Make America Gory Again

uncle sam 1996


3 Stars  1996/18/86m

“He wants you… DEAD!”

Director: Larry Cohen / Writer: William Lustig / Cast: Christopher Ogden, Isaac Hayes, Anne Tremko, Leslie Neale, David ‘Shark’ Fralick, Matthew Flint, Tim Grimm, Robert Forster, Bo Hopkins, Timothy Bottoms, P.J. Soles, Thom McFadden, Zachary McLemore

Body Count: 13

This pre-Scream-rules cheap n’ cheerful holiday hacker from the creators of the Maniac Cop trilogy is about as subtle as politics is honest, but is nevertheless kinda endearing in it’s own cheesy way.

We begin with the obligatory flashback to an unspecified moment in time in Kuwait where two soldiers discover the bodies of a helicopter crew shot down in ‘friendly fire’. The remains of one of the men is shipped back to his hometown of Twin Rivers three years later (where it’s been all this time I don’t know) where his widow is living with his sister, whose son Jody is obsessed by his Uncle Sam and with joining the troops.

For no particular reason, Sam’s corpse – in the living room of the house! – is reanimated, dons an Uncle Sam costume put aside for the July 4th celebrations the next day, and goes about destroying those who aren’t patriotic enough  (“people who don’t respect the American way of life should have the butts kicked”) including swastika-spraying teens, crooked congressmen, pacifists and dope-smokers.

The body count goes ballistic and things get pretty gory and there’s a psychic blind kid in a wheelchair, which is always good! But the most compelling thing is that cast rota, stocked with big names for such a little known Troma-esque movie. Isaac Hayes is fitfully amusing as a surviving soldier and P.J. Soles has a short but sweet role as a neurotic mother.

The biggest mystery is why no one really seems to care when people are killed. Both the widow and her sister’s boyfriends end up as dog meat and neither seem all that bothered! A curious oddity that seems fitting again with the bizarre administrative situation in the US of A at present.

Blurbs-of-interest: P.J. Soles was Lynda in Halloween, but also had the lead role in Innocent Prey and parts in The Tooth Fairy and Candy Corn; Robert Forster was also in Maniac Cop 3 and the Psycho remake; David ‘Shark’ Fralick was later in Spiker; Isaac Hayes had a part in Return to Sleepaway Camp; Bo Hopkins was also in A Crack in the Floor and Sweet Sixteen; William Lustig also directed Maniac.

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