Uncle Sam

Happy Independence Day, Fellow Americans! In celebration, we dive deep into a rather shallow flick – the straight-to-video 1996 release “Uncle Sam”, directed by William Lustig and written by Larry Cohen. High-concept social commentary and silly elements blend together for a wild ride that will get your patriotism pumping. Enjoy!

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Uncle Sam (1996)

Episode 351, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd. And I’m Craig. Happy 4th of July. Craig, 

Craig: Happy Independence, to you as well. 

Todd: Todd, this might be the first time we’ve ever celebrated Independence Day on this show. Such is our patriotism.

Craig: No, it’s, it’s honestly just our absent mindedness.

We, uh, I, I think like sometimes holidays just come and go and we’re like, oh man, we should have done an episode and we just didn’t. Yeah, 

Todd: it’s true. Like my birthday every year, someday we’re gonna do Happy Birthday to You.

Craig: I don’t think we’ve ever done Father’s Day like, screw dads. Nobody cares. 

Todd: Wow. Thanks a lot.

Craig: Just kidding. Well, 

Todd: This time around, we’re paying Tribute to America with 1996’s Uncle Sam, a movie I had not known about, heard about anything. I can’t believe you found it. I vaguely 

Craig: recall seeing it on the shelves at the video store. Vaguely, because I think, if I remember correctly, much like Jack Frost, another holiday themed movie.

I think this had one of those holographic Yes. Um, box covers. Covers. So like his face. Would look kind of normal, but then if you looked at it, you know, you move your face, look at it from a different angle, it like transformed into a demony monster kind of thing or something like that. So I vaguely remember it, but I also remember at the time thinking that it looked really cheesy and like, just surely it would be awful.

So yeah, I never watched it. I, I had never seen it 

Todd: before. Much like Jack Frost, I had, I’d probably looked right over it. I’m looking at the cover now and it almost looks like a carbon copy of the Jack Frost cover. They just took the Jack Frost ghost and put a. Some fireworks behind him and like pop hat on.

I mean, it’s kinda, it doesn’t look at all like the otherwise awesome makeup that the character has in the movie when you can see it anyway. Yeah, right. Okay. Yeah. Well, um, that’s it man. I hadn’t seen this before, but it’s a straight to video release. But you found it, I guess, on streaming services and thought we should do it.

Is that, 

Craig: well, it was my turn to pick and uh, I was really struggling cuz there are several movies that I really want to do like right now. And so I was, I was dragging my feet on picking something and then it. I thought, wait, if we’re gonna do an Independence Day episode, it’s gotta be this weekend. Mm-hmm.

So that’s what I texted you and we, and you’re like, yeah, let’s do it. So I just googled Independence Day or 4th of July, horror movies, and I found a list. Uh, really? I was, yeah, I was surprised. Um, some of them were like tangentially related, like, doesn’t even really happen on the 4th of July, but there’s fireworks, so.

Oh, right. But there were several that legitimately either featured heavily, uh, the 4th of July or were specifically, uh, set on that day or, or something. And this is one of them. There were, there were two from the Hulu into the Dark Series, which is all holiday themed, but they sounded a little more serious.

And this one sounded a little more fun. So ultimately, this is the one I picked and I think I’m glad I did. Yeah. 

Todd: This was, this was pretty fun. Well, you know, you perked my interest right away as soon as I pulled it up and I saw that the writer was Larry Cohen. Right. I 

Craig: knew you’d like that. Oh God. Yeah. 

Todd: You know.

Well, we like, we’ve done some fun Larry Cohen things. Totally. Larry Cohen. Totally. I think we talked about ’em a lot on previous episodes. I think probably mostly on the it lives. Mm-hmm. Episode right? Or it’s Alive or whatever. I don’t know. It’s alive. Yeah, that’s right. About the Baby was Born is kind of nuts.

He died a few years ago and he was just universally loved by everyone and he has written so much. They said, I, I remember seeing a documentary about him just sort of celebrating his life and his family was talking about, he just loved nothing more than writing. He just came up with these crazy, wild concepts.

I think our tribute episode to him was the stuff, if I remember correctly. I 

Craig: don’t remember, but that was a great. Episode. Well, yeah, I don’t remember the episode, but that was a fun movie to talk 

Todd: about. It was he just very high concept, really silly stuff a lot of times, but um, in an, in their own way, kind of clever.

And many of the movies that he’s done, in fact had strong twinges of social commentary to them. Yeah. Without being too serious. And this movie obviously the same. Yeah. Very heavy handed in, in many respects. You, uh, you kind of have to laugh and chuckle at the whole thing because I don’t think anything in this movie is meant to be taken seriously.

And yet he still managed to slip some kind of like social commentary into it, which was kind of funny. And then the director, William Lustig, probably best known for maniac. The original. Yeah, did Maniac Cop later and I guess got his start on hardcore film sets. I, he’s one of these guys who just grew up in the Bronx in, during the fifties and sixties, remember, went to these grindhouse exploitation theaters, kind of fell in love with that, wanted to jump into the industry.

And then, you know, in the early seventies, got into the industry like, uh, quite a few of these folks did, kind of in the golden age of porn and, and being in the background, directing a couple hardcore shoots before his breakout thing with Maniac. And then did a couple movies, uh, after that. Uh, right now he’s more of a producer than a director.

A again, just producing a lot of straight to video exploitation, fair horror stuff. It’s kind of random actually. He just seems to be probably pretty good at making money. Way better than me. 

Craig: Yeah. I, uh, honestly, I didn’t recognize the names when I, uh, that’s not why I picked it. But, um, when I was reading, Audience reviews, uh, as I tend to do to see if I even want to waste my time with something.

A lot of people mentioned specifically, you know, coming from these guys, you know, they’re, you, you have certain expectations and whatnot. The audience reviews that I read were really mixed. Hmm. There were some people who said it’s, you know, it’s, it’s not as good as their other stuff. And other people were like, ah, don’t be so hard on it.

It’s, it’s fun. Just give it a shot. Um, and I think that I’m gonna land in that ladder camp. Is this a great movie? Absolute. Not no way did I, when it was over, did I have a smile on my face? Yes, I did.

Todd: I know it was just fun. I mean, I. Well, you know, right away what kind of movie you’re getting into and then you’re not really that disappointed. But there’s so many stars in this film, so many a, a couple A lists, some B lists. It’s just, had I just scratched my head wondering how these people, Isaac Hayes, Maybe you just needed a paycheck at this time.

I don’t remember a check. The check, yeah. Was he doing St was he doing South Park at this time? I can’t remember. I think so few years before this. I don’t, before this, when South Park started, it was somewhere in the early nineties. Yeah, mid nineties, I think like 93, 94. This is 96. Yeah. I think he was doing South Park for a few years before this.

Yeah. He did 

Craig: it for a long time. Uh, but that’s, I was, you’re right. And, uh, I didn’t know a lot of these people. I, I, I pulled up a couple of their Im DB pages. Most of them have dozens if not hundreds of credits. Yeah. I didn’t recognize. Many of them. I recognized Isaac Hayes and I recognized PJ Soles. Yeah, because she was in Carrie and, and Carrie two and Halloween, many other things.

