October 20, 2021

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‘Dead on the Fourth of July’, William Lustig’s latest disappointing and entertaining film

It’s been 25 years since William Lustig made a film. The latter, for now, continues to be this small approach to the politico-military killer in the classic cities where these things happen. ‘Died on July 4th’ was actually a more than successful farewell letter to the Bronx filmmakers.

Phantom limb syndrome

Dedicated to Lucio Fulci, ‘Dead on July 4’ is a sort of re-validation of the artistic pair formed by William Lustig and Larry Cohen after the scorn received in the final installment of the ‘Maniac Cop’ saga and to go out for a leg in ‘The Expert’ , video straight to Jeff Speakman’s glory.Again with Cohen on the lyrics and with some good friends, Lustig says goodbye to a cynical slasher with some of the songs out there that, as always with Lustig, still hold true.

An allegory of the United States dating back to the early 19th century, Uncle Sam is depicted as an old man with a beard, fairly thin, dressed in the colors of the flag, symbols representing the country’s political figures, plus of values. Ever-present in the country’s popular culture, something the opening credits of the film remember very well.

Lustig captured the symbol through Sam Harper, a soldier who died in action in Kuwait. His corpse was returned home, something that fascinated his nephew, the only admirer of a man full of darkness and secrets. Displeased with the cold reception from his family circle, Sam comes back to life to kill everyone who gets in his way. To that end, he disguised himself as Uncle Sam, the ideal outfit to mingle with the crowd on July 4, Independence Day.

The figure of Uncle Sam, war hero, husband, brother and role model, is not so great. But, oddly enough, the list of victims consisted of people who deserved that fate.

It’s true that Cohen’s script isn’t one of the most complicated in his long career, but it doesn’t really matter that his starting point is verbally expressed by characters who come and go and that it’s all forced and dirty. ‘Dead on July 4’ has the charm of an old dark comeback story, a genre that almost leaves us with a John Carpenter masterpiece and from which catchy titles like ‘Crime at night (Dead of Night)’, ‘Universal Soldier’ ​​or ‘Guest’ come from. .

Series b, which is cheap, is full of firefighter ideas and casual actors, but with all the charm of a suburban horror fairy tale (and laughter) the most urban of all filmmakers in a fantastical slum. Friendships that enhance the film’s charisma include the unrepeatable Robert Forster, always willing to die for his partner, and with a character as cool (physically more than plot-level) as Sam, this ‘Dead on the Fourth of July’ is ridiculous, isn’t it? but ideal for a boring summer weekend.