Walter Hill directed three of my favourite films in the late 70’s to mid-80s, The Warriors, Streets Of Fire and this film, Southern Comfort.
A routine training exercise in the Louisiana bayou becomes an all too real war when a unit of National Guardsmen unwittingly upset a group of Cajun hunters. Lost in unknown territory and armed with nothing more than blank ammo, the part-time soldiers face a terrifying battle for survival against an unforgiving enemy hidden deep in the heart of the swampland.
Walter Hill, the director and co-writer of Southern Comfort, does a very good job in this tale clearly inspired by the events in Viet Nam. What the director does with this film is give it great suspense and realistic characterization and dialogue. A great cast helps also, Keith Carradine and Powers Booth has never been better, both trying to keep calm while all those aro
und them are going crazy. Add to this Ry Cooder’s fantastic score which adds a great deal to the atmosphere and you have a classic film that is totally recommended.
The Blu ray released by Second Sight in the UK has a very good 1080p transfer, grain is intact but the image is far superior to any DVD transfer that has gone before. DNR seems to have been very minimal and fans should be very happy with the result.
The sound is 2.0 PCM, as it was during the cinema release and although it won’t give your home cinema sound system any test it serves the film perfectly, clear and precise. There is only one extra on this release but it’s a good one, a 45-minute discussion with director Walter Hill called Will He Live or Will He Die. Not known for giving many interviews the director is very frank about the hard shoot and goes into details about individual actors and their performances.
Overall Southern Comfort is an excellent release and any fans of the film should purchase it without hesitation. Recommended. Released November 26th. REGION B.
FILM: 8.5 OUT OF 10
PICTURE: 8 OUT OF 10
SOUND: 7 OUT OF 10
EXTRAS: 6 OUT OF 10