Halloween, 

Todd: she was the girl at the nude scene in Halloween. I guess she did the Devil’s rejects too, didn’t she? I don’t remember. She, 

Craig: she’s, I mean, she still pops up. Uh, I think, but I was just, and, and of course when we get into the plot, which we’ll need to do, um, I just, apparently as I was watching this movie, uh, decided that I needed to write the novelization of it because I had so, Many notes.

Todd: Me too. I have like three pages of notes here. Oh my God. Just so much happens. I know. It’s not disappointing at all. It’s, it’s, and, and everything I wanted to happen happened to, this is another one of those movies. I can’t remember. I, maybe it was one, one of the Halloween movies we were doing, not Halloween like Michael Myers, but like one of our Halloween big movies where it’s just like when you’re seeing a movie that takes place during Halloween, you want it to check a bunch of boxes and it take as much of the holiday as you can and all of the tropes and all those things, and just find all the crazy, wacky ways you can take it.

And I feel like they just made a laundry list of 4th of July. Okay. Let’s see, uh, 4th of July. Fireworks. Uncle Sam. Uncle. Uncle Sam. Uh, barbecues. Yes. Um, school performances. You know, Abe Lincoln, like just, he just made this long ass list of shit that happens during the 4th of July, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t manage to cram every little bit of it in, into this film in a significant way.

I think that’s 

Craig: the thing that I liked the most of it. Like this guy sat down and said, I am gonna write a 4th of July movie like that. That is the most important part of it. Yes.

I will come up with some killer, like the, it’s just a slasher movie. Yeah. But. 

Todd: Well, zombie 

Craig: slasher it. Zombie slasher, but it’s so heavily themed and I really like that. It’s fun. 

Todd: Yes. A hundred percent. A hundred percent. Well, the movie’s a little dated. I think it starts off in Kuwait, June 14th, where there’s some helicopter crash and big sergeant who comes out and asks this guy to go and take care of the bodies or check out the wreckage.

And one of the down pilots who appears dead suddenly wakes up, smashes the guy’s face or something, and then shoots the sergeant through the other guy’s body, which was totally unnecessary, but a nice touch and, uh, makes a crack about friendly fire because, uh, it was friendly fire that had downed this helicopter and the private or whatever who was kind of checking out, made that comment.

And the general was almost dismissive about it. Just like, Hey, it’s all right. You know, this happens during war, right? Don’t let, don’t get your panties in the water about it. Of course the people who die, um, due to friendly fire probably think differently of it, but, uh, yeah, I’m right, right. That’s the motivation, right?

That’s where it starts 

Craig: out. And then the, uh, opening credits are all over old footage of all this Uncle Sam propaganda, which was awesome. I know. It was really cool. You know, I don’t know when it happened, but I feel like Uncle Sam got phased out and I, I missed it when it happened, I 

Todd: guess. Yeah. You don’t really see him anymore, do you?

No. 

Craig: Maybe it’s more of a wartime thing. I, I honest to God meant to like do research on the origins of Uncle Sam and stuff, and I have no idea. I forgot. All I know is that he use this. Would you use like to know? Well, yeah, yeah. Yes. 

Todd: I don’t think, I think it’s rather simple. It’s all quite hazy. The character supposedly came into use during the war of 1812, may have been named for Samuel Wilson.

Nobody really knows for sure. Um, but the first reference to Uncle Sam in literature, not newspapers, was in an 1816 book called The Adventures of. Of Uncle Sam and then I think it just that 1917 poster of him pointing, saying, I want you for the US Army for recruiting. Right. It almost feels like that’s, even though before that he was in pop culture, I think he showed up a lot in, um, editorial cartoons representing the government.

Uhhuh Uhhuh. Yep. Yep. But that just sort of cemented it. I think there was that poster and yeah. So just kind of developed organically through mostly illustrations in, in newspapers and magazines until suddenly now, you know, people were dressing up as him and he’s sort of a, I’m trying to even figure out what is Uncle Sam.

Right. There’s no real, he’s just like a kind of personification of the government. Yeah. As your nice uncle who takes care of you, but can also be stern. Tell you, you need to buck up and do your part. 

Craig: It’s like the nice version of Big Brother. Yeah, there you go. Yeah. I mean, it’s just a patriotic thing. It’s, it’s a, a symbol.

I don’t know if young people today would even necessarily recognize that imagery, but I do. I remember seeing it in my history textbooks when I was a kid. But anyway, yeah. So the old patriotic Uncle Sam propaganda, you had said this movie is a little dated. What it do, what this movie does is remind me how old I am because mm-hmm.

In my head, 1996 was like few years ago. I know. 

Todd: Same here, 

Craig: same here. I, I actually had to do the math. I’m like, That was almost 30 years ago. I graduated from high school almost 30 years ago. That is it. It blows my mind. 

Todd: It’s also a little depressing because the first thing that, you know, as I mentioned, they’re talking about Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm Uhhuh.

My dad served in Operation Desert Shield, uh, which then became Desert Storm. He wasn’t in the Middle East. He was actually at a contingency hospital in England, twiddling his thumbs. Thankfully for most of that time, Uhhuh. But it’s kind of sad because like you, you know, if you’re gonna make this movie today, I was just thinking of all of the conflicts and wars that could be substituted in for that.

And this movie would be the same. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. It’s really kind of depressing that even though 1996 feels like it was just yesterday, and I remember Operation Desert Storm being such a thing and so important to our family and felt at the time kind of just, and, well, I don’t know, we didn’t really even understand it when I was a kid, but, uh, you know, the social commentary that is in this film, up one side and down the other, I mean, it’s, it’s the same stuff as today.

I mean, I, I didn’t, 

Craig: yeah, yeah. But I, I really, gosh, this may get deeper than I expected it to, but I really thought about this because. I don’t remember. This was pre nine 11. Like nine 11 changed. Mm-hmm. Everything. And so, and, and you were either patriotic or you 

Todd: were with the enemy, right? Right. 

Craig: Yeah. Right. I don’t even remember what it was like before that.

I, I, I feel like it was just, I don’t know, but maybe this movie will be reflective of that. Cuz it was that, that weird period between Vietnam and nine 11 where I think people were kind of questioning the government and the military. And then nine 11 happened. It’s like, no, you will fall in line. You, you know, we are Americans and were proud of it.

Mm-hmm. And knowing that you come from a military family, I will be very interested to hear your take on what is said outright. Like it’s not like this is, uh, it’s not like this is, you know, subtle. A deep, subtle, subtle. 

Todd: There aren’t layers to unpack here. No, there, there’s, 

Craig: this is like, there’s a thesis like halfway through the movie.

Todd: Yeah. And this is like one of those like layered salads that comes in a giant like punchbowl, you know, where you can see it all from the side. You don’t have to dig deep to see what’s there. It’s just proudly displayed up from the top to the bottom. Through this movie, so yeah. All right. Oh God. So 

Craig: before we get there though, we have to introduce our main characters.

Our main character, I guess, is Jodi. He is a little boy, um, who is not a very good actor. No. And who is also a psychopath, like 

Todd: a psychopath in the training. 

