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"Uncle Sam" (1996) -

 by Bone Jawnson

This past weekend, I viewed the appropriately titled slasher movie, "Uncle Sam." This film was written by Larry Cohen (It's Alive), directed by William Lustig (Manic), and released direct-to-video in 1990. In all honesty, I struggled to get my thoughts out about this movie. I wanted to really like it because the legendary Issac Hayes was in it, but it just fell short for me. There was one, perhaps two, good kills, and blood splattering. 

The major redeeming factor in this movie was the cinematography. I really enjoyed some of the camera angles, the choice of camera, and the sound work. While I usually enjoy the practical effects of these types of horror films, there is not much to take away. Instead, I focused on how the movie was shot, composition, music accompaniment, and so forth. 

Now, down to the brass tacks. Essentially, this movie is about a soldier who is "killed" by friendly fire during a war battle, shipped back to the United States, re-animates himself, and kills people who he deems unpatriotic. The main villain is aptly named Sam Harper, hence the Uncle Sam tie-in with him being a United States soldier. Throughout the film, I kept waiting for Sam to have a big, action-filled kill scene or scenes that never really happened. I felt a bit shortchanged in the number of times we saw the Uncle Same character burnt up, zombified face, as it was hidden for most of the movie behind a mask. His character moved slowly, like Michael Myers slowly, which added to my eventual boredom. 

Overall, I found this movie flat and bland, yet very well shot. This is a once-and-done movie. I'm going to pick a different patriotic-themed horror movie next year to watch during the first weekend in July.

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