Alan Shustak, the AVN Award-winning owner of fetish production house RedBoard Video, died of a heart attack last night. Shustak, who directed numerous BDSM titles under the name Duck Dumont, was 56.
“We’re all freaked out,” Shustak’s long-time editor, Ricardo, told AVN.com.
Ricardo said Shustak was hospitalized Friday. “He had been complaining that he had been sick for the last few days, and when he described the symptoms to a doctor friend, the friend said, ‘Get to the hospital,’ Ricardo said.
“When he got there, they did a little lab work and they said, ‘God, you’ve had a few heart attacks.’ So they started working on him, gave him an angioplasty. But he was in high spirits. Joking around. You know Alan. I saw him Saturday afternoon, and he was all excited because there was some hot Asian nurse there.
“And I thought, ‘OK, he’s in good spirits. The doctors caught it in time.’ But this morning, I got a call from his daughter, Lisette, that he had had another heart attack and died.”
Shustak had directed more than 200 titles since 1985, initially for such companies as VCA, Sin City, Caballero and Pleasure, and since the late 1990s, exclusively for RedBoard. His long-running RedBoard lines included Pain, Torment and Virgin Kink, all characterized by clean, crisp production values and hard-hitting BDSM action, much of it Fem-Dom starring Kym Wilde, who at the time of Shustak’s death, had filed a palimony suit against him.
Friends and acquaintances of Shustak’s reacted with shock to his death.
“I’m absolutely stunned,” said Devil’s Film head of sales Bonnie Kail, a close friend of Shustak’s for nearly 20 years. “Alan was my voice of reason. When I just wanted an intelligent, non-emotional opinion, I would call Alan.”
“I used to say Alan was emotionally void,” she noted with a tearful laugh. “Because nothing upset him. And he was very funny. Very sarcastic. Very witty. And I know it didn’t matter how often we talked or didn’t talk, he would always be there for me.”
Veteran director Henri Pachard, a long-time acquaintance of Shustak’s, was set to be an expert witness for him in the Wilde lawsuit and wrote a column for RedBoard’s Website, RedBoard.com.
“I knew the guy since the 1980s, and he never missed a payment, even if it was a check for a dollar and change,” Pachard said. “He was that honest. Just a wonderful guy.”
Shustak won his share of AVN specialty Awards over the years for such titles as Virgin Kink 19, Uncut, Spanked Toilet Whores and most recently, Debbie Does Fem-Dom 3 starring Janay in 2004.
For three consecutive years, from 1996-1998, the RedBoard line Kym Wilde’s on the Edge, directed by Wilde, won Best Specialty Release – BDSM.
Shustak married Carol DeRenzy, the former wife of the late AVN Hall of Fame director Alex DeRenzy, a few years ago, but the couple had since separated.
Neither DeRenzy nor Wilde was immediately available for comment.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Shustak is the second fetish production company owner to die recently. GwenMedia owner Bob Zak suffered a fatal heart attack in late June. He was 51.