Craig: This kid, he is a psychopath, but you don’t know that yet. When you first meet him, he’s just this precocious little boy, and we find out that that dead soldier, the one that like was dead but then wasn’t, and then was again, uh, weird.

Don’t know. That was his uncle. Sam? Yes. Um, like literally his Uncle Sam. 

Todd: As soon as that became obvious, I was rolling on the floor. I was like, oh, it’s this kind of movie. 

Craig: I just thought that was so clever. Like, why not? Like lots there people are named Sam. People have an Uncle Sam. Why not? That’s hilarious.

But then he like has a dream that Sam isn’t dead, and then we jump to another character. A cop drops off what appears to be his girlfriend. This blonde lady named Louise. He drops her off at home but then lurking on her porch is this older military dude who’s like, I have some news. And she’s like, what?

Also Todd, the writing in this movie. Oh, it’s so bad. It’s so bad that it’s is hilarious. Yes. Again, I wrote the novelization because I stopped, it probably took, this is an hour and a half movie. It probably took me two hours to watch it cuz I kept pausing it and rewinding it to write down the lines. Uhhuh not even here, but there are so many that I wrote down cuz they are so.

Funny. 

Todd: Oh God. Like, 

Craig: oh God, it does. I, I don’t know how much to talk about cuz there’s so much, but we find out that this boy, Jodi, is obsessed with his dead uncle and like he’s his hero and he carries around his medals in a box and he takes him to school for show and tell. And then his teacher, you know, this fucking liberal teachers like feeds him all this bullshit about Vietnam.

Todd: Are you trying to rile me up?

Craig: No. Like his teacher’s, like 

Todd: I, I grew up during Vietnam and um, many people thought that was an unjust war. Many young people like myself protested the war. 

Craig: In fact, some people left the country for a while, 

Todd: ran away. 

Craig: It was a very difficult thing to do, 

Todd: Jodi, but you have to understand, those who left the country felt it was a lesser evil.

And blindly 

Craig: following orders they knew were wrong. My Uncle Sam said, you guys were cowards. That’s right. 

Todd: And then, and then, and this kid is such a dick that as soon as he’s like, the teacher’s like, okay, well why don’t you just go back to your seat then and we’ll change the topic. And he turns around and says, well, I’m not saying you’re a dick.

I, I’m just saying my uncle 

Craig: said it right. 

Todd: I wanted to punch that kid in the face at this point. I’m so funny. 

Craig: And then, then when you, you just see him, I don’t even remember when it is. I don’t remember if it’s when he’s at home or just, you know, like later in school or something. But he says, when I grow up, I’m gonna go into the army just like Uncle Sam did.

And I’ll do everything the president says cuz he know better. Cause 

Todd: he knows the best. He literally says that word for word. I, 

Craig: my jaw hit the floor. I’m like, that is one of the funniest things I’ve ever 

Todd: heard yet. I mean, it sounds especially, well first of all it’s just stupid. Second of all, it sounds especially stupid as he’s muttering it to himself.

However, I guarantee you there is probably a kid or two on the schoolyard about that age that I played with who would’ve said that to me. You know? Oh, well that’s because actually sounded were taught when we were kids. 

Craig: Mm-hmm. And also like, again, I’m not gonna get too political cuz we get in trouble if we do.

But there was, there was a time, there was a time in my life when I almost subconsciously would’ve thought that, like when you, the president probably really does know what’s best. Yeah. He knows stuff, 

Todd: president does, knows things we don’t know that we’re not supposed to know. And it’s probably better that we’d more or less trust that he knows what he’s doing.

Yeah. Oh God, 

Craig: yeah. At this, at this point in my life, I’m not as confident. Let’s just put it that way. 

Todd: There are some people around us who are a little too confident about that. Enough 

Craig: said. Hilarious line. It’s so funny, Jesus, and they have to send the remains to his aunt’s house. Why this? Why wouldn’t they send them to like a 

Todd: mortuary?

Well, this is old school, right? It used to be really old school. I mean, yeah. Like, you know, like our grandparents, right? Where Well, I’m 

Craig: Irish. I’ve never been to a wake in somebody’s house. 

Todd: Well, but, but even in the US I mean, fun fact, like wakes in people’s homes were very, very common up until about the fifties.

Fifties. Oh, I know. And then they were deliberately phased out. It was kind of a trend of modernization and like, let’s get all this icky death out of the house. This is why the family, you know, this is what leads to juvenile delinquency and problems like that. The home needs to be a happy place and children need to be protected against death.

And that’s when the parlor became. The living room instead of the death room. Ah, 

Craig: gotcha. Didn’t know that. Yeah. Fun fact. Fun fact. But you’re 

Todd: right, not only is it weird that the body is delivered straight to the house and then just let to be there for the wake in the morning, but why wasn’t it delivered to his wife’s house?

Craig: Why was Oh, the aunt says something. Well, first of all, because we never see that set, so they, why would they build, why would they build another set, set just to stick that coffin? Good point. When Louise comes to her sister, Sandy, I think is her. Sally comes to her sister’s Sally’s house and is like, or no, her sister-in-law, excuse me, and says, they came and told me he’s dead and her sister-in-law, Jodi’s mom is like, well, your house is too small.

We’ll just have it delivered here. Mm. Um, and that’s where they’re gonna, where they eventually do have the wake. So the remains arrive and like Jodi comes in and he’s like, oh man, I wanted to help carry the body in. Like this kid is a fucking psycho. And then he can’t wait to get in that coffin. Like he is just jumping at the bit 

Todd: he wants to get in there cuz he has all of his uncle Sam’s medals.

He’s got him in a big military, you know, metal. I don’t know what you call it. I should know, but I don’t, you know, it’s the thing that you store all these stuff in. I know what you’re talking about. Yeah. Uhhuh, we learn almost laughingly piecemeal before it’s like, oh, he really idolizes his Uncle Sam. Oh, okay.

He reads these military comics that seem to be. Written with unc, his uncle’s name in it, or maybe he’s just imagining it. I couldn’t tell. He’s got his medals and he’s talking about ’em and talking about how great he is, and then later it’s like he has a letter that his Uncle Sam wrote specifically to him.

Craig: Oh my God. First of all, as soon as he started saying it, I paused. And started typing it out, cuz I could tell it was just gonna be gold. And then as I’m watching, I’m like, this sounds like he’s reading it from a letter or like, or that he has it memorized. And then as it turns out, he is reading it from a letter from his Uncle Sam, the, it’s inspired because his mom has a douchey boyfriend who he doesn’t like.

And the douchey boyfriend is a lawyer and he’s bragging at the dinner table about how um, he conned the government. Yes. And Jodi is just disgusted, like he can’t get out of there fast enough cuz to cheat the government is so bad. This young 

Todd: kid has very strong opinions about our tax code. Uh, 

Craig: so that’s one thing which is funny.

It’s funny, it, it is funny. Gosh, I, I wanna get to the line, I’m gonna get to it, I promise. But, um, he’s pissed about that. And then there’s the wake and that’s when we meet, I Hayes. Yes. I think we got, we, we got a sh we got a shot of him earlier in like a CD apartment above a deli or something? Yeah. All like in flashing red light and whatever.

