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Eegah! is a 1962 horror film starring Arch Hall Jr., Arch Hall Sr., Marilyn Manning and Richard Kiel in the titular role.

Synopsis

One night after shopping, Roxy Miller (Marilyn Manning) is driving home through the California desert when she nearly runs her car into Eegah (Richard Kiel), a giant cave man. She tells her boyfriend Tom Nelson (Arch Hall Jr.), and her father, Robert Miller (Arch Hall Sr.), about the giant. Her father, a writer of adventure books, decides to go into the desert to look for the creature and possibly take a photograph of it. When he fails to show up at his designated pickup time, Tom and Roxy go into the desert looking for him.

Roxy is soon kidnapped by Eegah and taken back to his cave while Tom searches for her. In Eegah's cave, Roxy is reunited with her father, who tells her that he has begun to communicate with the caveman and has developed a theory as to the creature's astounding longevity. When a frisky Eegah expresses what seems to be romantic interest in Roxy, her father, fearful that the creature may kill them both if he is rebuffed, suggests she put up with as much of it as she can bear. Eegah never tries anything too explicit, though, and Roxy even ends up giving him a shave before the pair is able to escape. Crushed, Eegah follows them back to civilization, and a final confrontation ensues.

Cast

  • Richard Kiel as Eegah
  • Marilyn Manning as Roxy Miller
  • Arch Hall Jr. as Tom Nelson
  • Arch Hall Sr. as Robert Miller

Production

After the financial success of his first venture into the drive-in/juvenile delinquency genre, The Choppers, Arch Hall Sr. was able to fund Eegah!, a starring vehicle for his son, Arch Hall Jr., who had some success with songwriter Alan O'Day on the rock and roll/blues scene in Los Angeles. Hall, Sr. both co-wrote the film with Bob Wehling, directed the picture under the pseudonym Nicholas Merriweather, and co-starred opposite his son under the name William Watters. While the library music used to underscore the picture was supplied by André Brummer (under the name Henri Price), an uncredited O'Day ended up being the music editor on Eegah!

Hall Sr. looked to create an Elvis Presley-style screen persona for his son, and made sure that Eegah! was peppered with various rock and roll songs, most notably the numbers "Vicky" and "Valerie". The film attempts elements of traditional schlock-horror and youth-comedy genres. It also contains echoes of the 1960s "beach party" genre.

Hall Sr.'s company, Fairway-International Pictures, at 2221 W. Olive Street in Burbank, California, was actually Hall's home and doubled for a number of locations in the picture, including the Millers' apartment.

Assistant cameraman Ray Dennis Steckler appears in the picture as Mr. Fischer, the man at the hotel who is thrown at the pool near the end of the picture. Steckler, who had previously moved to Hollywood to become a cameraman, made his directing debut the next year in the Arch Hall Jr. vehicle, Wild Guitar. Steckler's first independent feature, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?, was later initially distributed by Fairway-International.

At one point, Hall Sr. realized the sound man had pressed "PLAY" instead of "RECORD" in one day of shooting, and had to redub a lot of the dialogue and sound effects. He also supplied the voice of Eegah, using a mixture of Spanish, Navajo and other languages.

Legacy

Eegah! was included in the Michael Medved book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time. A clip from the movie appears in the opening montage on Something Weird DVD releases, synched up to the last word in this line from an anti-drug film: "Often the introduction comes in the form of a goofball." It was mocked by Elvira in a 2010 episode of her Movie Macabre show.

A scene of Arch Hall Sr. uttering "Watch out for snakes!" from offscreen in what was obviously dubbed in after filming became a minor pop-culture meme. Not only did it become a Running Gag on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in episodes after the film aired on that show, it was also referenced on The Office and used as the closing line of The Rick Emerson Show.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page.


This film contains examples of:

  • Cool Car: Tom has an awesome ride.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Richard Kiel is best known as "Jaws" (no relation), the Bond villain from The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. He also appeared in The Human Duplicators, and worked with Jackie Chan in Cannonball Run 2.
    • Ray Dennis Steckler, as described in the main article.
    • Arch Hall Jr., who also starred in The Sadist as the villain.
  • Incestuous Casting: Writer/director Arch Hall Sr. cast himself as the father of his son's love interest.
  • Instant Waking Skills: Roxy is able to snap out of unconsciousness pretty fast after being deposited in Eegah's cave. She also has a knack for Monster Fainting as well...
  • Looping Lines: The infamously poorly dubbed line "Watch out for snakes."
  • Mars Needs Women: Eegah's infatuation with Roxy
  • Old Shame: Averted. Arch Hall, Sr. loved talking about the troubled production and the difficulties he encountered. Hall, Jr. admits he was never meant to be an actor, but did become not only a successful pilot but an author of a thriller, Aspara Jet, with the protagonist being an airline pilot - and the book was very well received.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Eegah's beard is obviously fake.
  • Too Dumb to Live: So you're hanging out at a party, talking to a girl, when suddenly a 7 foot tall muscular man dressed as a caveman and holding a club as big as you are lightly bumps into you. Why not try picking a fight with the giant?
  • You Fail Religious Studies Forever: The dad misattributes a Bible verse (Genesis 6:4) as Genesis 4:32, which is nonexistent.
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