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4.0 out of 5 stars Serve Your Country...Or Else!
After his helicopter is shot down by "friendly fire" in Kuwait, the charred remains of Desert Storm hero Sam Harper (David "Shark" Frahlich) are recovered by a reconnaissance team and shipped off to his Midwestern hometown back in the States. His sister Sally (Leslie Neale) and his widow Louise (Anne Tremko) are actually relieved to learn that the...
Published on July 5 2004 by Michael R Gates

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2.0 out of 5 stars He wants YOU.... BORED
War hero Uncle Sam is killed in "Friendly Fire" and burnt to a crisp. His body is sent home in a coffin to his sister and her son. Her son,Jody, looked up to his Uncle Sam but the sister, Sally, was afraid of him. As 4th of July draws near Sam wakes up and starts killing off Flag burners and Tax cheaters, it's up to ex soldier Jed to stop Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam...
Published on Feb. 3 2001 by N. Dungan


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4.0 out of 5 stars Serve Your Country...Or Else!, July 5 2004
By 
Michael R Gates (Nampa, ID United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Uncle Sam (DVD)
After his helicopter is shot down by "friendly fire" in Kuwait, the charred remains of Desert Storm hero Sam Harper (David "Shark" Frahlich) are recovered by a reconnaissance team and shipped off to his Midwestern hometown back in the States. His sister Sally (Leslie Neale) and his widow Louise (Anne Tremko) are actually relieved to learn that the abusive Sam is dead, because in life he was a fanatical right-winger whose legendary heroics actually stemmed from his propensity for being domineering and downright sadistic. In fact, the only person in town who seems to mourn Sam's demise is his nephew, Jody (Christopher Ogden), who has long worshipped his uncle as the epitome of bravery and manhood.
Sam's burned and apparently mummified body arrives home in a sealed casket a scant day or two before the 4th of July, and when some of the town's juvenile delinquents perform a disrespectful flag-burning ritual at the fallen war hero's freshly dug grave, not even Death can restrain Sam's patriotic indignation. Sam rises from his coffin, appropriates an Uncle Sam costume, and celebrates Independence Day by meting out fatal punishments to the town's hoodlums, crooked politicians, draft dodgers, and anybody else he considers to be un-American. When young Jody discovers who's behind the wave of killings, the lad realizes that his uncle may not be so worthy of admiration after all, and he and a few of his friends set out to thwart the activities of the flag-waving fiend. But will Jody and his buddies be able to stop Uncle Sam before it's too late?
On the surface, 1997's UNCLE SAM seems to hearken back to the early 1980s and the heyday of the slasher-flick. Following the basic formula of the popular films from that era--films such as HALLOWEEN (1978) and FRIDAY THE 13th (1980)--UNCLE SAM centers around a mentally unbalanced individual who inexplicably rises from the grave to become a serial-killing juggernaut, and only a few innocents are able to learn the killer's identity and ultimately halt his murderous spree. The unique variation in this film is that, instead of eliminating promiscuous teens (the typical slasher-flick victims), the unctuous Uncle Sam is picking off anybody who pooh-poohs old glory, hot dogs, baseball, apple pie, or any other icon of the American way of life.
But if viewed as straight horror, UNCLE SAM will read as a rather goofy film. There is actually much more going on here than just a bunch of gratuitous bloodletting. Scripted by indie auteur Larry Cohen--well known for penning and directing way-above-average exploitation genre flicks such as IT'S ALIVE! (1974), GOD TOLD ME TO (1976), and Q: THE WINGED SERPENT (1982)--and directed by Cohen's sometimes-collaborator William Lustig (1988's MANIAC COP and sequels), UNCLE SAM is actually a dark Juvenalian satire of cultural phenomena like blind patriotism, patriotic demagoguery, the romanticizing of war, and misguided hero worship. Although the satirical aspects are more blatant here than in THE STUFF (1985)--Cohen's top-notch feature-length mockery of consumer excess and the smarmy advertising industry that spurs it on--UNCLE SAM still cogently and humorously delivers its message and is therefore a lot of fun to watch. It has also been argued that UNCLE SAM is gently spoofing the slasher sub-genre itself. While it's obvious that this is not the primary theme, it would be difficult to deny that the film does offer a few playful jabs at other holiday-themed slasher flicks.
