Summer of Sam (1999)

Spike Lee directs John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody and Mira Sorvino in this period drama following a community of Italian-Americans the summer their streets are terrorised by serial killer David Berkowitz.

Being a big Spike Lee fan I remember this being a jolting disappointment at the cinema. Lee has such little affection or respect for these characters – they shriek, harangue and attack each other. None of the pastoral sense of community from Do The Right Thing or Crooklyn exists here. Lee’s assessment of white people under existential pressures and in sexual flux is as damning as it is grinding. You just don’t want to be in anyone within the ensemble’s company for a prolonged time… and seemingly their subplots and hang ups get stuck in a narrative rut for what plays like FOREVER. The Son of Sam hysteria is more a framing device than a thread of reality explored with any impact… the few scenes where we witness Berkowitz’ day to day life often drift into unintended parody.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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