There's nothing I like more than discovering a genuine, 70s-era grindhouse film I had no idea existed. And thanks to the lunatics over at Something Weird Video, I was just introduced to a real oddity from 1977 titled ANOTHER SON OF SAM (it's available at http://www.somethingweird.com/ on DVD-R and as a download).
If you're one of those film-goers who HATES really, really, really bad cinema, you might as well skip this review (not to mention seeing the film itself). But if you enjoy inept filmmaking, horrendous 70s fashions, plot-holes galore, and a genuine grindhouse experience, pay attention:
For the first 5-6 minutes of this 74-minute epic, we see a cop walking around a dock with his girlfriend and then water skiing. I still have no idea why, but that's the least of this films puzzles. Next, we're treated to some local North Carolina lounge singer named Johnny Charro, who sings as our cop relaxes with his girl after a long day's water skiing. Again, I have no idea why.
Ah--around 15 minutes into this the film begins: A psycho named Harvey (and nope--the name has nothing to do with the dog that allegedly told the real Son of Sam to kill) is injected with sedatives at a mental institution. But apparently they shot him up with steroids. Harvey kills two orderlies and a nurse, then escapes to a local park where he kills two cops as a dozen others run in circles looking for him.
Before long, Harvey finds his way to a State college where he hides in a girls' dorm room, eventually taking two of them hostage, despite the fact the cops evacuated everyone from the building (the two girls miraculously show up in their room after they had left the campus and the place had been quarantined--one of many questions not worth asking or worrying about).
Despite the fact a SWAT team is called in, the local cops are still running all over the dorm trying to locate the elusive killer, who is shown in BLOOD FEAST-style eyeball close-ups (and on occassion we see his moccasins tip-toeing down hallways).
We eventually learn Harvey had been sexually abused by his mother as a child, so the cops call her in to try and talk her son out of the hostage situation. It works, giving our cops and SWAT-sters time to blow a couple dozen holes in him.
ANOTHER SON OF SAM is crudely edited, poorly lit, features fashions that will make even 70s fans glad the decade is long gone, music that sounds like left-overs from an HG Lewis film, and best of all, poster art that's better than the film itself.
As a show of total classlessness, this film was released in 1977, before there was any other fictional film about the Son of Sam, and (I'm assuming) while Berkowitz was still at large. Shot with the working title HOSTAGES, the producer went above and beyond to re-title his film in a way that might possibly draw a crowd and make him some moolah (I'm not sure if it did either). Speaking of said producer, North Carolina local David Adams also wrote and directed and cast and edited this seldom-seen gem of pure trash---PLUS he was a stunt coordinator (being a former stunt man himself).
If you like your films trashy, pointless, and full of unintentional laughs, ANOTHER SON OF SAM is pure gold. All others, turn and run away as fast as you can.
Johnny Charro croons Tom Jones-style
Harvey stealing his eye-stalk from BLOOD FEAST's Fuad Ramses!
In the hi-tech police office...
A cute future-hostage coed and her polyester boyfriend
If this slow-moving SWAT team had been in DAWN OF THE DEAD, they'd a-been chow in less than 2 seconds!
The Police Captain's son-in-law bites a bullet from Harvey---the DRAMA!
SPOILER ALERT!!! Harvey gets shot at the end!
A local cop faces Harvey's wrath (this image from Something Weird Video's website)