UNCLE SAM (1996) Reviews and 4K Ultra-HD release details

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Uncle Sam, the 1996 satirical horror film from writer Larry Cohen and director William Lustig, is released Blue Underground on June 21, 2022, in a sparkling new 25th Anniversary restoration, scanned in 4K sixteen-bit from the original 35mm negative, with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, loaded with illuminating extras:

4K Ultra HD Disc (2160p) Widescreen 2.40:1 feature presentation
Audio: Dolby Atmos (English); 5.1 DTS-HD (English)
Subtitles: English SDH, Francais, Espanol
Audio Commentary #1 with Director William Lustig, Writer Larry Cohen and Producer George G. Braunstein
Audio Commentary #2 with Director William Lustig and Star Isaac Hayes
Fire Stunts with Audio Commentary by Stunt Coordinator Spiro Razatos
Deleted Scene
Gag Reel
Theatrical Trailer
Poster and Still Gallery

Here’s our previous coverage of the movie:

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Uncle Sam is a 1996 American horror film about a dead army veteran who rises from the grave on July Fourth to kill unpatriotic citizens in his hometown, after some teens burn a US flag over his burial site.

Directed by William Lustig (Maniac; Maniac Cop) from a screenplay written by Larry Cohen (It’s Alive; Q – The Winged Serpent; The Stuff).

The movie stars William Smith (Grave of the Vampire), David ‘Shark’ Fralick, Leslie Neale, Bo Hopkins (Tentacles, Sweet Sixteen), Matthew Flint, Anne Tremko, Isaac Hayes, Timothy Bottoms (The Fantasist, Parasomnia). P.J. Soles (Halloween), Tom McFadden, Morgan Paull, Richard Cummings Jr., Robert Forster (Alligator) and Jason Adelman.

Plot:
In Kuwait, a military unit uncovers an American helicopter downed by so-called ‘friendly fire’ at least three years ago. As the wreckage is inspected, Master Sergeant Sam Harper, one of the burnt bodies within, springs to life, kills a sergeant and a major, and returns to an inert state after muttering, “Don’t be afraid, it’s only friendly fire!”

Weeks later, Sam’s body is delivered to his hometown of Twin Rivers, which is preparing for Independence Day. Sam’s wife Louise is given custody of the casket containing Sam’s remains, which are left in the home of Sam’s estranged sister Sally, who lives with her patriotic young son, Jody. Sam reanimates in the early hours of the Fourth of July and proceeds to kill and steal the costume of a lustful Uncle Sam. Sam then makes his way to a cemetery, where he murders two of three juvenile delinquents who had vandalized tombstones and desecrated an American flag.

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During the Independence Day celebration (in which a corrupt congressman is visiting) Sam beheads the third delinquent, kills Jody’s teacher (who had opposed the Vietnam War) with a hatchet, and shoots Sally’s unscrupulous lawyer boyfriend in the head.

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Despite these deaths, the festivities continue but are thrown into disarray when Sam uses the fireworks gear to blow up the congressman, and a flagpole to impale Louise’s deputy boyfriend. As this occurs, Jody is told by his mother and aunt that his supposedly heroic idol Sam was, in fact, an alcoholic psychopath who physically and carnally abused them, and only joined the military so he could get a “free pass” to kill people…
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Reviews:
“There is a very subversive film to be made from his script that undercuts the faux-patriotism of blindly following your country’s government, no matter how morally questionable its actions. Cohen’s script also tries to graft on a critique of how the military might appeal to angry, violent young men and how the military sees them as useful assets in times of war. Both issues make for intriguing subtexts, but it seems like one too many elements for director William Lustig to wrangle into a coherent whole.” Obsessive Movie Nerd

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“Complementing Cohen’s note-perfect string of nationalistic platitudes, Lustig’s surprisingly evocative widescreen compositions are peppered with an absurd parade of Americana—fireworks, potato-sack races, even a morose, wheelchair-bound young boy as a ludicrous representation of the stereotypical Vietnam vet—almost all of which become the instruments of death…” Slant Magazine

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“There are a couple of “Hi I’m – killed” characters, but for the most part they are given a few scenes before being offed, and only one character is killed for no reason (the others are flag burners, crooked politicians, or other “Anti-American” types). Again, this was most unusual for a slasher movie, and even more surprising when you consider the ridiculous concept.” Horror Movie a Day

“Theoretically, Uncle Sam’s creators are using the format of the slasher film to make us re-examine our notions of patriotism, of sacrifice, of honor and glory and all that crap, while simultaneously forcing us to come to grips with the idea that most of the alternatives that have thus far been postulated are equally full of sh*t…” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

Main cast and characters:
William Smith … Major
David ‘Shark’ Fralick … Master Sergeant Sam Harper
Christopher Ogden … Jody Baker
Leslie Neale … Sally Baker
Bo Hopkins … Sgt. Twining
Matthew Flint … Deputy Phil Burke
Anne Tremko … Louise Harper
Isaac Hayes … Sgt. Jed Crowley
Timothy Bottoms … Donald Crandall
Tim Grimm … Ralph
P.J. Soles … Madge Cronin
Tom McFadden … Mac Cronin
Zachary McLemore Zachary McLemore … Barry Cronin
Morgan Paull … Mayor
Richard Cummings Jr. … Dan
Robert Forster … Congressman Alvin Cummings
Frank Pesce … Barker
Jason Adelman … Jesse Colbert
Laura Alcalde … Park Mother
Raquel Alessi … Girl Student
Abby Ball … Rick
Stanton Barrett … Clete

Filming locations:
La Verne, California
Sierra Madre, California (cemetery scenes)

Filming dates:
December 1995

Technical details:
1 hour 29 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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