VIENNA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: OCTOBER 25 – NOVEMBER 8, 2018

UNCLE SAM

V' 10

UNCLE SAM

William Lustig
USA, 1997
Fiction, 89min, OF

UNCLE SAM

William Lustig
USA, 1997
Fiction, 89min, OF

Actors: 
Christopher Ogden
Jody Baker
Isaac Hayes
Jed Crowley
Anne Tremko
Louise Harper
David «Shark» Fralick
Sam Harper
Leslie Neale
Sally Baker
Matthew Flint
Phil Burke
Zachary Lemore
Barry Cronin
Timothy Bottoms
Crandall
Robert Foster
Cummings
Screenplay: 
Larry Cohen
Sound: 
Doug Reed
Camera: 
James Lebovitz
Editor: 
Bob Murawski
Composer: 
Mark Governor
Decoration: 
Charlotte Malmöf
Costume: 
Amy Wetherbee

Production: 
A-Pix Entertainment
Format: 
35 mm
Color

Three years after her husband Sam went missing in combat, the military inform his wife that he was killed by friendly fire in Kuwait. Sam’s body is returned home and placed in the family home as July 4th celebrations near. From his coffin, Sam’s body returns to life whereupon he reclaims his medals and walks out into the town. As July 4th begins, Sam, disguised in a carnival Uncle Sam costume, stalks the town, killing those who disrespect the flag, rob the government and have dodged the draft.
One of the great pleasures of Larry Cohen’s scripts is that they have unusual sympathies, a quirky wit and a subversive bite. Here you can see Cohen setting up deserving suspects for the wrath of the flag-saluting undead soldier – Timothy Bottoms as a Vietnam draft dodger, the corporate lawyer who boasts about avoiding paying tax for his clients, the flag defacers, the dope-smoking teen layabouts. William Lustig serves up some entertaining dispatches – bodies impaled on flagpoles, Robert Forster’s self-important politician set alight on a fireworks stand. With a film that so willingly sinks its teeth into the issue of American flag-waving and military pride, it is no surprise that Uncle Sam experienced a number of problems in receiving domestic distribution. (Richard Scheib)