Summer of Sam is a 1999 film directed by Spike Lee and starring John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, and Jennifer Esposito.Its subject matter is New York City during the summer of 1977, at which time there was tremendous heatwave, a major blackout, and of course a serial killer keeping the whole city on edge.Lee's film mainly focuses on a group of friends in The Bronx who get swept up in fear and paranoia as the police continue to hunt for Son of Sam aka The .44 Caliber Killer, a psycho who shoots young couples as they sit parked in their cars. Their paranoia is heavily fueled by drugs, constant news coverage of the killer, and the arrival of their old friend Richie (Brody), who is now involved in the emerging punk rock scene which they are completely unfamiliar and uncomfortable with.
- Based on a True Story
- Big Blackout
- The Big Rotten Apple
- Cluster F-Bomb: The film has over 435 uses of the word "fuck", previously becoming the movie with the most uses of the word in a mainstream film, until The Wolf of Wall Street dethroned it.
- Creator Cameo: Spike Lee appears a few times as a news reporter.
- Crapsack World
- Downer Ending: Although the real Son Of Sam is arrested, Vinny loses his girlfriend Dionna for his infidelities and Richie's friendship because he brought his friends to kill him believing that he's the killer. Vinny tries unsuccessfully to apologize for the mistake.
- Everyone Is a Suspect: The main characters sketch out a list of suspects including priests, Vietnam veterans, and their own friends.
- Flipping the Bird: Happens often.
- Foregone Conclusion: The movie early on identifies David Berkowitz as the killer, and draws tension from the characters reaching erroneous conclusions while lacking that information.
- Heat Wave
- Punk Rock
- Serial Killer: The infamous "Son of Sam".
- Take a Third Option: When Vinny and Richie are confronted in a restaurant because of Richie's punk rock attire, they are given the options of either leaving peacefully (which is unlikely) or getting in a fist fight with the other patrons, instead Richie breaks a bottle over his own head which confuses and scares everyone enough to diffuse the situation.Richie (tasting his own blood): Tastes better than heinz ketchup
- Your Cheating Heart: Vinnie is this to Dionna.