If you just watched “Rick and Morty” season 5 episode 4, then you might have noticed that they used the term “CHUD” quite a bit in the episode. What you might not have known is that this is actually a callback to a horror film from the 1980s.
This article has spoilers for season 5 episode 4.
CHUD Refers to a Movie from the 1980s
One of the plot points in the newest episode of “Rick and Morty” (which appears to be an episode you’ll either love or passionately hate) was humanity’s ongoing battle with a race of Underground-Dwelling Cannibal Horse People. Throughout the episode, they’re referred to as CHUDs for short. While this plot point has a strong resolution at the end (as opposed to the giant incest baby that is literally left hanging in space), some viewers might not realize that the term is also a callback to a 1980s film.
“C.H.U.D.” is the name of a science fiction horror film from 1984 directed by Douglas Cheek and starring Christopher Curry, Daniel Stern, and John Heard. The word C.H.U.D. stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. If you had ever seen the movie, then you likely recognized the callback right away. But if you weren’t familiar with the movie, you might have missed this joke altogether and wondered why they were constantly referring to the horses as CHUDs.
Here’s the trailer for the movie.
It didn’t take long after the episode aired for the movie’s Wikipedia entry to be updated to include the latest “Rick and Morty” episode. The plot of the movie is about an NYPD cop and the manager of a homeless shelter investigating disappearances and discovering they’re connected to monsters who live underground. The movie opened in 1984 at #13 in the box office, despite having just a limited release. It’s been re-released over the years as part of different special edition compilations. The movie’s average rating is pretty low, as Rotten Tomatoes only gives it 29%.
Interestingly, there was even a sequel movie made called “C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud.” One person’s review on IMDb reads: “A mix of horror and comedy make this sequel to the original one that stands superior to the original. While a poorly acted, written and directed film, as is the first one, the filmmakers decided to have a little fun with this and it shows.”
“Rick and Morty” Often Has Callbacks to Movies
“Rick and Morty” has had frequent callbacks to movies and TV shows in its episode titles over the last two seasons. In fact, season 5 episode 4’s title, “Rickdependence Spray,” was a callback to the well-known movie “Independence Day.” Episode 1 of this season, “Mort Dinner Rick Andre,” was a callback to “My Dinner with Andre.”
Last week’s episode, “A Rickconvenient Mort,” referenced the movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Season 4 of “Rick and Morty” had quite a few titles that were parodies of movie or TV show names.
- Season 4 Episode 1: “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Repeat” was a reference to the movie Edge of Tomorrow, which had the tagline: Live, Die, Repeat.
- Season 4 Episode 2: “Old Man and the Seat” was a reference to the classic book “The Old Man and the Sea.”
- Season 4 Episode 3: “One Crew over the Crewcook’s Morty” referred to a classic novel and movie called “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
- Season 4 Episode 4: “Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty” was a reference to a TV series called “Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit.”
- Season 4 Episode 5: “Rattlestar Ricklactica” was a reference to the show Battlestar Galactica.
- Season 4 Episode 6: “Nevericking Morty” referred to the movie and book “Neverending Story.”
- Season 4 Episode 7: “Promortyus” referred to the movie “Prometheus.”
- Season 4 Episode 9: “Childrick of Mort” referred to the movie “Children of Men.”
Future episode titles for this season will contain more callbacks to TV productions.