The acting in the film is above par, especially for a low-budget horror film. (Watch for lots of well-known faces, including Timothy Bottoms, Isaac Hayes, and the cute P.J. Soles of HALLOWEEN fame.) The cinematography is excellent, the attention to color (especially the reds, whites, and blues), the use of shadows and contrast, and the skillful framing in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio at times breathtakingly beautiful. And Lustig's direction is tight but not overbearing, and he keeps the plot moving along at a natural but exciting pace.
In many ways, UNCLE SAM is a family-friendly slasher flick. That's not to say that it's suitable viewing for the pre-teen Disney crowd, but the characteristics typical of the genre have been toned down. Some of the killings carried out by the titular character actually take place offscreen and are therefore merely implied, and even the murders that do occur within the camera frame are not nearly as bloody nor as gruesome as the genre norm. And unlike many horror films of recent decades, the T&A factor is practically non-existent, with only one scene offering a very brief flash of female nudity. For a genre-loving family with children aged 13 or older, screening this film as part of the 4th-of-July celebration could become a fun annual tradition.
The new DVD treatment of UNCLE SAM from Blue Underground is superb. The digital transfer is nearly perfect, with nary a discernable filmic or digital artifact. The sound quality is also wonderful, with viewers given two versions of Dolby from which to choose. And there is lots of cool bonus material, too, including two feature commentaries, the original theatrical trailer, and more.
UNCLE SAM may not be to every viewers taste, but most genre fans who enjoy dark satire will want to give the disc a spin. And fans of Larry Cohen will certainly want to add this one to their DVD collections.
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5.0 out of 5 stars refreshing new slasher/zombie classic!! done up 80s style!!, June 30 2004
By 
This review is from: Uncle Sam (DVD)
this is one of my new favorite horror flicks!! its more of a SLASHER flick than a ZOMBIE flick(the slasher is the zombie) this movie is a breath of fresh air in my opinion!!! it plays like a "HALLOWEEN" "FRIDAY the 13th" or a "NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET" on the 4th of july but then it has its own unique creative bite to it, wich makes it just as good if not better than those masterpieces!!! in the 80s this flick would have been a box office smash instead of going straight to video!! if some big name like WES CRAVEN was involved it would have been a hit!?!? "UNCLE SAM" makes "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER" look like a freakin walk in the park!!! much better in so many different ways!!!! way scarier/more creative directing/better make up & special effects/acting isnt so bad. the only thing about the movie that rubbed me the wrong way was the stupid kid in the wheel chair!!! the movie could have done without him!!! they could have come up with a much better way for the kid to find out who his uncle was & you all will understand what i mean when you watch it for your self!!! anyway it doesn't ruin the movie by no means! so hurry up & get this refreshing new slasher/zombie classic!! done up 80s style!!!!! E!!!!N!!!!J!!!!O!!!!Y!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars B Movie Gold, July 24 2003
By 
Jeffrey Leach (Omaha, NE USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Sam Harper went to the Persian Gulf War with a wife in the States and a belly full of hate. His chopper crashed in the desert, a victim of friendly fire, and it took three years to find his body. Now Harper is back home in a metal coffin with a wife who no longer wants to remember him and a nephew who thinks his uncle's sacrifice is the height of honor. Sam's hatred of those who besmirch American values is enough to bring him back to life, and now his hometown of Twin Falls is about to pay a heavy price when this soldier awakens to settle some scores. During the course of Harper's bloody rampage, his nephew Jody learns that a love of death is a poor substitute for love of one's country. Everything reaches a head at the July 4th celebration when bodies start to fall like rain. This is the fundamental plot of William Lustig's bloody 1997 horror film "Uncle Sam." Starring a cast of notables including Bo Hopkins, Isaac Hayes, Robert Forster, and Timothy Bottoms, Lustig's homage to misguided patriotism delivers on several levels while failing on several more.
One thing that works here is the gore, with a nasty looking broken leg, an impalement with an American flag, TWO guys on fire, a beheading, and a hatchet in the head. I also liked the look of Sam Harper as a desiccated zombie who dispatches anyone he considers unpatriotic. Although we don't see Harper for most of the movie because he's dressed in a cheesy Uncle Sam outfit, look for the scene where a dead Harper pins medals on his bare chest. The sound effects in this scene and when Sam walks are unsettling, as he squelches and crackles with every step. I think most gorehounds will like a lot of what they see in terms of special effects in this movie. Throw in Isaac Hayes as a one-legged aging war veteran who feels guilty about glorifying war, Timothy Bottoms as a draft-dodging teacher, and Bo Hopkins as a sleazy Army sergeant and you have B movie gold.
