Like many of Spike Lee's movies, Summer of Sam is a collage of characters, storylines, music, and styles. In this case, the collage encompasses the New York summer of 1977, which saw the financially struggling city suffer the strains of record heat, capped by a 24-hour blackout that led to looting and riots in several poor neighborhoods. Even more unsettling that summer was the serial killer, dubbed "Son of Sam," who was preying mostly on women in an Italian-American section of the Bronx.
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