In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Lustig's Last Gleaming

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.


Belial Bradley said...

Where were you when the internet started?

Jay Clarke said...

"Cyberspace! Sex Free!" NO THANKS

Anonymous said...

Who's the chick in the bathroom?

Jay Clarke said...

No idea sadly.