Another Son Of Sam (1977)

This movie could be considered a proto-slasher. I prefer to consider it a rite of passage.

Another Son of Sam is dirt-cheap “true crime” rip-off has no connection to Son Of Sam, let alone another Son of Sam. So what’s it all about? I have no idea. But it has something to do with an escaped mental patient named Harvey, some sweet speedboat jumps, SWAT troopers, and a lounge singer named Johnny Charro.

After a very long performance by lounge-singing hambone Johnny Charro at the Treehouse Lounge, Harvey escapes from a mental institution. He wears boat shoes, Dockers, and a dress shirt from Sears. Harvey makes his way across a park, possibly killing some people in the process. A very long and special chase ensues. The cops interview people and a girl named Tina is obsessed with money. Eventually, Harvey makes it to a girl’s dormitory, where the ineffectual cops form a stakeout. Harvey holds a few ladies hostage . . . until the goddamn SWAT team is called in! Plus, there’s an abortion!

Filmed in Charlotte, North Carolina by one-time director-writer-producer-editor-stunt coordinator-casting director (sonofabitch!) Dave Adams, I’m hard pressed to think of a film is composed as strangely as this one. This is 74 minutes of mid-sentence freeze frames, drunken camera movements, big fat synths, bloody deaths, and slow motion chases, all conspiring to build a ridiculous facsimile of an actual film. Dialogue is nearly impossible to make out and several shots zone out on inanimate object. This is a movie that DARES you to watch in the best way possible.

If it wasn’t for the innovative gracelessness on display, Harvey and his droning, bloodless story would shiver up into a boring void. But luckily, that’s not the case. Unintentional or not, Adams’ technical decisions cause Another Son of Sam to constantly misplace reality. And that’s exactly what we want.

Dave A. Adams never made another movie, but he clearly never watched one before making Another Son of Sam. I’d call it even.

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