Don’t piss off Cajuns—that is the moral of this movie. The movie was always somewhere rolling around in my head and then my friend TV brought it up (I believe he was trying to stump me with no luck for him). Of course I remembered the film because of some very gritty scenes one or two of which will appear in the vaunted JPFmovie clips.
Southern Comfort is a movie about a Louisiana National Guard unit (or weekend warriors) out on some mock combat exercise. Part of the mock combat is that all they have are blanks which proves to be the beginning of the end for most of the unit. As the soldiers begin the 40 something kilometer march, they come to a river that is not marked on their map. They realize that the recent rains probably have shifted the swamp water causing a pretty formidable river crossing. Oh did I forget to mention that 90% of this film is the unit making their way through the bayou swamp land? Well anyways as these soldiers are trying to figure out a way to cross the river, they stumble upon an empty camp of Cajun men where they find several canoes as well as some skinned animals.
Instead of leaving the boats there, as dictated by military law, they decide to use them to cross the river and leave them a note presumably explaining the situation. While crossing the river, the Cajuns return and are looking at these guys stealing their boats. One of the idiot soldiers decides (as a joke) to open fire on these men with his machine gun using blanks. Naturally the Cajuns dive for cover since they have no clue that these are only blanks and this is all just a bad joke. Once the machine gun stops firing, the Cajuns fire on the soldiers using live ammunition killing the units’ ranking officer.
The rest of the film involves the soldiers trying to make it back to civilization without getting killed by these Cajuns who know the terrain and area like the back of their hands. In the end, only Booth and Carradine make it to a form of civilization—a Cajun cookout/party. They remain on their guard as they (correctly) suspect that their hunters will show up and finish them off. Well when their enemies arrive one shoots Booth but the wound is not fatal. As the two survivors flee from the Cajun camp, an Army truck and helicopter arrive to save them from these vengeful Cajun men.
If I did not find this film interesting, I certainly would not have remembered it. Cajuns chasing you throughout the Louisiana bayou swap is actually kind of frightening—not like Jaws scary but scary enough. They do come across some very dangerous traps and there are a lot of skinned animals. So I would recommend it, I mean why not—it’s not the greatest film ever made but it sure as hell is not the worst movie in the world. Also film has some great Cajun music in it that, according to my research, is played by a famous Cajun musician Dewey Balfa.