He’s a veteran too, and he knew Sam and he comes to the wake, he, but he feels guilty because he knows that Sam really looked up to him and he told him all these like, glory stories. Uh, so he kind of feels responsible for the guy’s death. But he, Jed is super interested in him because he’s interested in all things military.

So they go outside together so that Jed can show Jodi his wooden leg. Mm-hmm. But then Jodi starts going on and on and on about how much he loves the military. And Isaac Hayes is like, uh, don’t you dare, like you are too smart. Do not join the military and I’m gonna go outta order. They have a conversation that’s really important and I wanna talk about.

Yeah. But ultimately the line that I was getting at, Is, uh, Jodi reads this from a letter from his, from his uncle, anybody bad mouth, this country, you go right after them, no matter how big they are. People who don’t respect the American way of life deserve to have their butts kicked. Stay tough. Soldier Uncle Sam.

Oh my God. And he is reading it like it is the gospel. It’s 

Todd: just like he, yeah. Like he pulls us out and reads it to bed every night, you know? Yes. In the sense that’s how this boy is 

Craig: motivates him. It is his philosophy and it totally is. 

Todd: Well, he tells that old guy, you remember, um, the, the, the old, uh, the older gen, not general, but master sergeant, sergeant, master sergeant, whoever who gives and, and breaks the news, uh, to the widow about the death, and then comes in and is there at the wake.

He says to him, he really looked up to your uncle Sam, didn’t you? And he says, yes. He was the only one around her who did anything important. Mm-hmm. And that general’s a little weird cuz then he comes out, he leaves the wake and he shakes hands with the wife. There was this long closeup on. How he was shaking hands with her with both of his hands.

Maybe just a little too long. But that’s the only indication that we really have that he’s a 

creep. 

Craig: Well, until later, there’s a whole scene of him talking on the phone to somebody else talking about how he’s gonna hang. Right. But the widow, widow and his, her sister, but what I’m saying 

Todd: is that comes outta nowhere.

Suddenly this guy’s out of his suit and he’s, he’s in a motel drinking whiskey and on the phone like laughingly talking about how the whole reason he volunteers for these jobs of breaking the news to widows is cuz you know, he’s bagged 750 of them so far. Weird. It’s so shoehorned in it comes out of nowhere.

Craig: But I see what the writer is doing and I like it. He is setting up a big cast of assholes. Oh yes. So that when they get killed, we don’t feel bad. In fact we celebrate and enjoy the fun of it because they’re assholes anyway. 

Todd: Yeah. Cuz, cuz ultimately, like, this guy’s gotta have patriotic reasons for killing each person.

So we have to learn why each person is a scumbag, you know, particularly disgraceful to, to their country. And I love the setup because then 

Craig: it is fun. Like mm-hmm. You are ju like you revel in seeing these people kind. I mean, it’s not. You know, literally come up and say, don’t deserve to die. But in the context of this movie, it’s fun and it’s funny.

Yeah. And I liked it, but I wanna get to this conversation. Okay. So this actually out of the context of this movie is a pretty serious commentary. It is. Which makes it feel not out of place necessarily, but a little bit jarring. Mm-hmm. Um, basically, I don’t know if I should be in the Army, Marines, or the Air Force.

You get that idea outta your head right now. Boy, things ain’t like that used to be when we knew who and what we were fighting for. Lin Tojo and, and, and Mussolini. We knew what we had to do and why. Today is all mixed up. Nobody knows the whys and why for Sonny are smart boy. Like you ought to know enough to keep out of it.

Be a doctor, save some lives. Forget about killing. Somebody’s gotta be soldiers. You don’t want to get sent back in a box. Maybe it’s better than dying in bed. Everybody dies anyway. You know, I don’t know. All I know is that I have the utmost respect for the men and women who serve in our, our military, um, because I have, you know, taught many young people who have gone on to do that.

I know that they go in with the noblest of intentions and they are there because they genuinely want to fight for the values and freedoms of our country. And I have the utmost respect for that. Now, the intentions of the higher ups, that’s something I maybe question at times, but knowing that you are from a military family, what’s your take?

Todd: Well, you know, it’s evolved over time, right? It just, even, you know, when I was a kid again, it felt like a different time. All of the conflicts we had been involved in, with the exception of Vietnam. And sort of the embarrassment of Korea up to that point felt like exactly like he’s saying, you know what you’re fighting for, you know what you’re doing.

When I was a kid and my dad went off, uh, into, you know, operation Desert Storm and Shield, you know, we believed what the government was telling us about how this needed to happen and, and that the war was just, and all that. I feel like looking back on it historically, we’re a little more skeptical about that now, and as a military kid, it makes me angry.

Uh, it makes me angry. The Cavaliers with which people, the higher ups can, for their own selfish reasons sent. People like my parents in to potentially die. Mm-hmm. It would make me even angrier to feel like I have, I had a relative, or I myself, you know, had died for something that turned out to be a sham.

And quite frankly, we’ve had a couple recent conflicts where we’ve, we’ve felt like we were sold a bill of goods. Mm-hmm. That people were sent in for reasons that were not upfront and were, quite frankly, maybe not what we would as soldiers have supported, but when you’re a soldier, your job is to follow orders.

Mm-hmm. You’re doing that job and, and you just have to put your trust and that leadership. And I think, I know, you know, that more than one of my family members and also friends went into the military and had long careers in the military feeling very good about themselves and feeling very good patriotically about what they were fighting for and left very bitter and upset about.

How it ended up and almost all of them, maybe my par, I don’t wanna speak too much for my parents, but Right, right. Um, you know, almost all of them to some extent say, you know, things have changed. Things are different now than they were, and that’s why I was saying earlier, like, it’s so weird how even back in 1996, my feelings were mixed.

I remembered that around that time, having very mixed feelings about what was going on, but still giving the benefit of the doubt to our leaders saying, you know, there’s things that we don’t understand and don’t know that maybe we don’t know the reasons now, but hopefully later on we’ll we’ll understand a little more clearly that this was just, and this was right.

And ever since then, it’s. Seems to have been many disappointments. Uh, and so, yeah, it’s just me. I’m sorry. Of course we’re getting political. We’re doing a July 4th episode about Uncle Sam movies, so we’re gonna talk about these things. I know, 

Craig: but you know, 

Todd: I, I so screw you. If you don’t like it, this is, we’re gonna talk about 

Craig: it anyway.

I, I want to be, I just want to be cautious because I do have so much respect for veterans and, um, you know, even I hang out in, in certain circumstances with people who are older than me, more like my parents or my grandparents’ age. Um, and some of them are veterans who have very s strong. Positive views about, um, the government and, uh, the military and, and very different political views and values than I have.

And when those people bring up political topics or, uh, make comments that I may not agree with philosophically, I just let it go because like, I’m not gonna argue with you, sir. Yeah. Who fought for our country. Like, like Right. I, I, I, I, I will have my own opinions and I will keep them to myself. I, I’m, I have too much respect to even 

Todd: argue.

Many people don’t understand that there is a definable line between supporting your government. And supporting your soldiers. Yeah, you can support an effort even though you don’t agree with it, because you care about those people who are involved in that effort and you want them to be safe and you want them to come home.

