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Summer of Sam (1999)
Movie Review by The Cryptkeeper

Summer of Sam (1999) I realize that this doesn't fully qualify as a horror movie... more like a thriller... but since it does revolve mostly around the "Son of Sam" serial killings, I thought I would include it. Alot of people I know do not like Spike Lee... but I really dig his films. Yes, he can be preachy at times... but he does tend to have good messages in most of his flicks. In this film, he takes on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977. The story doesn't so much center around David Berkowitz himself, but more on the effect it had on the residents of an Italian-American neighborhood in the South Bronx who live in fear and distrust of one another because of the killings. A whacked out killer, who was driven by inner demons, was stalking young women in the streets of New York. He was dubbed the 44 caliber killer by the media... because of the weapon he used... and was striking fear and paranoia in the hearts of many New Yorkers in the seventies. The story mainly followed the residents of this particular neighborhood, and how the paranoia began turning them against each other. Anything that struck them as being odd or a little weird about a person, suddenly made that person a prime candidate to be the killer.

There was very little gore in this, aside from a few of the killings (unless you count the disco clothes as gore). It felt less like a thriller at times and more like a Studio 54ish type flick. Sex, drugs and disco were the main focus of the film a little too much. Guess you could call it one of those "slice-of-life" films... with some killing as the backdrop. While the movie was not as good as I had hoped, it was still fairly decent. Again... it is Spike Lee... so there will be an underlying message to the whole story... which may be different for each viewer. I categorize the film as social commentary on the effects of ignorance and fear in our communities with the footnote of a maniac who kills cause the neighbor's dog told him to. Whether you like Lee's movies or not... my neighbor's dog said you should probably see this one.

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Rating: 7.0 out of 10.0 - 6 votes cast total
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