JACKSON COUNTY JAIL is an acceptable thriller from producer Roger Corman; not particularly good, but at least remaining fast-paced and engaging enough to be worth a look for fans of 1970s-era grindhouse cinema. Yvette Mimieux (of THE TIME MACHINE fame) plays one of those movie characters who ends up thrown in the titular jail through no fault of her own, where she's subjected to one of the more unpleasant rape scenes of the era. Eventually she busts out with the help of youthful hoodlum Tommy Lee Jones, and the two escape cross-country, pursued by the corrupt cops. The rape scene aside, this is moderately entertaining, with Mimieux striving to invest her character with realism and Jones excelling in an early role. The gut-busting climax reminded me of DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY.
Reviewed by lee_eisenberg6 / 10
years before pursuing a fugitive, Tommy Lee Jones was one
In the pantheon of exploitation flicks, the fugitive genre is one of the most important ones. "Jackson County Jail" is a key example, with an arrested woman (Yvette Mimieux) fleeing with an inmate (Tommy Lee Jones). There's lots of fun in store. This movie does have one particularly rough scene, but it adds to the story. Mimieux's character is one who you hope will succeed; after seeing what happens to her, how can you not? Jones's character is a loser who tries to do the right thing. It manages the proper balance of action and drama. Worth seeing.
The rest of the cast includes Robert Carradine (Revenge of the Nerds),Severn Darden (a character actor in the '60s and '70s) and Nan Martin.
Reviewed by Coventry8 / 10
Take a plane! For God's Sake, Take a Plane!
"Jackson County Jail" is raw, tough and compelling mid-seventies exploitation coming from the nearly inexhaustible vaults of producer Roger Corman. The film definitely isn't as violent or sleazy as many contemporary and similarly-themed movies, like for example "I Spit on your Grave", because the emphasis here merely lies on the thoroughly unpleasant atmosphere of hopelessness. So, instead of a nasty and gratuitous rape 'n revenge flick, this is more of a powerful drama centered on the suffering (physically as well as mentally) of the poor protagonist and the cruel injustice of this world. Underrated actress Yvette Mimieux is truly terrific as the strong leading lady Dinah Hunter. She's a feisty publicity woman in Los Angeles, avidly defending women's position in marketing, but her clients don't share her visions. When she also catches her husband with a much younger and exotic wench, Dinah impulsively decides to meet up with her sister in New York. She also decides to travel by car for this cross-country trip instead of by plane; a choice that she will deeply regret quite quickly and for the rest of her life. In a very short while, Dinah's car and everything in it gets stolen by youthful thugs, she's nearly assaulted by a filthy restaurant owner and then she's the one put in jail because she doesn't have any papers! But in jail the nightmare only gets worse, as Dinah is barbarically raped by the crazy deputy Hobie. She manages to kill him and escapes together with convict Coley Blake, who witnessed the whole thing, but from this moment onwards they are considered fugitive cop-killers by all police department of the neighboring counties. "Jackson County Jail" fully relies on a solid script by Donald Stewart (frequent adapter of Tom Clancy novels),tight direction by Michael Miller and stellar performances from both Yvette Mimieux and Tommy Lee Jones (still in the earliest phases of his awesome career). There are a couple of moments of adrenalin- rushing action, like the chase with the sheriff and the climax, but the strength of the film lies within the grim portrayal of America's underbelly-society. Highly recommended for fans of genuine 70's cult cinema.