Eegah

June 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm (6 Heads, Eegah) (, , , , , , , )

Eegah – 1962 – United States

Written/directed by Arch Hall Sr., starring himself and Arch Hall Jr., Eegah is amusing and aggravating. Little talent manifests in the lousy writing, shooting, and (especially) acting. Arch Hall Jr. offends worst with his hair in a dopey pompadour and dialogue of the “Gee whiz!” variety. Damn shame—his performance in The Sadist (1963) is chilling, if semi-retarded. Eegah’s biggest boon is Eegah himself, played by hulking seven foot Richard Kiel (Jaws from Moonraker) with nothing to do but grunt.

After a confusing credit roll collaging mummified scarecrows and flowers, we meet rich brats Arch Jr. and his girlfriend. Both drive too-nice roadsters (plus a dune buggy) and hang at the country club. After Girlfriend’s car bumps into Eegah (a giant in an awful fake beard), her dad tracks Eegah into the desert and goes missing before Arch Jr. and Girlfriend follow. Girlfriend gets kidnapped and held beside Dad in Eegah’s cave. Thankfully, Eegah is nice. After sniffing her whole body, he feeds her charred flesh and sulphurous water. Soon, Girlfriend shaves off Eegah’s nappy beard, which somehow drives him crazy with lust. She flees as Arch Jr. arrives, who confronts Eegah long enough to get beaten senseless. Along with Dad, Arch Jr. and Girlfriend escape to town and try to forget the whole thing, but Eegah tracks them to a teen sock hop and wreaks havoc. As two police officers gun Eegah down, sympathetic Girlfriend screens “Don’t kill him! He doesn’t understand!” With Eegah’s body floating in the country club pool, Dad utters “Poor devil.” Then in a moment of lucidity quotes “There were giants on Earth in those days,” from the “Book of Genesis, Chapter 4, Verse 32” which isn’t even a real verse. Go figure.

If you couldn’t guess, Eegah is dumb. It’s made dumber by Arch Jr.’s frequent rock serenades with titles like “Vicky” and “Valorie”. Supposedly strummed diagetically by Arch Jr. as he relaxes poolside or camps, the songs feature laughably intricate accompaniment including a drummer and heavenly choir. Although, admittedly, the tunes aren’t bad. Equally groan-worthy are occasional humorous inserts. In one, Eegah runs from a poodle. Later, a drunk spots Eegah and tosses his bottle away, declaring, “I’ve had enough.”

Despite being utterly brain-dead, Eegah is entertaining. Barring boring scenes of extended desert wandering (but with nice mountainous images), Eegah engages with weird dialogue and situations. Furthermore, half the lines are overdubbed creating interesting uncertainty. It’s definitely a flick of the so-bad-it’s-good school. Most folks probably saw Eegah on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which is fitting. But Eegah demeans itself so hard that I can’t imagine what Joel and the bots could say to one up it.

Rating: 6/10 Shrunken Heads. Watching Eegah was actually educational. I learned that dune buggy tires are water-filled, adding weight for better traction. Very fascinating!

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