The first day of deer hunting season may be a rite of passage for many hunters across the Midwest, but nowhere more so than in the small Michigan town of Escanaba -- or so this comedy from writer/director/star Jeff Daniels would have you believe. Daniels plays Rueben Soady, a dim hunter slouching through middle age, ostracized by the men in his family for his annual inability to "bag a buck." Rueben's venison envy reaches a fever pitch on the eve of hunting season, when he joins his father Albert and his brother Remnar (Joey Albright) at the family cabin for their yearly, alcohol-soaked ritual of tall tales and one-upmanship. Rueben is determined to make this year different, however, whether by means of ingesting a heady, Native American good-luck potion or dousing himself in porcupine urine in order to attract a stag or two. Otherworldly forces conspire to keep the Soady men from achieving their goals, however: Soon after they set up camp, they're plagued by blinding lights and hallucinogenic visions, imparted to them -- presumably -- by UFOs. When a babbling, traumatized park ranger arrives on their doorstep, the Soadys know that their evening is about to become stranger still, and Rueben's hopes of living down his reputation as a "buckless" man are all but dashed. The first effort from Daniels' Purple Rose Films company, the independently produced and distributed Escanaba is based upon a stage play that premiered at the actor's Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea, MI, before touring various venues in the Midwest.