Uncle Sam (1996): C+
The guy who directed Maniac, which I love, and Maniac Cop, which I also enjoy, directs Uncle Sam, a movie about a ruthless “maniac” soldier (named Sam; lolz) who is killed in Desert Storm and then returns from the grave as an evil, murderous Uncle Sam. They could have called the movie “Maniac Soldier,” but I guess they really wanted a guy in an Uncle Sam suit.
Sam’s body is crispier than a sack of tater tots left in a house fire. He looks like Swamp Thing except he’s all black and grey. His corpse is shipped home to his grieving wife and shortly after arriving, Sam wakes up. How? Don’t ask me. The rest of the film is just a lumbering, zombie, Lurch-like, reanimated civil servant villain going on a killing spree and a sub-plot about Sam’s alcoholism/sadism. The “maniac” formula worked to achieve something of a cult following for Maniac Cop but the charm didn’t quite transfer for poor Uncle Sam.
Anyway, Sam’s crispy ass gets a hold of an Uncle Sam outfit and then starts murdering unpatriotic folks during some 4th of July festivities. He puts a little “’Merica” twist on his kills too. The best is the fireworks related death in which an unpatriotic Congressman gets lit the fuck up like a Christmas tree. There’s also some garden shears through eyeballs and an impaling on an American flagpole.
Each kill is pretty well thought out; there are more than simple stabbings and all sorts of goofy shit happens. Isaac Hayes shows up and he’s got a wooden leg. There’s a sack race. Uncle Sam gets shot with cannon balls.
There is some social commentary more transparent than Angelina Jolie, but I still appreciate it. Snippets of conversations about patriotism/pacifism, draft dodging, and the real purpose of soldiers pepper the film. I like that these things are in there and I’ll give Uncle Sam props for trying to make us think (just a little bit) during what would otherwise be a formulaic slasher flick.
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