And again, there’s also that part of you that wants to believe that whatever they’re doing and whatever they’re doing, sacrificing is not in vain. And so, you know, you can support the troops without necessarily agreeing with the cause and the reason they’re out there. And it sounds weird, but I don’t have a problem with that.

I understand it fully. I don’t know if it’s just because of my background or what, um, but also it gets into pandering territory after a while. And I’m gonna say this, I think I’ve said it once before on here, we were talking about something else, but I’ve asked my parents, you know, how do you feel? Because it seems to be more common than it was when I was a kid.

And I was hanging around military people all the time. It seems to be very common that as soon as you’re within earshot, if somebody says, oh yeah, I serve in the military, or whatever the next word outta someone’s mouth is, thank you for your service. Going and getting like a military discount at the checkout counter, that employee will say, thank you for your service.

That is nice. And I don’t doubt the intentions of the people who are, who are saying that, uh, I hope they’re give, putting some thought into what they’re saying. However, I’ve asked my parents, how do you feel about that? And they’ve told me, you know, we appreciate it. But also sometimes we don’t feel it’s genuine.

We feel like it’s an automatic thing, like, have a nice day. Again, you don’t wanna like. Put someone down for saying something nice to you like that. But at the same time, when it’s so flippant and so cavalier, like, oh, this is the automatic response I’m supposed to say, it doesn’t really touch your heart, you know?

Craig: Yeah. Yeah. I I also think that, uh, patriotism has been weaponized, um, for political purposes. Uh, you know, if you don’t agree with what your government is doing, if you don’t support, not the troops, but the, you know, the government’s, uh, response to conflicts and those types of things, then you’re un-American and, you know, go somewhere else.

Uh, and, and I think that that’s a terrible thing to do. I think it’s a terrible thing to weaponize patriot patriotism for political purposes. Well, you know, I 

Todd: hate that. I agree. Yeah. So I think we’re, obviously, we’re both on the same page with this. This movie isn’t going quite that direction. I think this movie is, I think if you were to kind of get to the core of those messages that are being put across very ham-fisted through here, it’s more about war and violence.

Yeah. Well, individual motivation more than like, we’re getting into political stuff, really. Right. 

Craig: Because he, Jed uh, Hayes also tells Jodi that his uncle was an angry kid. Um, and he, and he says, I took him hunting once and he scared me because I could tell that he liked. Killing. Mm-hmm. And, and ultimately that’s what it comes down to is that, uh, Sam became a soldier, not out of a sense of duty or patriotism, but because he liked to kill people.

Yeah. Another thing that Jed says, I think it’s one of the last things that he says, uh, and it struck me because I’ve heard this sentiment many times. Um, I used to teach a whole series of war novels, a farewell to arms, all quiet on the Western front. Catch 22, uh, the red badge of courage, like a, we did a whole semester of them, and this sentiment came up a lot of times.

Jed says, You have to be crazy to kill in war, but then they send you home and tell you to never be crazy again. Yeah. That’s actually pretty poignant in this pretty bad movie. 

Todd: It’s a poignant case that deserves to be made in a better movie than this for sure. And I think it has 

Craig: been. Oh, for sure. You know, there, this has been explored this, this issue has been explored in, in great literature and I think in in good films too.

Todd: Yeah. Well, by this point in the movie, if this, if I had not been so entertained by the sheer unanimity of what I’d been seeing so far, like with the acting and the writing and the classroom, that could not be more decorated for the 4th of July than it is, I would’ve been a little bored. It’s like it feels a little slow.

Yeah. Because the build is is pretty 

Craig: slow. It, that’s at exactly this moment in my notes. I have 30 minutes in get to it. Right. And then it does, and then it like right when it’s really starting to drag, I’m like, come on then. Then here we go. Out, like just outta the gate, boom. It 

Todd: looks so outta the gate.

It’s almost like, this is what I love about Larry Cohen. It’s like, it was reading my mind. He’s like, all right, next on the docket, kids in a dark cemetery painting swastikas on tombstones and burning the American flag and swinging it around over the open grave of our antagonist. Alright. You see that? And you know shit’s gonna go down.

Yeah. But, 

Craig: uh, explain this to me. Zombie. Sam was always a zombie. Like I guess, I guess I think he arrived a zombie. I assumed that this burning of the flag was gonna be, you know, what woke him up because it was such an insult to democracy. 

Todd: I feel like it, that’s a one interpretation, 

Craig: but we see him move before this happens.

Todd: Does he move one of the, he move or is it just panning his fingers? Move. They did move. Okay. Okay. Yeah, I wasn’t sure if they moved, his fingers moved, 

Craig: at least. I thought so. That’s how I remember it. Cuz I thought that was so weird. I, because I had read like the, the synopsis says a fallen soldier is reawakened when teenagers burn a flag over his grave.

And I thought, well, that, that, that tracks, 

Todd: you know, you know what, maybe if I know, if I know cause and effect,

but maybe he would’ve just. Bit peacefully sleeping in there for the rest of eternity. If that hadn’t happened, maybe shift around a little bit. Maybe. Dunno, what’s amazing is that by this point, Sam has not gotten that coffin open. He’s been at it like three or four times, Jodi, right, right, right. Jodi, sorry, unlatching.

By this point, I think he has all the things Unlatched, but for some reason I don’t understand. He quit cuz he wanted to put the medals in there. He quit and he took the medals upstairs and put them back under his bed. Right. But when Sam wakes up, The first thing he does is climb upstairs very carefully to Jodi’s room, grab all of his medals, open up his shirt, pin them to his flesh.

Yeah. Why did he do 

Craig: that? He was wearing his, Ja, he was wearing his uniform. I’m 

Todd: pretty convinced that a true diehard military guy would not have pinned his medals to where they don’t belong. But you know, he’s a zombie, right? 

Craig: I don’t know. It wanted, it was weird. Yeah, it was weird. Now here’s, it’s not it, it’s for a purpose, and I understand the purpose, but the first victim is this creep who is in full Yes.

Uncle Sam garb, including the stilts. Like, oh, this is so good. Like these, these. 15 foot tall stilts and this, he stills put 

Todd: him at like three stories high. 

Craig: Yeah, he, it’s enormous. I don’t know if you watched through the credits. If you watch through the credits, yes. There’s an outtake where he falls. It’s really funny.

He falls and you see the, like the product, the director or somebody like running into frame, like to check to make sure he is okay because it would be like falling off a damn house. He’s like way up in the air. Dude, 

Todd: this was the scariest part of the movie for me. Seeing this guy on these tall stones. I was like, what?

There’s no net, no wires. What the hell? This guy could fall. I mean he’s literally like two stories up. Yeah. Cuz he’s 

Craig: peeking in. At this girl who’s just got out of the shower or whatever, and she does drop her towel, you get a brief, very brief nudity. She did that on the condition that she could keep one of the masks from the movie, which I thought was hilarious.

Todd: That’s odd. She’s not even credited, by the way. 

Craig: Oh, that’s funny. She sees, she sees him yells at him, he runs away and he starts walking through the park and he’s like, Hey, who’s following me? And, and you see that it’s Sam and he’s holding, I don’t know, some, some sort of weapon, uh, with trout like, uh, gardening shears.

