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WILLIAM LUSTIG & LARRY COHEN WANT YOU TO FEAR 'UNCLE SAM'

Christopher Ogden daydreaming of war in UNCLE SAM Year: 1996
Never have two actresses looked so much like sisters who aren't playing sisters but sisters-in-law, and one was married to a really bad guy named Sam Harper who, having gone missing in Iraq during the 1990's Iraq War (that never actually began), his body's found dead... or... wait...

The MANIAC COP franchise team of writer Larry Cohen and director William Lustig open things with intentionally campy horror: a soldier corpse resembling an Iron Maiden album cover reanimates to kill actor William Smith, responding to what's infamously referred to as friendly fire: Smith whose anti-war rap-song ends the show, sounding like a 6th grade idealist. He's a better actor, but sadly, with a voice so scratchy he can hardly speak and still looking the intense and bulky badass, he has very little screen-time and is less than a guest star...

David 'Shark' Fralick is Uncle Sam in UNCLE SAM
Which is what most of UNCLE SAM is loaded with, and, despite the bevy of other cult favorites, the main character is pre-teen Christopher Ogden as Joby Baker...

A kid whose intentionally monotone yet headstrong and blunt delivery works better than a more trained child actor trying too hard getting a point across. His mother, played by middle-aged beauty Leslie Neale (then married to Doors drummer John Densmore), has nothing but bad memories of her younger brother, Sam, who her son/his nephew idyllically harbors selected memories of love and adoration...

David 'Shark' Fralick is Uncle Sam in UNCLE SAM
Sam's hot blond wife Anne Tremko has enough fear in her eyes to be this horror film's stock scream queen ingenue. Dating the local cocky cop, she and her lookalike sis-in-law try getting the kid to see things realistically. Which is where Cohen's anti-war stance is noticeable without being overbearing or preachy.

Meanwhile, the edgy horror aspect works pretty great, and this is Lustig's territory, having gained his reputation as a sort of urban-slasher filmmaker, and yet, most of the picture takes place at the small town's afternoon July 4th party where corpse Sam is dressed in spooky Uncle Sam garb. Yet he pales to the creepy-looking Sam-on-stilts in one nighttime girl-stalking scene, with a twist. 

Christopher Ogden in UNCLE SAM Rates: ***1/2
Legless Korean War vet Isaac Hayes becomes the boys new mentor, and far too soon both realize Dead Sam was behind the random party killings...

Sam's victims include cult actors such as Bo Hopkins as a "toy soldier" who initially broke the news to the pretty widow (and is way too old for the part); Timothy Bottoms as a passive school teacher who doesn't last very long; Morgan Paull in his final role as the shallow town mayor; Robert Forster an even more shallow congressman; and HALLOWEEN starlet PJ Soles, whose burn victim son joins in for the end battle against Sam that, once underway, with fifteen to twenty minutes left, keeps UNCLE SAM from being as fun and involving, having worked really good as a body count horror and only so-so as a violent action flick.
Christopher Ogden in UNCLE SAM
Timothy Bottoms in UNCLE SAM
One of the scariest scenes, and that's not even the killer
Quite possibly the scariest imagine known to humankind in UNCLE SAM
Bo Hopkins and Leslie Neale in UNCLE SAM
Leslie Neale in UNCLE SAM
Anne Tremko in UNCLE SAM
Desirae Klein as BBQ Girl, who lights up a joint and dies in UNCLE SAM
Isaac Hayes and Uncle Sam in UNCLE SAM
Anne Tremko in UNCLE SAM
Leslie Neale in UNCLE SAM
Comic book of war in UNCLE SAM
Comic book of war in UNCLE SAM
Anne Tremko in UNCLE SAM
Christopher Ogden in UNCLE SAM
Profiling Leslie Neale in UNCLE SAM
Timothy Bottoms overseas July 4th in  UNCLE SAM
Morgan Paull in his last movie and we once got his last interview UNCLE SAM
Spooky shot in UNCLE SAM
Robert Forster doesn't get a shake in UNCLE SAM
Gorgeous stoner Desirae Klein with Matthew Flint in UNCLE SAM
Desirae Klein as Barbecue Girl about to be Barbecued in UNCLE SAM
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