A routine training exercise in the Louisiana bayou becomes an all too real war of attrition when a unit of brash National Guardsmen unwittingly upset a group of local Cajun hunters. Lost in unknown territory and armed with little more than blank ammo, the weekend soldiers face a terrifying battle for survival against an unforgiving enemy hidden deep in the heart of the swampland.
Nicely ironic title - there's no comfort here...
- Southern Comfort review by RP
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You rated this film: 4
A nicely ironic title for a film that is a cross between a chase thriller and 'Deliverance'.
The story goes like this: part-time soldiers (National Guard, something like our TA) are on a weekend training exercise in the bayous and swamps of Louisiana, their guns loaded with blanks. They 'borrow' canoes they find and manage to upset (well, a bit more than just 'upset') the Cajun locals when one of the platoon fires - blanks of course - at them. Locals don't see the funny side of this and proceed to track and kill them off one by one. There aren't many survivors.
Some regard this film as a metaphor for Vietnam - a depiction of poorly trained, ill equipped, aggressive Americans in a land where they are unwanted, don't understand the people and don't speak the language. I don't buy this metaphor/allegory thing - director Walter Hill is not renowned for being that subtle. Just enjoy it for what it is. If anything, it is similar to Walter Hill's 1979 film 'The Warriors' where gang members have to fight their way home...
There's a nice (if ambiguous) finale and with evocative guitar theme music by Ry Cooder plus some excellent Cajun music this is a rather good film of its type. I enjoyed it and it's worth 4/5 stars from me, although that does seem generous.
[Aside: the copy that I received is in 4:3 aspect ratio and the print quality is quite grainy, but that doesn't detract too much]