I think. Big tall Uncle Sam just keeps walking along until eventually he falls. And then Evil Dead Uncle Sam, um, comes around. Ed stands over him and says, I hope you got an iPhone and pulls off his mask and kills him. Now, a couple of things here. First of all, I love Quibi. Killer. Like, yeah. That’s fun. Love it.

And this guy is quippy. 

Todd: I thought he was gonna poke his eyes out, but that’s okay. I did 

Craig: too. It was kind of a weird choice that he didn’t. Mm-hmm. Um, it was also an interesting choice. It, it made me think of your frustrations with the fun house. I, I guess this guy, because he’s locked into these stilts as his can’t move, zombie is approaching him.

He just lays there like he doesn’t move at all. He just lays there. Yeah. Uh, evil Dead Uncle Sam kills him and then takes a minute to tailor his costume. Well, 

Todd: seriously. Those legs are pretty long. I mean, you know, if you’re gonna put those pants on, it’d be, they’d be dragging behind him the whole show. He, he can’t be tripping over himself.

He’s gotta cut them. I dunno where he got the garden shears from. But, you know. Oh, by the way, before we, before we move on, yeah. Since we talked about the stunt guy, poor stunt guy who fell actually filming the scene, I looked this guy up. Mark Chadwick is his name we deserves to be talked about because he’s been in almost every movie you’ve ever seen.

A name Sounds familiar. 157 credits as a stuntman. We’re talking like the X-Men movies, captain Marvel and stuff. Uh, American Horror Story, the Revenant, the Paranormal Activity, anchorman, iron Man. The Air Force One Speed. The list is massive and it’s pretty much everything you’ve ever seen. It’s funny, like, this guy’s been stunting since, uh, Passenger 57.

Wow. Very cool. Anyway, but he’s not the guy. You see when the mask gets taken off, that’s another, somebody’s Right, right 

Craig: face. Yeah. But, okay. So I get why they did it from this point on until the very end. Our villain is in this, um, yeah. Uncle Sam costume. And I understand why they did it, because he does kill a couple more people.

He kills a couple of teenagers. The, the teenagers who burned the flag, one of them, he, uh, pushes into a grave and then buries them alive, which makes absolutely no sense. Mm-hmm. But fine. And another one, he strings up, strings up on the flagpole. A flagpole, which as far as I know, nobody ever notices. No. The next day comes and 

Todd: go, they don’t know these kids are missing and you know, they’re raising the flags all over town.

But I guess Uhhuh whose ever’s job it is to raise the flag at the cemetery is, uh, was too busy or something. Right. 

Craig: And then the, the most of the rest of the movie takes place during the day, which again, we talk about this before that hardly ever happens. Mm-hmm. So it’s kind of, it, it’s, it’s a nice change of pace to have these murders happening in right out in the open, in broad daylight for most of the rest of the movie.

And that’s why he’s got to be in that costume so that he can go around and interact with the people, which he does as though he’s just really enjoying 

Todd: himself. Yeah. Just like shaking hands. He’s just 

Craig: schmoozing. He’s having a great time. That was 

Todd: so, so bizarre. The 

Craig: bad part about the fact that he’s now in this costume, which is creepy in and of itself, is that his zombie makeup is fantastic.

Yeah. And I don’t know, maybe it was a really expensive or complicated process and they just didn’t wanna do it all the time. Yeah. 

Todd: It was very disappointing because 

Craig: when he is, when he’s, when he doesn’t have that plastic Halloween mask on, he looks great. He reminded me very, very much of the soldier at the end of 

Todd: house.

Yeah. Oh, it looked exactly like him, really. And the closeups on that makeup, which we got to thankfully see a lot of when he was in the coffin, are just. It’s just impressive. Uh, but you know, he, he can’t be, cuz part of the gag of this is that nobody knows he’s a bad guy, you know? Right. It’s like he’s literally walking around in plain sight at this festival 

Craig: that looks small, but totally real.

Like, oh yeah, I’ve been to that festival, 

Todd: we’ve been there together. Yeah, that’s 

Craig: right. Right. And I, I thought, you know, like, it looks small, it looked fun, you know, small town you don’t, there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities for things to do, you know, especially community things. It looked like a good time and everybody was having a good time.

And then mm-hmm. There’s just. He starts killing people left and right. He kills. He kills that com bastard. Mr. Crandall, first, 

Todd: I love this part was so hilarious because of course I would say most of these kills you can see coming from a mile away, which it just adds to the fun. He’s just wandering outside.

He’s got these kids who he’s tried to wrangle together for some, I don’t dunno, they’re all gonna be in the parade or whatever, and they’re all dressed up in different costumes. Yeah, it makes 

Craig: perfect sense. That school is in session in the middle of July, by the way. Oh God. I didn’t think 

Todd: of that. Absolute right.

That’s a big problem. Maybe it’s summer school. Okay, maybe these are there. Okay. All right. Fair enough. But he is like, Jimmy, where’s your hatchet? Yeah, where’s the hatchet for your costume? Oh, I don’t know. I must have left it in the classroom. Okay, I’ll go get it. I was just like, number one. Well, we know what’s happening next.

And number two, this kid was gonna walk around with a real hatchet as part of his costume. Uhhuh. Oh man. This is great. Anyway. 

Craig: Fourth, 4th of July. Parade real. Yeah. Real, real quick. The kills all happen very quickly and yeah, you don’t see a whole lot, but they are creative enough and fun enough that I’ll give it a pass.

The, the special effects are just okay. They’re not bad. Um, no, but they’re nothing to write home about either. Um, but still the kills are fun enough that I, I, I 

Todd: let it go. Agreed. Like a low enough budget is probably what it is, but not so low that it’s just like all off screen. You see some blood splatter on the wall or something?

Yeah. Right, 

Craig: right. Oh. Um, but then we meet a new character out of nowhere, we meet this new character who is a little blind burned boy in a wheelchair named Barry. Right. 

Todd: Who, 

Craig: Barry is my favorite character, and I want him to just be in lots of other movies. Just unexplained and unrelated to this as Asberry, just Asberry in a wheelchair with Blues Brothers sunglasses on no expression on his face.

He’s like, like he’s like Marlon Brando and the Godfather, like he just sits there like, Ugh. Oh my God. It is so funny 

Todd: because he was burned up during last year’s tragic fireworks accident during the last, 

Craig: which you have to, in infer, you have to infer because they never say it outright. They just constantly like make references to it.

Like, oh, so we don’t have another tragic event like last year. And the mom’s like, we are going to 4th of July so they can see what they did to you last year. And this poor kid’s like, I don’t want to go. And she’s like, well that’s too bad cause we’re going too bad. The mom is PJ Souls, by the way. Oh God.

Yeah. And Jody apparently is Barry’s friend. Um, and he goes up to him and tries to talk to him. Barry’s really not having it, and this is when, this is when Sam is in the crowd shaking hands. Oh God. And, um, real quick, uh, they ask one of the teen boys who didn’t get killed last night, but was there, um, he starts to sing the national anthem and then totally makes a mockery of it and moons the crowd, which don’t make a mockery of the national anthem.

