Big Fat Independent Movies

Sending Off SXSW Film 04

Big Fat Independent Movies

Straight Into Darkness

D: Jeff Burr; with Scott MacDonald, Ryan Francis, David Warner, Linda Thorson, James LeGros

Narrative Feature Special Screenings, U.S. Premiere

In the twilight days of World War II, two American GIs – one wild and violent, the other quiet and haunted by his past – go AWOL in a bid to escape the horrors of the battlefield. But their flight through wintry forests and fields only leads them right where the title says. They encounter one nightmare after another: a mute priest with a taste for human flesh, an entire wedding party hanged from trees, a miniature army of gun-toting orphans. It gives Burr's combat drama the feel of Edgar Allen Poe having shanghaied Bill Mauldin's Willie and Joe and marched them through his fevered imagination. Grim it certainly is, and once Poe's "The Conqueror Worm" is quoted, the outcome is never in doubt, but crisp cinematography and taut performances by all the actors – including a crew of true orphans from Romania – build up such atmosphere and tension that we can't run from it any more than its characters can.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Robert Faires
Moontower Comedy Comes Back in a Big Way!
Moontower Comedy Comes Back in a Big Way!
Festival celebrates its tenth year with 100 comics – live!

June 10, 2021

"Elements of Expression" at ICOSA Gallery
The artists of San Antonio's Clamp Light Studios take over the Austin gallery and take us to surprising new places

June 11, 2021

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle