Very Bad Films: “Eegah”
August 28, 2012
Eegah is one of those rare existential movies that comes but once in a lifetime. Long criticized for its inept amateurishness, Eegah, when viewed in the new millennium with an open mind, is really an avant-garde classic – a film that defies all convention. The minute the hand-drawn credits hit the screen, you know you’re in for a unique experience. Filmed in Bronson Canyon, the same desert where “Robot Monster” was filmed. Eegah’s cavern is Ro-Man’s headquarters seen from a different angle!
Produced and directed by Arch Hall, Sr. under the pseudonym Nicholas Merriwether and starring his son, the one and only Arch Hall, Jr., who (despite taking shots on the chin from critics for his acting abilities) creates the ultimate smarmy, baby-faced rock & roll hero. He keeps singing to a girl named Valerie, even though there’s no Valerie in the movie. Very irritating.
Giant actor Richard Kiel, who went on to play more very tall people including the steel-toothed villain “Jaws” in Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me, makes his starring debut as the last surviving stone age caveman. Smitten with a beautiful teenage girl, he invades a rockin’ pool party to steal her away from her guitar-playing boyfriend. The stock footage used (mostly of desert animals) is inserted as artfully as Ed Wood (meaning it looks like you changed the channel on your TV set all of a sudden) and the dubbing of the dialogue rarely matches the actor’s mouths. Half the time, Richard Kiel’s mouth doesn’t even move when you hear him speaking. I wonder if they even bothered to watch the film while recording the dialogue.
A true low point in the history of cinema. What fun!
Here’s Eegah, in it’s entirety. (From the Internet Archive.)
Bonus: We wrote about Eegah, and several other bad films, and their protectors – the Bad Film Society (cofounded by Uncle John himself, and the source for the review above) – in Uncle John’s Wonderful World of Odd.
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