Southern Comfort (1981)

R   |    |  Action, Thriller


Southern Comfort (1981) Poster

During a routine exercise, a team of National Guards are threatened by angry and violent locals.

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7.2/10
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  • Southern Comfort (1981)
  • Alan Autry in Southern Comfort (1981)
  • Lewis Smith in Southern Comfort (1981)
  • Keith Carradine in Southern Comfort (1981)
  • Walter Hill and Andrew Laszlo in Southern Comfort (1981)
  • Southern Comfort (1981)

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23 January 2008 | Coventry
9
| Thought Vietnam was rough? Wait until you visit the Cajun Swamps!
Thank the heavens for John Boorman! If it hadn't been for his classic "Deliverance", we never would have had the stream of gritty and relentless "Backwoods" action & horror movies. Most of them are just a cheap excuse to make fun of stereotypical rednecks and depict gratuitous violence, but some are truly great films that come damn near to the quality level of "Deliverance" itself, like Walter Hill's "Southern Comfort". This exhilarating backwoods survival chiller uses some of the best exterior filming locations ever, the suspense and atmosphere of madness gradually builds itself up, the (almost) all-star cast is terrific and the violence is extremely rough at times. A nine-headed squadron of the Louisiana National Guard enrolls into a training practice in the Cajun Swamps and soon get lost. They borrow three canoes of the local population without asking and when one of the soldiers playfully (but stupidly) fires off blanks in their direction, the unseen Cajuns hillbilly-poachers respond with real bullets. This inflicts a disturbing cat and mouse game between the soldiers (with minimal ammunition and no knowledge of the area) and the seemingly invisible Cajuns (with their primitive hunting instincts and inventive booby traps). Usually in this type of flicks, it's obvious to choose which side you're on, but in "Southern Comfort" you have to think at least twice. The soldiers aren't exactly warm and friendly men, neither, and you're more than often tempted to think they're somewhat responsible for the mess they're in. After all, they did steal the canoes, they did set fire to one of the Cajun's homes and they did yell obscure things at them! The finale, set in an actual Cajun community, is truly nail-biting, absorbing and strangely educational, what with all the portrayal of typical rituals like dance parties and barbecuing! Another masterful period accomplishment from Walter Hill, who also made the brilliant cult classic "The Warriors" and the family-western "The Long Riders".

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