For The Love Of Film is a weekly column from film nerd and lover of all movies Justin Proper. Sometimes you need some help to figure out how to enjoy movies, and we are here to help! No longer will you need to fear movie night because your friends have no taste in film. With this column you will be able to love even the worst gems to ever grace the silver screen.
I know its a holiday and you are probably just checking your internets for funny things really quick right before/after a cookout so I will keep today’s entry short and sweet. First off, happy birthday, America! When most people think of movies set on Independence Day they either think of…well…Independence Day or maybe Born On The 4th Of July. Not me, for I have discovered what may be the best movie about the 4th ever created and that movie is Uncle Sam.
This gem from 1996 is a horror film about a war vet that rises from the grave to murder the hell out of anyone being unpatriotic on the 4th of July. Why? Because he was a total dick in real life. The plot really revolves around a young boy who idolizes his war hero uncle (he does not know of his “total dick during life” thing) and his family who have just received the corpse of their relative after all these years. After some teens burn a flag on ol’ Uncle Sam’s grave he breaks out of his coffin and begins his murder spree. Soon he finds an Uncle Sam outfit and mask which take this zombie from creepy to borderline humorous. Don’t worry, though, with some help of Isaac Hayes the monster is defeated but not before he racks up a pretty decent body count.
There is a reason you have not heard of Uncle Sam by now. It would be more than generous to call this movie great. Like most B horror movies from the mid 90’s it definitely has some flaws. The acting is on par with primetime dramas of the same era (think Dawson’s Creek or Beverly Hills, 90210) and the plot is not much better. On top of that the effects can get pretty hokey, especially at the end. It is no wonder the critics were not terribly fond of this film, but that is okay because I still love it.
There are not many options for horror to help celebrate this holiday and really only one that completely uses July 4th as it’s inspiration instead of just it’s setting. Uncle Sam takes patriotism to a whole new level, killing off all the people in the film that do not love America enough to deserve to live in this great country. Want to see someone impaled with an American flag? Uncle Sam. Got an urge to see a crooked politician become part of a fireworks show in an explosively deadly way? Uncle Sam. Would you just love to see a tax cheat in an Abraham Lincoln costume meet the same fate as Lincoln himself? Uncle fucking Sam. Do I even need to say more?