This quasi-feminist chase-exploitation feature won scattered critical appreciation upon release and has developed something of a cult following. Yvette Mimieux plays a career woman who heads off to New York on a lark. She starts a long drive across the country and picks up some
hitchhikers, who beat her up and steal her car. Thrown into a small-town jail on false charges, Mimieux is subjected to a series of humiliations that culminate in her rape by a psychotic sheriff (Severn Darden). Mimieux manages to kill her attacker and escapes from jail with another inmate (Tommy
Lee Jones). A destructive car chase follows, during which Jones is killed in a wild (and unintentionally funny) shootout amidst a bicentennial parade.
The direction is rapidly paced, bombarding the viewer with sudden and violent images, but the story is largely superficial and often implausible. Nevertheless, the film's insistence on the thoroughgoing corruption of established authority, as well as its unusual adoption of a woman's point of
view, set it apart from most exploitation fare.
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