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Dishing on the Dish

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We used to diss TV big time. That is, until some home-entertainment-junkie houseguests had a gray Dish Network saucer attached to our roofline while we were in Vegas last year. When we returned to Rainville we were going to have the damn thing removed. But then we started watching weirdo late-night flicks via satellite. Here are some obscurities you must see--on vid, DVD, or that blasted tube. These rock!

Lord Love a Duck (1966)--A high-school satire that probably inspired (and totally outshines) Rushmore. B-movie genius Roddy McDowall is fab as "Mollymauk," a student geek who uses judo on football team rednecks, quacks loudly while piloting an earthmover in his graduation duds, and enjoys a bizarre relationship with blonde fox Tuesday Weld. Harvey Korman is the horny principal.

Attention Shoppers (2000) -- Who needs movies that poke fun at kitsch like trailer park dorks, black velvet Elvis paintings, and the National Enquirer? That stuff is too easy to lampoon. When I read the on-screen review saying this film centers around a soap-opera star signing autographs at a Kmart, I almost tuned out. Gladly, I didn't. This is a sadly funny, well-written sleeper. A class-savvy little gem with touching performances.

Man of the Century (1999) -- The coolest 20th Century decade was clearly the '20s, which this movie nails. An anachronistic dandy named Johnny Twennies, in spats and slicked hair, writes a newspaper column in modern-day Manhattan. He tells chicks, "You're the bee's knees!" And when they moan, "Don't you wanna fuck me?" he gets embarrassed and says, "Whoa, baby! Watch the language." A beautiful low-budget charmer that lovingly laments our national loss of social grace.

Jewel Robbery (1932) --A delightful crime flick, with William Powell playing a high-class jewel thief who forces store owners, cops, and countesses to smoke pot at gunpoint while listening to mood music--all so he can make off with the loot. Hopefully none of Hollywood's current crop of noir-classic rip-off artists will see it and try to produce a clever "remake." GREGORY TOZIAN

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