Yeah. Like that, that’s just, that’s just rude. Yeah. So I knew he was dead for sure. Right, because like, you know, uncle Sam is just standing there glaring at him, but then close up, close up on Barry and from screen Right. Oh, the white gloved hand just comes in and caresses his face and he’s like, he’s Barry’s like, who is it?

Stay on close up. I’m here to do what you want me to. I’ll make them all feel your pain. Even in darkness, you can see me better than those with eyes. You know me. So Barry and Uncle Sam apparently have a psychic connection, and Barry is also psychic in that he knows without being told that. That is his friend, Jodi’s Uncle Sam, who’s dead.

Right. Of course. There’s another, there’s a, there’s a point later where shit goes down and Jodi runs to Barry and Barry’s like, don’t worry, he won’t hurt us. And Jody’s like, what are you talking about? He’s like, it’s, it’s your uncle Sam. And Jodi says, but he’s dead. And Barry says, I didn’t say he wasn’t

Todd: No. Right. Oh my 

Craig: God, this Barry stuff is gold. I love it. Yeah, whatever. They kill a bunch of, he kills a bunch of other people. There’s a weird moment, which, a weird moment that I don’t understand where, uh, evil Uncle Sam bumps into Jed, his veteran friend. Yeah. And they stare into each other’s eyes for a while.

And Isaac Hayes says, I’m all right. I’m all right. And then Sam keeps on moving. Past him. 

Todd: Yeah, I didn’t get that either, 

Craig: because it’s not referenced again, like, it seemed like Jed recognized him. Mm-hmm. Or something. 

Todd: Either that, or it was just very poor performance by Isaac Hayes, who isn’t the world’s greatest actor.

No. He 

Craig: looked like he was baked out of his mind. He did. He could barely keep his eyes open. I still loved it. Yeah. It was fun. 

Todd: That made it better. Well, I love that there’s a girl, uh, she opens up the smoker and Emil was like, all right, that’s gonna come into play. And then puts some ribs down and hacks them up with a cleaver.

And I’m like, that’s gonna come into play. Which she leaves by the ribs and then goes off into down a trail into the woods, pulls out a couple of doobies, and then is stopped by Phil, the, the deputy or whatever who grabs them, takes in the pocket, and then she walks back and is like, Oh, where’s my cleaver?

Yeah, that’s weird. Phil gets, gets cleaved. There’s a thrilling sack race. Yes. Which is, I guess, I guess these guys are just gonna race their sacks all the way through the woods and across town. I couldn’t, I know. 

Craig: I never seen anything like that before. It’s usually like a 50 meter kind of thing. It’s not an obstacle 

Todd: course.

No. But yeah, Mo the kid who was the dick about, uh, the national anthem Uhhuh is like knocking all the other kids down as he’s doing it. But then he himself trips up and rolls down the hill into an orange grove. As he’s hopping through the orange grove. He sees Uncle Sam between two of the trees and make some comment to him and hops along.

And there’s Uncle Sam again right there between the next two trees and then hops along. And then boom. Uncle Sam is right there, right in front of him. So, Uncle Sam’s a bit supernatural as well, apparently. Exactly. 

Craig: Like there are no, you don’t know what the rules are. Mm-hmm. So there just aren’t any like, yeah, do whatever you want.

And, and I didn’t care. It was creepy. Um, it was kind of a, 

Todd: it was a very low rent way of, yeah. Low rent, 

Craig: but a low rent way of making something spooky. I mean, they did the same thing, uh, in. That movie. Hell, hell, hell House l l c where it was all just practical things of just, you know, placing props and actors in the right place at the right time to create a spooky effect.

There doesn’t cost anything. Yeah, 

Todd: I liked it. I did too. Then he beheads him and then pulls the cleaver up and licks the blood off of the knife with his blue tongue. That 

Craig: was 

Todd: weird. Yeah. Again, there are no rules. I’m trying to get a bead on this guy. Well, he’s 

Craig: a psychopathic that comes up. A couple of more people get killed.

Uh, Sally, who’s Jodi’s mom finds her boyfriend Ralph dead. And then there’s like an investigation, but they’re like, uh, well the, the show must go 

Todd: on. By the way, Ralph, Ralph is dressed as honest Abe and he has been shot in the head. 

Craig: Shot in the head. Offscreen. Yeah. Yeah. Har Har. And then they, once there’s this one dead body, Louise and Sally sit, Jodi down.

This is his mother and his aunt. Um, so Sam’s wife and sister and both of them tell, they’re like, you idolize your uncle Jodi so much, we’re afraid you’re gonna end up like him. And he is like, well, I wanna be just like him. And they’re like, no, he’s bad. And no he’s not. You’re liar. The wife, Sam’s wife is like, we really need to tell him.

And so Louise, the wife, basically says, he beat me up all the time. And then the mom, oh God, she doesn’t say it outright, but it pretty much sounds like he used to rape her, right? Yeah. 

Todd: Since she was like six years old. 

Craig: Yeah. So this guy is a bad guy. Now the good news is Jodi just takes this all on faith.

Like, he’s like, oh, sorry, nevermind, sorry. Thank goodness. Yeah. Oh God. And the, the mom says he fought a war in our house all our lives, and we were the losers. Oh my God. Oh, I love this writing. It’s so terrible. And I love, uh, somebody says another body has been found. Then we see the barbecue girl. The barbecue girl opens up her smoker.

Yes. And there’s a decapitated head on it. I don’t even know whose head that was. That 

Todd: was the head from the, the Sack sack race guy. The sack race guy. Okay. Yeah. But I knew that was gonna happen. She 

Craig: gets pushed down into the barbecue and killed, I guess, cuz she smoked weed. Yeah, that was unfair. Or was going to smoke weed.

Todd: That was the one killing I thought was very unfair. She did not deserve to die. 

Craig: What else? What else? Oh, the congressman who we haven’t even mentioned this douchey congressman had shown up. Yeah, well, the 

Todd: congressman is played by Robert Forster. Uh, I don’t know who that is. I g god like, I mean, maybe you only know him from his older version.

I mean, he’s been in everything dude. I mean he’s all over tv. All over movies. He plays generals, he plays, uh, guys. He is in the descendants. He was in, uh, so much stuff. He only died like, uh, A couple years ago. Oh, he was one of the, he was the lead an alligator. Remember when we did alligator? Yep. He was the lead in that.

Yep. 

Craig: Yep. Mm-hmm. That makes sense. Well, he, I mean, he, he just pops up here to be a douche. Like, I don’t even think he really interacts with anybody except that guy much places this, this and that. He, he, 

Todd: his, his, his role took like 10 minutes to shoot. He represents 

Craig: big, corrupt government. He gets, uh, made an example of he gets tied to a trellis and then the, the ultimate fireworks display of, for the, for the festival happens and like blows him up.

Todd: Well, while the crowd is almost happy watching this. Yeah, they’re 

Craig: smiling and pointing. Um, that was hilarious. And then not only does he blow up with the fireworks, which would’ve killed him, but then they, there is a huge explosion. Um, that kills. Well, it, it, it tosses the young cop who was dating Sam’s wife, tosses him down a hill at the bottom of which is waiting Uncle Sam with a flagpole that the cop then gets impaled on.

