This week's VHS was Bill Lustig's 1996 holiday horror Uncle Sam.
A soldier killed by friendly fire in Kuwait returns to his hometown on Independence Day to seek revenge on unpatriotic Americans.
I love that lenticular cover above. I'd been meaning to watch this for a while, but obviously wanted to wait for the appropriate date to roll around. Sadly though, I must admit Uncle Sam was a little disappointing. Lustig and writer Larry Cohen are a winning combination, as evidenced by the Maniac Cop films, but something was amiss here.
|Is it just me, or is that bathroom window massive?|
It's very difficult to pin down, but some of it had to do with my constant confusion during the movie, starting with the family dynamic. I kept on getting the lead Jody's (Chris Ogden) mother and aunt mixed up because the latter seemed more age appropriate. I also found it weird this kid was super obsessed with a distant uncle (Sam!) than his actual father – though he was absent, as well. Add in some random subplots, like the blind boy that comes out of nowhere an hour in and I was like, okay sure, why not? Pile it on!
Mainly, I think this movie needed someone like Michael Moriarty or Bruce Campbell to punch things up. Isaac Hayes helped some, but it didn't help that it was almost fourty-five minutes before shit started happening. I was beginning to wonder if there was actually going to be any gore in this thing, but thankfully it finally arrived climaxing in a pretty bad-ass full body burn – in a scene that Imdb tells me got film productions banned from that town forever.
Uncle Sam was basically a lesser version of Maniac Cop, only veering off to satirize the concept of blind allegiance that I guess, in a roundabout way, makes it as topical as ever.
Hundred P, this kid voted for Trump. Honestly though, as far as lenticular horrors go, I prefer Jack Frost. It's a bad movie to be sure, but at least it leans into it in an entertaining way. Oh, and it doesn't have a kid burning his G.I. Joes. That made me wince.