Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jackson County Jail

Jackson County Jail Directed By Michael Miller. Starring Tommy Lee Jones. (1976)
  Dinah Hunter (Yvette Mimieux) has to deal with abusive misogynistic creeps at her job selling ads for tampons. She comes home to find her husband David played by Howard Hessman cheating on her with a busty starlet! 
  David is a shitty husband who fucks around behind her back, but instead of feeling like a bastard, he thinks his wife is square for overreacting to it. 
This is one of those powerful women in the working force being made to struggle against the tide of lurid men, who feel powerless and want to put the women back in their place, or the negative result of feminism. The 70's exploded with this time of gritty realism, but not that many films used the female perspective.    
  Miss Hunter, fed up with her stupid husband decides to hit the bricks and take a road trip back to New York. A bitchy waitress is the first roadblock in her way, trying to undercut her by pocketing some change. 
  Robert Carradine played a lot of hippies or crooks in the beginning of his career before he was immortalized as Louis Skolnick, him and his weepy girlfriend (who yells Avocado over and over again) carjack Miss Hunter and leave her on the side of the road.
  Britt Leach, one of those reoccurring character actors shows up, I've seen him a lot since I've started this blog in such gems as Night Warning and Silent Night, Deadly Night he was also in The Last Starfighter and now in this, he plays a redneck bartender. He leads her into a scary backroom with a bare bulb, animal heads, religious items and a liquor bottle, so trouble is definitely headed to Miss Hunter's pretty little old way! When the cops in this town get pissed off that you take the lord's name is vain, you know you're in trouble!
In the tradition of Poor Pretty Eddie, Human Experiments and Motel Hell, Jackson County is a cautionary tale that any West Coast city slicker should beware if you they get robbed or lost through the South because then you're totally fucked! 
Coley Blake (Tommy Lee Jones) seems like a criminal on the outside, but he's most likely a victim of Southern justice, his cell is opposite Miss Hunters. Once she gets locked up, there's a bunch of Mama's Family like shit kicker hillbilly characters goofing around for awhile.  
The night jailer gets fresh with Miss Hunter and some pork products (its not his fault he thinks that's foreplay)!
Later on while she's asleep he beats her and forcibly rapes her, while she pulls clumps of his red clown hair out. He lasts under a minute and then actually goes back to cuddle, this is the last straw for her and she beats him to death with a stool. 
Coley (Tommy Lee Jones) take the keys and they escape from their cells, but then accidentally cause a drunken hillbilly car crash. Jones has that psychotic no nonsense demeanor that he fine tuned in The Executioner's Song (one of my favorite roles). 
At his ranch hideout Mary Woronov in a small cameo, shows up with a bunch of other cartoon watching hillbilly goons. Woronov played a demented surgeon in a rare prison film called Hell Hole along with Ray Sharkey and Rob Z'Dar, she's no stranger to this type of exploitation.
Hunter is nauseated by going from straight laced business woman to escaped convict and isn't adjusting to the transition very well. Some more good ole boys show up at the ranch, they don't do much damage, so it makes a decent stronghold for awhile.    
  Coley berates her about his own shitty existence and wants to toughen her up by saying "I don't know what rock you've been living under", "but this whole country is a rip off!" He charms her with his two bit convict logic, since she has no real life to return to, once you kill a cop its all over.
  This one ends with a very dull car chase and a shoot out with the cops during a bicentennial parade. JCJ is a nice hardboiled cautionary tale about the South and sadly not much has changed in that area since 1976! 
  Shout factory has put this out on a double disc with the inferior Caged Heat, but if you're broke like me, check out the very pixelated version on Youtube

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