Love it. Yep. Now there’s chaos and everybody’s running around. This is when, um, Jodi runs and, and gets his friend in the wheelchair, and then Jed ends up with them and there’s some funny Isaac Hayes dialogue there. 

Todd: Oh. Dude, look, I’m too old for this crap. Cut it out.

Craig: At this point I must have been sick of writing stuff down. Cause I just have funny Isaac Hay’s dialogue. Um, but they go to check the coffin because Barry tells them it’s, it’s Sam, but they want to be sure. So they go and they check the coffin. The, the pervy sergeant is in there. Yep. And then Barry out of nowhere, the mom comes home.

Barry out of nowhere goes, I know where I’d go. If I was him, I’d go get my wife back. So then Jed goes off to find Sam. He’s immediately followed by the boys. They end up at, uh, Louise’s house and finally an unmasked un he, he took, he takes the mask off. So we get to see the really good. Makeup again. Makeup.

Yep. And he confronts Jed and he says, you made me do this. And Jed says, you never fought for your country. You just loved killing. You’re nothing. So just die.

So, but he, then he gets thrown through the room partition. But he’s fine. Yep. He jumps right up, no problems. So he’s like, the guy can’t be killed. Uh, Jed says, and Jody says, go get your cannon. And so Jed says, okay, and he 

Todd: runs out. Jed has time to leave. Go to the school. Yeah. Strap up the cannon to his truck and drive it back to their house while Jodi is confronting his uncle.

Yeah, 

Craig: I know. And it’s so stupid. Like the, like the zombie uncle is like talking to the boy do, used to love me and uh, oh no, he’s talking to his wife. Do you still love me? And she shoots him. But then Sam says to Jodi, I came back for you. And Jodi’s like, I wanna be like you. And Sam’s like, well, you’ll have to be dead first.

It’s so weird. But then outside the house, Jed is setting up the literal cannon. Literal cannon. Like, like civil war cannon. 

Todd: Right. Which he shot once earlier, 

Craig: right? He did. To like start the festivities. Right? So Jodi, Jodi and Sam, Sam come out of the house together and Jed says, I can’t, I can’t shoot it with, uh, with Jodi up there.

And Barry expressionless as always says, he’ll move, just do it.

And so he lights the cannon and as the wick is running down, Jodi is saying to the zombie, I’m going back with you. We belong together. But then he immediately runs off into the yard and, and like hits the dirt and Jed blows Sam up with the cannon. He shoots him and it like, Explodes and there’s fire 

Todd: everywhere.

It explodes and there’s fire. It’s just a cannonball, but it explodes. It’s a cannonball, it explodes. There’s fire all over his 

Craig: house. Yes. And then Sam is engulfed in flames, but is still coming. And that was badass. I, I know. You know, it’s not like I’ve never seen this effect before. I’ve seen it many times, but I’m always impressed with it, um, because I know that it’s not easy.

I know that it’s dangerous, and when it’s done right, it just looks great. So here he is completely engulfed in flame, still coming. And Jed is like, he likes the cannon again. But the fuse is like 12 inches long and they’re just waiting like it’s this suspenseful moment where this flaming zombie is getting closer and closer to the kid and you’re watching the fuse go down and finally it goes off and.

Again, this looks amazing. I don’t know how they did it. This is a 

Todd: fantastic stunt. Fantastic. The, the, 

Craig: the guy on fire gets blasted back into the house and which then explodes three times.

Cannons don’t cannonballs, don’t explode. Not these kinds cannonballs. Anyway, oh my god, that was hilarious. Maybe it, maybe it hit the gas tank. I don’t know. The house explodes. That must be three times. 

Todd: It was probably a bottle of wine on the, on the dining room 

Craig: table. And that’s, yeah, that must be it too.

And then presumably the next day, Jodi is standing out in his backyard. 

Todd: Somebody else’s backyard. I suppose 

Craig: I, I thought his mom, oh yeah. I guess. Cause that was his house, but he’s burning all of his war toys. But then he turns around and it kind of freezes frames on his face and the, there’s a weird music cue.

And so my reading of that was, okay, he’s burning all of his weird toys, but he’s still a psychopath. 

Todd: Yeah,

Craig: that’s totally the vibe I got. Which honestly, I thought, That leaves it open for a sequel. Good call Sequel never materialized. They talked about it right after 

Todd: this. It would’ve been interesting, that’s for sure. I, I think I would watch it. Jack Frost got a sequel, huh? Yeah. Oh, I would totally watch it. As long as all the same people were involved.

Yeah. 

Craig: Like, this is a bad movie. And I was on, I was a little worried. Those first 35 minutes are a little slow. Not that I hated it, and not that I didn’t think that I had promised, but I’m like, come on, I’m looking at my watch. And then from that point on, it was just a rollercoaster of fun. Mm-hmm. It, it, it, it is certainly 100% schlock, but it is just draped from floor to ceiling in 4th of July.

Yeah. And that part of it is fun. 

Todd: It’s a movie that knows it’s schlocky and that’s a absolutely, you know, there’s a fine line sometimes that is really. Tedious. Uh, but in this case it was fun. I I kind of liken it in a way. I don’t think you enjoyed Jack Frost as much as I did. It was okay, but, uh, I kind of put it in the same category, oddly enough, considering their cover art looks so similar.

The two movies have no relation to each other. But it just has that same vibe of like, I know I’m schlocky and we’re just gonna run with it, and it’s still gonna work because it’s still gonna be fun. Mm-hmm. And to have those names involved. Oh, and the, the acting so bad, 

Craig: it was acting that you would expect from this kind of movie.

It, it reminded, it was, it gave me similar vibes, even though totally different movies, but to something like Critters. Yeah. Where the cha, the characters are just. A little bit heightened, you know, it’s just a little bit outside of realism. Yeah. But you know, the same kind of small town vibe and the house blows up at the end.

See, look. All kinds of connections. But that’s the, that’s the vibe it gave me. And I like that movie too. And it’s silly too. It’s that kind of movie. I’ll 

Todd: watch anything Larry Cohen writes, it’s all over the map. It’s usually highly entertaining. Not always good, right, but good in the sense that a good movie is a movie that keeps me glued to the screen and interested in what’s going on.

And, uh, he almost always succeeds as far as I’m concerned. 

Craig: It’s a lot of fun. Well, he did here with me. I, uh, I had a lot of fun with it. I did. Uh, honestly, like when I, when it was over, I had a big smile on my face. I was really looking forward to talking about it with you, cuz I had a really strong feeling that you would, uh, enjoy it in a similar way.

So I’m glad we did it. And, uh, happy 4th of July. Yeah, 

Todd: happy Independence Day to you too, Craig. Well, thank you again for listening with us. If you enjoyed this, please share it with a friend. You can find us online just by googling two guys in a chainsaw podcast. Hopefully you come across our Twitter feed, our brand new Instagram account, and, uh, our YouTube channel.

You can subscribe to us on any one of those places. Leave comments for us. Let us know what you thought of this episode and what episodes you’d like us to, uh, do in the future. We have a Patreon, uh, patreon.com/chainsaw podcast with a very. Vibrant little community there behind the scenes chatting about movies and deciding what movies we’re gonna do next, please consider joining that by going to that address.

Until next time, I’m Todd. And I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


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