Sunday, June 15, 2008

Southern Comfort

I watched a Powers Boothe film (The Final Season) on my recent trip and it was terrible. He was a soft spoken, nice, respected baseball coach and member of the community—how against type is that? It was just wrong and I kept waiting for him to grab a bat and start braining people! Powers Boothe should never be in a film like that as he’s one of the most intense, bad-ass villain or character actors in the past thirty years.


Now, Southern Comfort, a drive-in style film from 1981 is what I expect to see Boothe in. Directed by the great Walter Hill (who made some of my favorite films in the ‘70s and ‘80s with The Warriors, The Long Riders and 48 Hours), Southern Comfort is kind of an unknown gem of a film that has gone under the radar for too long. Southern Comfort, like Hill’s best work, is a well made thing of beauty that’s a lean, mean and gritty film that delivers great action and suspense.

Southern Comfort is a survivor tale in the vein of Deliverance (1972) that has Cajuns trying to kill people instead of Appalachian hillbillies. Like any good survival tale—this has people out of their element (in this case an overzealous National Guard unit) going up against locals and it doesn’t look good for the outsiders. These Cajuns make all kinds of mincemeat on the soldiers as they try to make it out of the swamp alive.

The film has a great cast—Boothe, another favorite in Fred Ward, Keith Carradine and the late, great bad guy Brion James as the main Cajun. James, who featured prominently in Blade Runner, was one of the best “unknown” screen villains so to have James going up against Boothe, Ward and Carradine—that’s action film gold!

If you are in the mood for an old-school, drive-in esque, action film with Cajuns trying to kill off outsiders from an underrated American director in Walter Hill—Southern Comfort is recommended. Watch it late at night with the lights out for best results.

4 comments:

Silver Screen Kid said...

I need to own that poster. This movie sounds rock solid, I'll have to check it out.

Replicant said...

I think you'd really like Southern Comfort Silver...it's fun, has a great cast and is one of those unknown '70s or early '80s genre films that really surprise you.

Silver Screen Kid said...

It sounds like it's right up my alley. I bumped it up to number one on my netflix queue based on your endorsement. It's right up there with Machine Girl

Replicant said...

Machine Girl...don't know that one but like the title.

Let me know if you like Southern Comfort--the pressure is on!