Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 18th, 2010
BluRay released: June 29th, 2010
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: 7.1 DTS-HD English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: The corpse of a sergeant killed in the first gulf war comes back to life and goes on a killing spree.
Uncle Sam was directed by William Lustig who other notable films include Vigilante, Maniac Cop and what many cult movie enthusiasts consider his masterpiece Maniac. The screenplay for Uncle Sam was written by Larry Cohen (Black Caesar, Hell up in Harlem). The cinematographer on Uncle Sam was James A. Lebovitz (The Toxic Avenger). The editor on Uncle Sam Bob Murawski who is best known for his frequent collaborations with director Sam Raimi.
After a very satisfying opening sequence. The film quickly gets bogged down by a lengthy set up. The killing spree doesn’t start to half way through the film. The kill scenes are effective and gory. The one area where this film excels is its superb cinematography which features several stylish shots.
The cast features many recognizable faces like Isaac Hayes (Truck Turner), Bo Hopkins (Midnight Express), P.J. Soles (Halloween), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) and Timothy Bottoms (Johnny Got His Gun). Outside of Isaac Hayes all of these actors all have parts which amount to nothing more than cameos. Which is unfortunate since their performances far out shadow the rest of the cast who for the most part are mediocre.
Premise wise Uncle Sam is rip with possibilities. A zombie / slasher film with the killer being a recently killing friendly fire sergeant who was serving in the first gulf war. And yet the end result is a underwhelming experience that suffers from a myriad of problems.
Uncle Sam comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Uncle Sam was previously released by Blue Underground on DVD in 2004. This is another strong transfer from Blue Underground that improves upon their previous release. Colors look more vibrant, black levels look very good and details look sharp throughout. Flesh tones and grain look natural. There are no problems with compression, edge enhancement or DNR.
This release comes with two audio options, a 7.1 DTS-HD English and a Dolby Digital 5.1 English. Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout with the 7.1 DTS-HD English being the more dynamic of the two audio mixes. Also both audio mixes do a great job exploiting the more ambient sounds of this films soundtrack. This release comes with three subtitles options, English SDH, French and Spanish.
All of the extras from Blue Underground’s DVD release have been carried over for this release. The extras are a trailer for the film (1 minutes 33 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a deleted scene (51 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a gag reel (38 seconds -anamorphic widescreen), a poster and stills gallery and a segment with stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos (9 minutes 46 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). The main extras included with this release are two audio commentaries. The first audio commentary with William Lustig and actor Issac Hayes. The second audio commentary is with director William Lustig, screenwriter Larry Cohen and producer George G. Braunstein. Both audio commentaries provide plenty of information about the various aspects of the production. Overall Blue Underground gives Uncle Sam its best audio / video presentation to date.