Review: William Lustig's 'Uncle Sam' a Resourceful Horror Satire in Stunning 4K

by Sam Cohen

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday June 21, 2022

Review: William Lustig's 'Uncle Sam' a Resourceful Horror Satire in Stunning 4K

When it comes to 4K UHD Blu-ray releases of cult, horror and genre films, Blue Underground has been consistently hitting it out of the park for the past couple of years. Although they haven't been releasing many new-to-them films as of late, their 4K upgrades of previous releases usually pack in more than enough new features to warrant an upgrade. Their new 4K release of William Lustig's 1997 horror comedy "Uncle Sam" is no exception to the rule.

Blue Underground brings "Uncle Sam" to 4K Blu-ray for the first time ever, with a brand-new 4K restoration sourced from a 4K 16-bit scan from the original negative. The stunning result should surprise no one familiar with BU's 4K output, but it bears repeating here that this is yet another pristine presentation that reveals a lot of detail over the 2010 Blu-ray from Blue Underground. In addition, the Dolby Vision HDR adds some natural depth to the palette, and the Dolby Atmos soundtrack is rather expressive for a film of such a low budget.

It's the Fourth of July, and the corpse of Sgt. Sam Harper — killed previously by friendly fire in Kuwait — is finally returned to its final resting place, Sam's hometown in Twin Rivers, New Jersey. But after Sam's corpse mysteriously rises from the dead and dons a crude Uncle Sam costume, patriotic bloodletting is on the menu. Only Sam's mentor, a dogged Korean war veteran name Jed (Isaac Hayes), and young nephew can stop his rampage.

For a film made in 1996, "Uncle Sam" sports the same kind of oddball sleaze sensibilities of Lustig's earlier films and uses a classic '90s production style in rather funny ways. Where you could easily see a film of this jokey caliber to be cheap, Lustig fills the frames with humor that elevates the whacked-out nonsense of the script written by Larry Cohen. This isn't high art, but it's certainly the best and most fun version of the material.

As for special features, Blue Underground has carried everything over from their previous Blu-ray release, with nothing else added. That said, the audio commentary with Lustig and Larry Cohen is a great look at how resourceful these two people are as filmmakers. The real star of the show in this release is the stellar 4K presentation, and should be your main reason for picking up this release if you're interested.

Other special features include:

• Audio commentary #2 with director William Lustig and star Isaac Hayes

• Fire Stunts with audio Commentary by stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos

• Deleted scene

• Gag reel

• Theatrical trailer

• Poster & still gallery

"Uncle Sam" is now available on 4K Blu-ray from Blue Underground.