A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition and in a strange country, their experience begins to mirror the Vietnam experience.Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
Like "Deliverance" with Cajuns instead. Decent film throughout, with an ending elevating it to greatness.
As a Frenchman I've long been fascinated with Cajun culture, surviving against all odds, so when I learned "Southern Comfort" was like "Deliverance" with Cajuns I figured it had to be fun and that I should check it out. I wasn't disappointed.
The plot is pretty simple. A National Guard squad gets stranded in Cajun country swamps, and are victim to attacks from the locals who consider that it's their land, and the film predictably proceeds in having the soldiers killed one at a time while they also destroy each-other because of their increasing paranoia.
The score and cinematography are great, as is the acting. However I must say that ultimately most of the movie with the soldiers stranded in the swamps isn't as intense as it could have been. It's surely entertaining, but pretty basic, and for that only I would have given "Southern Comfort" a 7. However, the last 20 minutes of the movie are absolutely fantastic, elevating the film to something highly satisfying. I don't want to spoil anything, and anyway I probably couldn't accurately describe how superbly cut the climatic ending of "Southern Comfort" is. If most of the film is just above average, the ending makes sitting through it even more worthwhile, as it all builds up to those last scenes.
The theme of the film obviously borrows from the Vietnam war, and the film itself inspired later films. Just a little trivia for you, I actually first learned about "Southern Comfort" from reading about the film "Aliens". "Southern Comfort" producer David Giler convinced the studio to make an "Alien" sequel by making the sequel like "Southern Comfort" in space. And it's true that "Aliens" does have a similar Vietnam war theme.
Anyway, "Southern Comfort" is a good 80s film which truly did remind me of "Deliverance", so if you liked that film, you will like this one too. Recommended.
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