4.3/10
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71 user 66 critic

Uncle Sam (1996)

R | | Comedy, Horror | Video 4 July 1997
Desert Storm vet who was killed in combat rises from the grave on July Fourth, to kill the unpatriotic citizens of his hometown, after some teens burn an American flag over his burial site.

Director:

William Lustig

Writer:

Larry Cohen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Smith ... Major
David 'Shark' Fralick ... Master Sergeant Sam Harper (as David Shark Fralick)
Christopher Ogden Christopher Ogden ... Jody Baker
Leslie Neale ... Sally Baker
Bo Hopkins ... Sgt. Twining
Matthew Flint Matthew Flint ... Deputy Phil Burke
Anne Tremko ... Louise Harper
Isaac Hayes ... Sgt. Jed Crowley
Timothy Bottoms ... Donald Crandall
Tim Grimm Tim Grimm ... Ralph
P.J. Soles ... Madge Cronin
Tom McFadden Tom McFadden ... Mac Cronin (as Thom McFadden)
Zachary McLemore Zachary McLemore ... Barry Cronin
Morgan Paull ... Mayor
Richard Cummings Jr. ... Dan
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Storyline

Desert Storm vet who was killed in combat rises from the grave on July Fourth, to kill the unpatriotic citizens of his hometown, after some teens burn an American flag over his burial site.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's time to serve your country, and Uncle Sam wants you DEAD! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong horror violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ekdikisi gia tin patrida See more »

Filming Locations:

La Verne, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

A-Pix Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dedicated to "Lucio" (Fulci, the Italian horror director). See more »

Goofs

Uncle Sam's pants go from red and white to black and white just before the final showdown. See more »

Quotes

Sam: Don't be afraid, it's only friendly fire.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, there is an out-take of a character on stilts falling down. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

(Look Both Ways Before You) Double Cross Me
Performed by The Abe Lincoln Story
Words and Music by Steve Moramarco
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Good
29 October 2000 | by Eric ChapmanSee all my reviews

I rented this in the mood for a really bad movie that I could rip to shreds but to my surprise, and despite what everyone else seems to think of it, it was actually quite good!

Yes, there are all kinds of B movie slip-ups (like school being in session in the middle of summer, the crippled and deformed blind kid who somehow has been equipped with a sixth sense after a fireworks accident the previous July 4th, and the casket being dropped off and kept in the sister's living room as if it were a new TV set or piece of furniture) but I found myself ignoring all the flaws because the actors had so much conviction in their roles, and because Lustig's camerawork was so fluid and put me under its spell. The image of that Uncle Sam on enormous stilts first peeping into some bedroom, then hobbling away from some mysterious pursuer is one of the most effective, haunting visuals I've seen in a long while.

I was aware of his reputation for sleazy shlock but the surprise here is how much restraint and sensitivity Lustig shows in so many of the scenes (though admittedly not all). Working with a typically insightful/erratic/cliched/inspired/absorbing/impossible-to-pigeonhole script by the infamous Larry Cohen, you can tell that they really have something on their mind here other than just another slasher film ripoff. There are wonderful, quiet scenes like the one where Isaac Hayes' one-legged veteran takes the impressionable kid aside and explains that killing machines like his Uncle Sam aren't heroes at all, or the one where Timothy Bottoms' grade school teacher is forced to defend his pacifist stance during the Vietnam War to a class of skeptical students. And there are just clever, little tongue-in-cheek details throughout that clue you in (if you're paying attention) to the fact that the filmmakers put real thought and consideration into the exercise.

Whatever external flaws it may have, beneath its goofy premise there's real merit here. This is a movie that possesses something which many of its big budget counterparts wish they had: a pulse.


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