S. Brown?!?)

The good news is that Frank is releasing an anthology of his own, later this year, titled The Forgotten Dream Park and Other Tales of Terror of which the above story will be a part of, so stay tuned for that!

Now, onto Friday's review of C.H.U.D. Lives!
Did it live up to the hype? Read on. . .

Genre - Horror/Anthology
Year Published - 2018 (April 27th!)
Published by +Crystal Lake Publishing
Length - the ARC that I received is 286 (digital) pages
Compiled by Eric S. Brown/Edited by Joe Mynhardt

Plot Summary:
Today’s top Horror and SF authors pay tribute to C.H.U.D. in this anthology of original fiction.

C.H.U.D. is a genre defying, cult classic film featuring monsters living in the sewers below New York. The stories in this anthology expand the world created by the film and add depth to the C.H.U.D. universe like never before. From stories of apocalyptic horror and all out monster action, to tales of underground parties interrupted by uninvited guests and evening strolls that end in death, this anthology will leave you both smiling and breathless.

Relive the fear as these original stories take you beyond the movie to events that occurred before, during, and after the scenes we remember so well.

Includes C.H.U.D. related stories by Jonathan Maberry, Tim Waggoner, JG Faherty, Mort Castle, Michael H. Hanson, Martin Powell, Ben Fisher, Jason White, Chad Lutzke, Ross Baxter, Philip C Perron, David Bernstein, Nick Cato, Alex Laybourne, Christopher Fulbright, Angeline Hawkes, David Robbins, Robert Waters, Greg Mitchell, Ryan C. Thomas, and Eugene Johnson.

With an introduction by David Drake.
Compiled by Eric S. Brown.

C.H.U.D. Lives! also features in-depth interviews with Andrew Bonime (producer) and Parnell Hall (screenwriter), as well as never before seen behind-the-scenes photos from the classic 80s horror film.

Introduction by David Drake
Interview with the late Andrew Bonime
“Dog Walker” by Robert E Waters
“The Dwellers” by Nick Cato
“The City Will Eat You Alive” by Ryan C. Thomas
“Date Night” by David Robbins
“Strange Gods” by Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes
“Lost and Found” by Greg Mitchell
“They Are C.H.U.D” by Alex Laybourne
“C.H.A.D.” by Michael H. Hanson
“Samsa’s Party” by Ben Fisher
“The Way to a Man’s Heart” by Tim Waggoner
“Dweller Messiah” by Jason White
“That’s Entertainment!” by Mort Castle
“Toxic Disposal” by David Bernstein
“Monstrous Me” by Martin Powell
“Step Ate” by Chad Lutzke
“Zero Hour” by JG Faherty
“The Deuce” by Philip C. Perron
“All at Sea” by Ross Baxter
“You Will Never Leave Harlan Alive” by Jonathan Maberry and Eugene Johnson
Interview with Parnell Hall (screenwriter) by Eric S Brown

This book is dedicated in loving memory to Andrew Bonime, the producer of the

First, I just want to say that each of these authors do an outstanding job expanding the C.H.U.D. universe! For example, Robert E. Waters who opens this collection of stories the same way that the film opens, fleshing out the story of the woman walking her dog. Christopher Fulbright & Angela Hawkes' story alludes to a cult that one of the characters in the film was babbling about. Greg Mitchell's story expands on the 6-yr-old girl and her grandfather and explains what they were doing in NY.

Tim Waggoner's story takes place in the Diner from the film. (I just have to say that I loved the character's name Officer "Lumley" - assuming in reference to author Brian Lumley?) Jonathan Maberry & Eugene Johnson's story continues Bosch's (the cop from the film) tale. These are just some of the examples. The only story that I caught that alluded to the abysmal sequel was David Bernstein's gruesome 'Toxic Disposal' (all I will say is that it involves a headless C.H.U.D.)

Just because a story isn't mentioned above, doesn't mean anything (these are just the ones that specifically tie directly into the film). There are several more great, unique stories (involving C.H.U.D. children, a reality show, [Intelligent] C.H.U.D.'s living in a mine. C.H.U.D.'s aboard a cargo ship, etc.)

The majority of the stories in this collection I rated 4 Skulls each - the one exception being Michael H. Hanson's 'C.H.A.D.' - I loved this story - it plays out like a movie in your head!

Whether you are a long-time fan of C.H.U.D. or have never even heard of it, there is something in here for every horror fan to enjoy!

Rating: 4/5 Skulls

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