Jackson County Jail (1976)

Jackson County Jail (1976)

“I was born dead.”

After leaving her philandering boyfriend and going on a cross-country road trip, a woman (Yvette Mimieux) is robbed by a pair of hitchhikers (Robert Carradine and Marciee Drake), nearly raped by a bartender (Britt Leach), thrown in jail by a suspicious sheriff (Severn Darden), brutally savaged by a lecherous guard (Frederic Cook), and “rescued” by a murderous inmate (Tommy Lee Jones) who takes pity on her.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Falsely Accused
  • Feminism and Women’s Issues
  • Living Nightmare
  • Prisoners
  • Rape
  • Road Trip
  • Tommy Lee Jones Films
  • Yvette Mimieux Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that while this “overrated” “film has [a] cult reputation based on its feminist themes”, the “rape is hard to watch rather than titillating” (!). He rightfully argues that “under the secure cover of a feminist facade, it includes many of the raunchy elements found in typical New World exploitation pictures”, and that “except for a couple of well-done action sequences”, “Michael Miller’s direction is sloppy and self-consciously arty”. He asserts that the film is “well acted” and “worth seeing if only because it allows Mimieux a rare starring role”, but concedes that “the storyline is pretty standard stuff” and “we’ve seen enough Southern yokels in other films”. Skip this one.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Yvette Mimieux as Dinah Hunter
  • Tommy Lee Jones as Coley Blake

Must See?
No, though you may be mildly curious given its cult status.


One thought on “Jackson County Jail (1976)

  1. First viewing.

    Though not as bad as I anticipated – based on the assessment – I wouldn’t say this is one to catch.

    It might be aka ‘Let’s Get Yvette’. That’s more or less what the script sets out to do, with its ‘Woman In Constant Peril’ theme. It all smells of purely drive-in fodder, it’s so preposterous.

    Still, Yvette does not do a bad job, all things considered – even if her performance isn’t particularly layered; 20 minutes in, she’s pretty much in non-stop shock. Tommy Lee, on the other hand, with a sketchy role, manages to show us exactly why he would emerge as a respected actor in years to come.

    Cult film fans will appreciate seeing Mary Woronov being effective in a small bit.

    I was half-expecting to end up saying, “That’s 83 minutes of my life I won’t get back.” Fortunately, it’s not outright terrible. (I did esp. like when Yvette and Tommy Lee kinda sorta become friends.) But this isn’t really one to make a point of seeing.

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