Actor/theater director Peter Masterson, who made a notable screen debut with "A Trip to Bountiful," has never quite matched that outing, and "Lost Junction" does nothing to change things. This entry in the drifter embroiled in small-town melodrama subgenre is well-made and holds attention, but it has nothing new or special to recommend it.

Actor/theater director Peter Masterson, who made a notable screen directing debut with 1985′s “A Trip to Bountiful,” has never quite matched that outing, and “Lost Junction” does nothing to change things. This entry in the drifter embroiled in small-town melodrama subgenre — see “Picnic” or, more recently, “U Turn” — is well-made and consistently holds attention, but it has nothing new or special to recommend it. By made-for-TV standards, it’s first-rate, but theatrical prospects are minimal; it’s “Red Rock West” without the sizzle.

Hitchhiker Jimmy McGee (Billy Burke) gets picked up by cute oddball Missy Lofton (Neve Campbell), not realizing her husband’s corpse is in the trunk. She takes him to her home in Lost Junction, where his infatuation leads him to help her dispose of the body and then to accompany her to a rendezvous with her abusive, wacko ex-boyfriend (Charles Powell). As always, Masterson gets good performances from his players, with Jake Busey a standout as Jimmy’s wheelchair-bound friend. Tech work is slick.

Lost Junction

Production

A Bigel/Mailer Films production. (International sales: MGM.) Produced by Michael Mailer, Daniel Bigel. Executive producer, Tom Luse. Co-producers, Jeff Cole, Matt O'Toole. Directed by Peter Masterson. Screenplay, Jeff Cole.

Crew

Camera (color), Thomas Burstyn; editor, Peter Frank; music, Normand Corbeil; production designer, John Meighen; art director, David Blanchard; costume designer, Odette Gadoury. Reviewed at Santa Monica Film Festival, Feb. 14, 2003. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Neve Campbell, Billy Burke, Jake Busey, Charles Powell, Michel Perron, David Gow, Norm Berketta, Mariah Inger, Amy Sloan, Carlin Glynn.
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