Unfortunately, "Uncle Sam" founders with laughable dialogue and plot holes you could sail the British Navy through. I should vacillate here and mention that a pathetic and fragmented script may go either way. If you don't like to laugh at movies unless they are comedies, then the failings of Lustig's film will bother you. However, if you are like me and occasionally find cheesy dialogue funny, "Uncle Sam" may fit the bill. I laughed repeatedly as this movie lurched and shuddered to its conclusion. Allow me to make a few comments on some of the more implausible scenes and interactions in this movie. I will only mention a few, but anyone with a sharp eye could easily list more:
How does Sam Harper get out of his casket? I understand that Jody undid one of the latches the first time he messed with it, but later we see two latches when Jody and Jed Crawley check to see if Harper is still in his coffin. Besides, Sergeant Twining told us in the beginning of the film that the coffin is 'sealed.' Doesn't this mean there are more than a couple of easily turned latches keeping the casket closed?
I have never, ever, witnessed a gunnysack race where the sacks cover the entire person's body. As if that is not enough, the racecourse goes through the woods where roots, huge fallen logs, and steep hills challenge the contestants. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't think of jumping through a forest in a gunnysack, let alone allow my kids to do so. But they are doing it here, and you can hear people grunting and yelling in pain when they fall down. This scene is so ridiculous you cannot help but laugh at it.
What's up with Barry? Is he Strangelove's kid? Barry appears late in the film; a blind, wheelchair bound youth permanently scarred in a fireworks accident the previous year. Apparently, Barry is psychic, as he always knows what's going to happen with Sam Harper before anyone else does. Not only that, but Crawley and Jody haul him along when they return to the house where Harper's casket lies. Why take a kid in a wheelchair into a potentially life threatening situation? Incredibly, they always leave Barry sitting outside alone when they run around the house or go to fetch a weapon to use against Sam. Barry's in a wheelchair, for goodness sake! How will he defend himself if confronted by Uncle Sam? The capper occurs when Crawley positions himself outside the house with a cannon (!) waiting for Jody to lure Sam outside. Crawley growls "I can't fire with that kid in the way," and Barry replies, "Go ahead and fire. He'll get out of the way!" WHAT? How do you know that, Barry? Oh, I forgot. He's psychic. Barry may well be one of the creepiest characters in film history.
I could go on forever with the bloopers and blunders in nearly every scene of this movie. I'm being a little harsh, but overall I really liked "Uncle Sam." I can't help it; this movie is just too funny to hate. I watched the "Special Edition" widescreen DVD version, which includes a trailer and a commentary with Isaac Hayes and William Lustig. I listened to a good portion of this commentary, and Bill Lustig is almost childlike with joy over "Uncle Sam." His enthusiasm for filmmaking is infectious. Give "Uncle Sam" a chance; it's great, cheesy fun.
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2.0 out of 5 stars He wants YOU.... BORED, Feb. 3 2001
By 
N. Dungan - See all my reviews
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War hero Uncle Sam is killed in "Friendly Fire" and burnt to a crisp. His body is sent home in a coffin to his sister and her son. Her son,Jody, looked up to his Uncle Sam but the sister, Sally, was afraid of him. As 4th of July draws near Sam wakes up and starts killing off Flag burners and Tax cheaters, it's up to ex soldier Jed to stop Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam showed so much promise but doesn't deliever to well. It has a great cast including P.J Soles (Carrie, Halloween), Robert Forester (Alligator, Jackie Brown) and even Isaac Hayes (TVs South Park, Escape From New York), I have enjoyed the directers earlier films (Manic Cop series) and I liked a film the writer wrote (Manic). The movie starts well but soon desends into snorsville. It takes a long half hour defore something finally happens, some of the deaths are quite good and some are quite dull. Uncle Sam will keep you a little bit entertained if you can make it past the first half hour. No real plot, some good deaths, a little suspence and lousy acting describes Uncle Sam, still it might be worth watching if only once.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Just like smelling the milk when you know its sour., Dec 25 1998
This review is from: Uncle Sam [Import] (VHS Tape)
