The ’80s War Thriller Everyone Forgot Gets Saved And Looks Better Than Ever

By Jason Collins | Published

We discussed the importance of media and physical media preservation on numerous occasions, and while the trend of moving away from physical media continues, the rise of physical media distributors and boutiques paints a bright future for physical media collectors and enthusiasts. The latest release to receive a special treatment that saves it from oblivion is 1981’s Southern Comfort.

Southern Comfort Is Set During The Vietnam War

Southern Comfort is a 1981 war thriller set in 1973, during the Vietnam War, and it follows a group of Louisiana National Guardsmen who accidentally ignite a war with a group of Cajun trappers while conducting maneuvers in the bayou.

It’s a rather interesting movie that pits a group of guardsmen armed with nothing but their wits and guns filled with blanks and follows their story as they struggle to survive against an enemy that’s born and bred in the same swamps they found themselves in. And now, the movie is receiving a 4K treatment, regardless of its poor performance.

The Box Office Flop Remastered

Unfortunately, Southern Comfort wasn’t a great success among the audiences upon release. It bombed at the box office, managing to earn a mere $3 million against a $7.9 million budget. However, it does boast a rather impressive cast of actors, featuring a number of actors who became well-known superstars of the ’80s and ’90s cinema.

This includes Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Fred Ward, T.K. Carter, Peter Coyote, Brion James, and Sonny Landham—the latter two became known for their performances in Blade Runner and the original Predator.

Aged Life Fine Wine

It’s worth noting that while the American reception wasn’t great, Southern Comfort was actually well-received abroad. The movie was also well-received by domestic critics at the time and has gone through a critical re-evaluation over the years, becoming one of the top movies director Walter Hill ever made.

Fortunately for those who like the film, Vinegar Syndrome, a movie restoration and distribution company whose catalog features hundreds of films produced primarily between the 1960s and 1980s, has announced the re-release of the film.  

The 4K Blu-Ray Package

Vinegar Syndrome announced the re-release of Southern Comfort on 4K Blu-Ray, scheduled for later this year. The disc is currently available for pre-order, and the new release will feature an all-new 4K transfer scanned and restored from the film’s 35mm interpositive.

The package will also include a new commentary track from Walter Hill expert Walter Chaw, new interviews with Hill himself and the film’s editors and costume designers. On top of that, Vinegar Syndrome announced a ton of additional special features included with the release.

The Rise Of Physical Media Restoration

Physical media boutiques, such as Vinegar Syndrome, are becoming more prominent as they cater to physical media collectors, whose hobby has become endangered now that all major entertainment companies distance themselves from physical formats.

It’s actually a solution that works to everyone’s benefit. Physical media collectors get their collectibles, media and entertainment companies eliminate the costs associated with disc prints and earn royalties through the right sales, and boutiques make a profit from printing discs and catering to a niche market.

On top of everything, forgotten releases, such as Southern Comfort and Leviathan, are given a new lease on life and shelter from oblivion associated with delisting digital media. Southern Comfort is now available for pre-order on Vinegar Syndrome.

Source: Vinegar Syndrome