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New on Disc: 'Shack Out on 101' and more …

23 Sep, 2013 By: Mike Clark

Shack Out on 101

Street 9/24
Olive, Drama, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray.
Stars Terry Moore, Frank Lovejoy, Keenan Wynn, Lee Marvin.
A Communist-conspiracy spy drama (or spy comedy, who knows?) set in a Pacific highway ptomaine-tempting eatery, this is one unique folly even if “unique” is a word that’s always tossed around carelessly. People sometimes shorthand it that the entirety of Shack takes place on one minimalist restaurant set — though truth is, there’s also a back room where hot waitress Kotty (Terry Moore) lives, plus one or two more adjacent nooks and crannies. There’s also a memorable opening outdoor scene where Lee Marvin (as a cook named “Slob”) attempts to writhe all over Kotty’s unwilling beach-lounging frame until she frees herself. It does come as a surprise that he is, in reality, a Commie agent snapping photos of purloined nuclear secrets in one of the joint’s back rooms. Seeing Shack again after so many years, I’m more convinced than before that it’s supposed to be funny, though, on the other hand, there weren’t many films around in 1955 that openly satirized anti-Communist paranoia.
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Radio Unnameable

Kino Lorber, Documentary, B.O. $0.02 million, $29.95 DVD, NR.
A documentary tough to envision being sprung from any town other than New York, this is the story of radio host Bob Fass and his decades-long history with listener-sponsored WBAI, with which he still has an on-air relationship. The case is made, convincingly, that Fass was the Twitter of his day, eliciting listening responses not just from the lonely and disenfranchised but all the workers who were wide awake inside their places of business.
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