Summer Of Sam (1999)

SPIKE LEE

SummerOfSamposterBil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5.  USA, 1999.  , , .  Screenplay by Spike Lee, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Spike Lee.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Spike Lee directs this exploitative and excessive tale about the summer when all of New York was terrorized by David Berkowitz, the serial killer known as the “Son of Sam”. The story mainly follows residents of Brooklyn during the unbearably hot summer when Berkowitz randomly went out shooting people, mostly young women, insisting that his neighbour’s dog Sam was instructing him to do so. What this did to New York City was empty restaurants and night clubs, get women to change their appearances to look less like Berkowitz’s victims and increase paranoia in local neighbourhoods as to who the killer was. SummerOfSam plays a go-go boy whose nightlife leads his closest friends to suspect him of being involved,  is a sexually frustrated man who thanks to his Catholic-guilt upbringing can’t see his wife () in an excitably sexual way (yeah right), and  is the sweet-natured easy girl of the neighbourhood who has her way with all of them. Relentlessly violent and unnecessarily sexual, Lee’s only good move in this film is to give all the wonderful actors involved lots of room to perform well, and they do (Esposito is the film’s best asset). Other than that there’s no centre for the action to revolve around, so you’re stuck watching scene after scene that never gets boring but certainly feels excessive.

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