Henry Rollins, Billy Zane, and Johnny Galecki star in Morgan's Ferry as escaped convicts seeking clothes, food, and protection from the law on aging spinster Kelly McGillis' farm. McGillis at first distrusts the escaped jailbirds but gradually develops a hankering for Zane, whose unfailingly polite demeanor suggests that he spent much of his time in prison brushing up on his etiquette. Like Sal Mineo, Natalie Wood, and James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause, the three convicts form a sort of makeshift family, with Rollins as the brutish father, Zane as the soft-spoken and accommodating mother figure, and the effeminate, perpetually flustered Galecki as the insolent child. But before dreamy Zane can unleash the womanly passion hiding behind McGillis' hardboiled exterior, his surrogate family must first make a hasty exit from the film, at which point Morgan's Ferry devolves into a listless Harlequin romance. Directed by Sam Pillsbury (Zandalee) with an abundance of silly country-fried atmosphere, Morgan's Ferry is essentially Southern Gothic For Dummies, complete with questionable accents, even more questionable symbolism (a wild white stallion, a wise old blind man who sees all), and plenty of old-fashioned sexual repression. Behaving less like men who've just escaped from a rough-and-tumble prison than actors who've fled a community-theater production of a lost Tennessee Williams play, the three male leads give unremarkable performances, particularly Galecki, whose agitated Southern accent and penchant for screaming uncontrollably render many of his lines indecipherable. Like its three convicts, Morgan's Ferry exerts a lot of effort going nowhere, mercilessly dragging its audience along for the whole forgettable ordeal.

Advertisement