UnClassic Film Review:Shack Out On 101

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One day each week, we at UnClassic Film Review check out what happens to be playing on Turner Classic Movies at 3:00 in the morning that day and review it without having a clue what it is. Our qualification for taking on this task is two-fold: we know nothing about obscure old popular films, and we drink our own urine. We will base our review, which will be thorough and informative, solely on the blurb in the TV listing.

Shack Out On 101 (1955)[edit]

This week's film is Shack Out On 101, starring Terry Moore, Frank Lovejoy, Keenan Wynn, Lee Marvin. It was made in 1955 and directed by Edward Dein.


A greasy spoon diner provides a base for a spy smuggling nuclear secrets.

WTF? It's B-movie heaven tonight[edit]

This ought to be great. Turns out Lee Marvin plays Gabby Johnson. Funny, the credits didn't mention Clint Eastwood. Oh, yeah, this'll be good.

Oh, my, god. I don't know how I am going to give a "thorough and informative" review of this one. The only thing I can even think right now, looking at that pile of dog shit title, cast and blurb, is WTF?!

Let me get this straight. Lee Marvin, he of the scum-of-the-earth scowl and the below-human-hearing-threshold vocal tone, in a nuke-age spy thriller set in a California diner on the 101 freeway? Made smack-dab in the middle of the "Twilight Zone/horrid drive-in monster movie" era?

My holy Jesus in a sidecar. Anyone with working eyes and ears ought to be rushing to this pile of stink like looky-loos to a five-car pile-up. This just reeks of unintended-laugh-a-minute B-grade nonsense. And check out that gem of a title. They could have called it "Don't Eat The Radioactive Onion Rings!" and been less obvious about the shit-can of putrid donkey bile you're in for, sitting down to this cinematic turd opera.

Some dorky character is certain to take his hat off and reveal a plastic-ass third eye in this one. Shit on toast. What, is Dein another word for Wood? Or are all bad 50s movies made by a guy named Ed?

This must be the scene where the three shady characters talk real serious about nuclear war. One of them is sure to have three eyes.

You know what? I'm going to give you the opening scene right now. A shady character walks through the diner door. The music swells to corny heights. He approaches a man at the counter who is drinking coffee and smoking. In a bad Russian accent, he asks the man if he has the information. The man looks up at him and hands him an envelope. It is overly obviously stamped "Top Secret - U.S. Nuclear Warhead Information". The waitress turns a blind eye. The Russian man smiles stereotypically and pulls out a gun. The man's eyes widen with melodramatic fear and the Russian man shoots. The man doubles over slowly and falls. The Russian man puts a coin on the counter and declares "Sorry about ze mess." Star Wars fanboys everywhere shake in their jedi robes upon finding another line that Lucas stole from an old movie.

And it only gets worse from there.


Five out of five stars for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder that this is sure to be. I can't wait. Make my coffee three-bag strong, put a Red Bull I.V. in my arm. I am up all night for this twinkie feast. Woo-hoo!