Blu-ray Review: Patriotic Slasher ‘Uncle Sam’ Arrives In 4K For Summer
William Lustig had such a long career in genre cinema that it’s hard to believe he only made eight feature films, nine if you count. The expert (1995), for which he was uncredited, and 11, if you count the two adult feature films he directed under the pseudonym Billy Bagg. Although Lustig has made classics such as Maniacal (1980), Tirelessly (1989), the manic cop trilogy (1988-1992), and my favorite, Vigilant (1982), he has not made a film since Uncle Sam (1997).
As many of these movies have started to get the 4K Ultra treatment, it would only be a matter of time before Uncle Sam would also receive it. Now, courtesy of Blue Undergroundyou can own the patriotic slasher in what can only be described as the definitive edition.
sergeant. Sam Harper (David Fralick) was a highly decorated soldier who was killed by friendly fire during the first Gulf War. His body was recently discovered by the military and brought home over the July 4 weekend. After a disrespectful flag is burned on his grave, Sam rises from the dead to exact revenge on those who are unpatriotic. His nephew Jody (Christopher Ogden) is as patriotic as they come, but he soon begins to realize that the recent murders in his small town are being committed by the undead corpse of his Uncle Sam, and only he can do anything about it.
Uncle Sam is an incredibly fun trip down memory lane. If you’re a fan of the genre, there’s so much to love and cherish here, especially since so many of the legends of the genre who appear in film are no longer with us. The film features appearances from Timothy Bottoms and PJ Soles, but it is Bo Hopkins, William Smith, Isaac Hayes, and Robert Forster who are all deceased. In a way, it’s sad, but at the same time, it’s great to see their legacy continue in these movies.
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They are not the only ones who are now gone; because the screenwriter of the film happens to be the legendary Larry Cohen. This man had such a brilliant mind and such a devilish sense of humor. He injects all of that into his screenplay, including plenty of social commentary, which he’s always been known for. Lustig leads with a wink; the film is never meant to be taken too seriously and most certainly offers audiences a unique experience.
As mentioned above, this is the definitive edition of Uncle Sam. Seeing how crisp, clear, and colorful the film is in this upgrade, watching any other version would be a disservice. The disc is stuffed with extras. There is a commentary track with Lustig, Cohen and producer George G. Braunstein, and a second with Lustig and Isaac Hayes; a gag reel, deleted scene, trailer, poster and stills gallery, and finally, fire stunts with commentary from stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos.
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The great thing about the packaging is that the slip features a 3-D lenticular Uncle Sam, going from a man to a ghoul. He also has the catchphrase “I want you…dead!” with the word “Death” appearing once he is turned into a ghoul. It really is a fantastic release, and if you’re as much of a Lustig and Cohen fan as I am, you’ll definitely want to add this release to the collection whether you own any others or not.