Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shack Out On 101 (1955)

Shack Out On 101

Written by Edward Dein & Mildred Dein
Directed by Edward Dein

Slob...Lee Marvin
Sam...Frank Lovejoy
Kotty...Terry Moore

The titular shack out on 101 is actually a low-rent, nautical-themed greasy spoon positioned on the beach that seems to have more employees and hangers-on than actual customers.  There's the owner, George, who dreams of catching Ol' Poncho, a mythical fish; Slob, the dull-witted no-goodnik cook with a surplus of neanderthal machismo Eddie, a jewelry salesman recovering from some sort of unspecified breakdown; Sam, the handsome and dashing nuclear physicist who has become something of a celebrity; and Kotty, the waitress with dreams of civil servitude, the ripest tomato on the vine that all the men are vying for.  Throw some hot jazz on the jukebox and you got yourselves quite a happening shindig!

But beneath the all-American facade of this diner lies a terrible secret.  Three of these people have been working together to sell our nation's secrets!  Before you can say Benedict Arnold, though, Kotty catches on to their dirty game--even if she doesn't get all the facts straight.  And that's when the fun begins.

Well, that's not entirely true.  This cheap little thriller is fun from the very beginning.  Chock full of anachronistic slang, moments of West Side Story-type violence, and wacky dialogue and unintentionally hilarious scenes, this one will leave you chuckling and shaking your head in disbelief.  The ridiculous homoerotic weight lifting session in the diner was a real standout and belongs on a highlight reel of headscratcher scenes.

Fans of classic cheesers will want to seek this out.  It's extremely odd, to say the least, and it takes place almost entirely on a single set.  But your mind will be blown, one of Sam's nuclear bombs.

80 Minutes
United States

"Even when you're clean, you look dirty."

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