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Uncle Sam 4K UHD Review

“Uncle Sam” doesn’t feel fully formed.

1996’s “Uncle Sam” is a horror-comedy that revolves around a soldier (Sam harper) who is killed by friendly fire in the Gulf War. His body is sent to his family in Twin Rivers the week of July 4th. While his family (including his nephew Jody who wants to follow in Sam’s footsteps) are coping with his death, Sam returns from the dead, begins to wear an Uncle Sam mask and costume, and starts killing those who are unpatriotic (although he doesn’t quite follow that rule). Can anyone stop his reign of terror?

Directed by William Lustig (of “Maniac Cop” fame) and scripted by Larry Cohen (perhaps best known for “It’s Alive” and “Phone Booth”), “Uncle Sam” plays out like a variation of “Maniac Cop” albeit with some satire about patriotism and the chaos of war. The cover art and concept seem promising, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The film takes too long to get going and once the mayhem begins it doesn’t make much sense. Way too much happens off screen and the blend of horror and comedy isn’t as potent as it could be. Cohen touches upon some subjects that are worthy of exploration ala hero worship, PTSD (both in and out of war), and violence, but the themes have little depth. You’re left wanting more than what is on screen.

If you go into “Uncle Sam” simply wanting a slasher, you might find yourself having a better time. There’s a few memorable death scenes, nifty stunts, and commendable makeup work, but don’t expect any genuine scares. 

For a low-budget feature there’s a fair amount of talent here with Robert Forster, P.J. Soles, Isaac Hayes, and Bo Hopkins having roles of varying length. Nobody particularly stands out here as the child actors Christopher Ogden (Jody) and Zachary McLemore (Barry) tend to have the most scenes.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 2160p With Dolby Vision. How does it look? Scanned in 4K 16-bit from the original 35mm camera negative, this is an impressive crisp transfer from Blue Underground.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos and 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? 2 major audio options may seem like overkill for a direct-to-video horror film, but they certainly sound superb. You can’t ask for better audio quality.

Extras:
* Theatrical trailer
* 2 informative commentary tracks. One by William Lustig, Larry Cohen and George G. Braunstein and the other by William Lustig and Isaac Hayes.
* Poster and still gallery
* 1 deleted scene
* A quick 40 second gag reel.
* Fire stunts commentary by stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos.

June 14, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , ,

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