Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#64 Eegah (1962) (Colin)

I don’t know much about our next movie, heck, I don’t even know how to pronounce it. I do know, however, that it stars Jaws, who has already featured in our top 100 list and who, quite frankly, was as convincing a shark as a gerbil with a pair of false teeth.
So it was no surprise that our old animatronic rubber pal was back in our top 100 bad movies list, but what was surprising is that he made a film outside of the Jaws franchise. The only other thing I knew about Eegah, (our next movie), is that it is about a caveman who has somehow ended up in 1960’s America. I really couldn’t imagine a scruffy looking big fish with long hair, wearing clothes which predates Christ and wielding a big club, (actually maybe I can as I think I’ve just described Peter Stringfellow).
Then I realised it was Jaws as in the baddie from the James Bond movies and all became clear…….
#64 Eegah (1962)
The plot of Eegah is a lot like Eegah's clothing, ie, there's not a lot of it. The story starts when 60's cool chick Roxy Miller, (Marilyn Manning), nearly drives her car into Eegah, (Richard Kiel), a giant caveman who appears to be a little lost both in location and time.
Roxy informs her equally cool, guitar playing, surf singing, boyfriend, Tom Nelson, (Arch Hall Jr.) and her dad, Robert Miller, (Arch Hall Sr., which is a bit confusing if you tend to mix reality with the show you are watching as this would mean Roxy is dating her brother), about the giant. Her dad, a writer, (which as he wrote this movie, is not something he should really shout about), smells a story and sets off armed with a camera, (I would have thought a pen would be easier to write with), in search off Eegah.
When Robert fails to turn up to meet Roxy and Tom as arranged, they go out into the desert to look for him. Tom allows Roxy to wander off alone, (keeping the nice big gun all for himself), and the inevitable happens when Roxy is kidnapped by Eegah. Who would have thought a giant caveman armed with a blunt instrument would pose any threat to a 5ft nothing, 100 pound unarmed girlfriend?
Roxy is taken back to Eegah's cave where she is re-united with her father. Her dad explains that he has learnt a little of Eegah's ways and that as long as they do what he wants, then it appears he will not harm them.  What Eegah wants, however, is Roxy; Robert, ever the worried father, shows his concern by telling her to stop being frigid, (I paraphrase slightly).
After giving Eegah a shave and a hair cut, (really), they decide now is the time to escape. Tom, showing all the sharpness of a blunt football, finally discovers them and helps them by driving them away in his dune buggy at a whopping 6 mph. Fortunately for them, Eegah can only manage a snail like 4 mph and so the world's slowest chase ends and they all manage to flee from Eegah and return to the city.
Eegah is a bit miffed his new found love has gone, (I think it's Roxy, but he may have had a thing for her dad too. He did have a nice moustache) and decides to track her down.
Thinking they are safe, Roxy and Tom are at a pool party and are stunned when Eegah makes an appearance, (he was not on the guest list and was not wearing a black tie). Being the civilized humans which Eegah is not, the guests all gang up on him and then get the police to shoot the unarmed giant dead. They all feel a bit bad, but the party carries on, the end.
Overall this movie has a familiar look and feel to previous films from our list.  It is set mainly outdoors and has a very small central cast, like Robot Monster From Outer Space, (If you'd like to read my Robot Monster blog, click here!).  It tries to use ‘youth culture’ especially ‘modern music’ (modern to the 60’s off course), to make it’s movie seem cool and appealing, like The Horror of Party Beach (If you'd like to read my Horror of Party Beach blog, click here!).
All of these movies have appeared on MST3K, (which regular readers will know is one of my all time favourite shows). I must admit I have not seen the MST3K with Eegah yet, but I will do as soon as I’ve finished this blog, (if I watch it now, I’d be a bit deflated as these guys will come up with something far wittier and funnier than I ever could have done!).
Because of these similarities, it is difficult not say the same things about this movie than what was said in my reviews of the previous films.  However, one thing that does stand out is the poor audio of this movie.
Everything seems to be re-dubbed and it is terrible.  Mouths move and the audio does not follow suit.  Eegah is particular bad as he doesn’t actually speak throughout the movie, merely grumbles, but his grumble sounds in no way match his facial movements.  I have no idea why the director felt the need to re-dub a grumble unless they had forgotten to purchase microphones whilst shooting the movie, (which is plausible as they forgot to purchase a script as well).
Another bit of bad dubbing is when Tom starts randomly singing in the movie.  Now firstly, I hate musicals anyway.  The idea of people spontaneously breaking into song and dance just scares me and if it ever did happen in real life, I’d be walking slowly to the nearest exit or under the nearest train.  When Tom starts singing he has a magical guitar, for not only does his ACOUSTIC guitar have a nice electric sound, but it also provides bass, drums and backing singers for Tom.
At least when there was music in The Horror of Party Beach, they actually had a band and you could kind of believe they were playing live.  The sight of Tom lip-syncing to a pre-recorded track in the movie just makes him look daft.  This does not need to happen as his hairstyle had already done this for him.
As briefly mentioned above, Richard Kiel does not speak in this movie, which I believe he also didn’t in the James Bond movies.  This leads me to think he’s not much of a voice actor, but judging by this movie he’s not much of a facial actor too.
Eegah has 2 expressions, angry and puppy dog whining to the camera.  He loses Roxy, puppy dog whine, followed by angry.  He finds Roxy, puppy dog whine, followed by angry.  He sees the script, puppy dog whine, followed by angry.  I really don’t get if we are supposed to feel sympathy or be scared of Eegah as he swaps between the 2 continuously throughout.  I suspect it’s scared as there is no scarier sight than Kiel gurning into a camera trying to portray hurt, but looking like he want’s an extra treat for pooping outdoors.
But the real problem with this movie is the fact that it takes 90 minutes in which to tell a story in which 90 seconds would have been more than adequate.

There really is too much filler, for example when Roxy's dad flies by helicopter to the spot where they begin the search for Eegah, the director felt that we had to experience every millisecond of the journey.  The journey being over featureless dessert probably gives everyone a clue about how interesting this actually would be, (although not to the director!).
The story is actually so short and basic, that had it been produced today, they probably would have tweeted it, rather than bother with the expense of a movie:
EEgah @Eegah Bumped into woman, kidnapped dad, woman came to cave. Had a shave. Dad and woman escaped, found them at a party; was killed. #puppydogwhine

So would I watch this movie again? Well, I suspect I am going to enjoy the MST3K version as they always elevate the bad to genius, so maybe I’ll watch that more than once. As for the original movie? Sorry, I’m not Eegah!