Ok, being that this was filmed in my hometown, I had to rent it. With that out of the way, it's kinda like a traffic accident, you know you should not slow down to take a look, but something inside you makes you want to look, such is Uncle Sam. Being a B-Movie buff, I've seen bad, and this is BAD with a capital B. If you're looking for great acting, lot's of horror and great gore effects, you'd be better off renting "Sorrority Babes at the Slime Ball Bowl-A-Rama" (which I DO recommend). This movie is a great plot gone wrong. It's not scary, the gore is terrible, and the acting is right out of your fourth grade Christmas play. In fact it takes 45 minutes before the gore even starts. I'm sorry but if I rent a horror movie,I like things to get a little bloody before I'm ready to pop in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!". But!!!! There is one redeeming quality about this movie, if you and a group of friends are bored on a Friday night and you want to watch a horror movie and add a little dialog of your own, then this is the movie for you, because this movie screams for audience intervention! Believe me, I wanted this movie to be a B-movie bonanza, but sadly it's a B-movie BOMB!. The movie box reads "Uncle Sam Wants You.....Dead..." It should read "Uncle Sam Wants You and Your Video Rental Money!" Take Care! Haunted Mansion
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Swill, Nov. 4 1999
By 
This review is from: Uncle Sam [Import] (VHS Tape)
Gulf war veteran , abusive husband , brother , and uncle , Sam Harper, returns from Desert Storm in a coffin . He's charred like blackened catfish and searing mad! During a small town 4th of July fest, he rises from his coffin and kills the unpatriotic , the corrupt and the disrespectfull . Some of the situations in the film are just plain ridiculous. For example, the Army delivers the coffin to Sam's sister , where it is kept in her living room! After 2 of Sam's dead victims are discovered at the fest , the festivities continue as if nothing happens . I'd be smart enough to stay the hell away after a head is found in the bar b que pit! The acting and character development is pretty shoddy, but still this is a fun film, if you like toungh in cheek slasher type movies . There exists enough surprises and funny moments to keep this film entertaining, although it is far from a classic .
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5.0 out of 5 stars A misunderstood classic, June 2 2000
This review is from: Uncle Sam [Import] (VHS Tape)
Spoilers ahead.Read with caution. I must confess that I actually love this movie. I'm very shocked at the bad reviews and negative publicity it's received over the years.It's awesome and one of the best B-movies ever.The special F/X are really cool and the gore is beautiful.The killings are very Friday The 13th- esque.A teen in a running sack gets his head sliced off with a meat cleaver,another teen in an Uncle Sam costume gets hacked to pieces with a pair of garden shears and a cop gets impaled on an american flag.Sam looks real ugly when he gets unmasked at the end too.The film is surprisingly very entertaining.It's just non-stop entertainment.Overall,Uncle Sam is a very cool and extremely gruesome slasher flick that deserves much more credit.Buy it now! Rated R for gore galore,strong language and brief nudity.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Concerned Mother from Arkansas is a liar., Sept. 13 2001
By 
Jon Liming "skullninja" (Mesa, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
I'm trying to figure out what this person who claims to be a Concerned Mother from Little Rock, Arkansas is talking about. They have obviously never seen this movie since none of those events that they report actually happend in this movie. These forums are not for playing around and posting crap like that. Amazon needs to ban your account and erase that post. You are sick and obviously need professional psychological help.
Uncle Sam isn't a great horror movie. THe pacing is a bit too slow and there are way too many missed opportunities to elevate it to the status of quasi-parody. It is worth watching for a good laugh. If you are into MST3K, this is a perfect movie to collect your friends together and riff the heck out of. The commentary track is very nice.
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2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, June 25 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Uncle Sam [Import] (VHS Tape)
Although I didn't expect much from this movie when I rented it, I was still disappointed. This is a could have been movie. There is a good story, but the filmmakers didn't put enough into the making of this film.
The first half sets up the story. It makes it out to be a drama because the first killing doesn't happen until over half way through the movie. That is when the story stops. Because of the first half of this film, I kind of wished that they skipped the killings and developed the story and characters.
This movie is strictly rental material unless you are, like me, a collector of horror films.Don't expect too much from it and it could be enjoyable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Something new and different!, Jan. 18 2004
By 
Zacc Maughan (Hyrum, Utah United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Uncle Sam [Import] (VHS Tape)
I was at movie gallery, looking for some cheesy movies and this is what i found...
uncle sam is highly original, and has a very good plot. very realistic and original killings. Killings include: hanging, tree trimmers, gun, meat cleaver, buryed alive, and many more! i gave it 4 stars because tge 1st of the movie was slow and boring, but it came together nicely. and some of the charcters where very annoying! it is definatly diferent but it is batter than alot of movies i've seen! when i first picked it up i though it was going to be cheesy but its not! it definatly has its scary moments and its extreamly gory moments! definatly worth watching!
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