Over the past five weeks we have brought you the 50 Essential CHUD movies, films that we think help to define just what a Chewer is. But those 50 movies don’t tell the whole story, so we’ve decided to bring you this appendix. Those films were ones that made a difference for us, the guys who write for the site; for the appendix we’re going to spotlight some films for which we’ve tried to make a difference (with varying degrees of success).

One of the great things about writing for a site like CHUD is that you suddenly find yourself with the opportunity to speak to lots of people who share your love of movies and who probably have a similar mindset. And that means you have the chance to pimp out a movie that you think is great, and that you suspect a lot of people reading the site will think is pretty great, too. We’ve never been shy about doing this  hell, it’s almost part of our basic mission statement.

For the rest of the week we’re going to bring you ten films that CHUD has championed. These are the films that we pimped, and we pimped hard, and we’re proud to have put our name and our reputation on the line for them.

http://chud.com/nextraimages/specialsdvdd.jpgThe Specials (Buy the DVD)

The Movie: Lame superheroes on their day off. That’s pretty much the one liner for James Gunn (writer) and Craig Mazin’s (director) little blast of a film. Featuring Judy Greer and Paget Brewster before they were geek strokebait, the best usage of Jamie Kennedy ever, Rob Lowe, Gunn, and the always brilliant Thomas Haden Church, The Specials is a fun and quirky little treat that came out under the shadow of the inferior Mystery Men and remains a cult fave for a sad few.

Why it’s Essential: If my calculations are correct, this film is still the only one which mentions CHUD.com in the commentary track. The Fly 2 WOULD have been the second if that little experiment didn’t get faceraped. When this film did the rounds at Comic Con all those many years ago, we were among the few sites who not only loved it but also put it in black & white how much so. Over time as James Gunn and the majority of this cast have become daily targets of love from this site and many others, but this flick was the beginning. It still has some classic moments, my favorite being the unveiling of the action figure line, but it’s one of those movies where the overall effect is a lot more rewarding than singular moments. It really is kinda special, and if you haven’t seen it for its own rewards pick up the new DVD to listen to former item Gunn/Brewster on the commentary track going from amicable to a little more combative as old wounds exacerbate. Awesome.

- Nick Nunziata

Primer (Buy the DVD)

http://chud.com/nextraimages/primer.jpgThe Movie: A couple of engineers slaving in the corporate world are looking to make some money off their own ideas. Working out of a lab in their garage, they are trying to invent a device that will interfere with gravity (think of how it would revolutionize the world of shipping alone) but instead wind up with a box that functions as a limited time machine. They play with time and space to earn cash on the stock market, but pretty soon things get more ominous’ and much stranger.

Why it’s Essential: is a low budget movie that almost couldn’t be improved with more money. It’s a real science fiction film in that it’s not fantasy with technological components, but rather takes a basic “what if” thesis based in science and runs with it. It’s a movie about ideas, and they’re incredibly compelling ones – ideas about power and trust. On top of that, Primer works as a puzzle movie; it may take you a couple of viewings to really work out the correct timeline and the motivations of some characters, but once you do you realize that the movie was playing fair with you the whole time.

Primer is the work of writer/director Shane Carruth, who also stars in the film. Armed with a couple of thousand dollars and craft services provided by his parents, he managed to come out with one of the most thought-provoking debut films of all time. It’s the kind of movie that restores your faith not just in science fiction as a genre, but in the concept of indie movies in general in this day and age of faux-indie studios like Miramax and Sony Pictures Classics.

Once you’ve checked out Primer, be sure to come back to CHUD and read some of the coverage we were very happy to bestow on this film, including my three-part interview with Shane, where many of the details and ideas behind the movie are discussed. Part one is here, part two is here, and part three is here.

Meanwhile, I’ll just be here waiting patiently for the next Shane Carruth film.
- Devin Faraci