Macon County Jail (May 21/01)
Macon County Jail stars Ally Sheedy as Susan Reed, a woman who's having a really bad day (she gets fired and finds out her boyfriend is having an affair within the space of minutes). She heads off for New York in her car, and picks up a hitchhiker on the way. Needless to say, the hitchhiker winds up stealing her car and wallet. Susan subsequently heads to the nearest convenience store, which is smack dab in the middle of Macon County and ends up getting into a tussle with the owner of the store. Long story short: She's soon jailed and raped by a hick prison guard. Coley (David Carradine), a fellow prisoner, sees this as a chance to escape and takes Susan hostage. The rest of the film follows their trip out of Macon County, as they get to know one another (revelations abound!)
Macon County Jail isn't necessarily a terrible movie, although it is wholly implausible and poorly written. Some of the situations that occur are downright laughable, with the following a perfect example of this: During the scene in which Sheedy goes to the convenience store for help, she pleads with the owner to let her use his personal phone for free, since she hasn't any money. He says no, and a fight breaks out. But he also had mentioned that there's a pay phone behind the store. Now, wouldn't it have made more sense for Sheedy to go out back and use that one? Calling the police is free, which is something everyone except Sheedy and the hick clerk knows.
But it's the performances that make this one a cut above the usual straight-to-video trash, with Carradine a standout. He brings a sad, hard-edged slant to what could have been a routine character. He's surprisingly good here, and it's a shame it's stuck in such a silly film. Ditto Sheedy. She's ditched the cutesy hair-flipping persona that made her a star in the '80s and is completely convincing as a spoiled rich lady that has to develop an edge in order to survive. Fortunately for Sheedy, her comeback movie (High Art) was only a few years away from this.