Eegah (1962)

Nigel Honeybone kicked off a new series of Schlocky Horror this week with a Medveds-approved anti-classic. We saw Arch Hall Jr in The Sadist a few months ago, but I gather this film’s wet teenage hero (and pop singer with the apparent magical ability to pick up a guitar and find himself accompanied by invisible female backing singers and other instrumentalists in the middle of the desert; his girlfriend seems remarkably sanguine about his songs being about girls with names other than hers) was more the norm for him in his brief career than that film’s hateful sociopath. Hall père was apparently inspired to make the film (which he directed under a pseudonym, and which succeeds so well as a horror film that IMDB file it under “family”, “musical” and “romance”) after meeting a fantastically tall nightclub bouncer by the name of Richard Kiel, who we’ll be encountering again soon in the course of reviewing the Bond series; here, however, the metal teeth are preceded by a somewhat implausible fake beard, as he plays a somewhat implausible hangover from prehistoric times who’s somewhat implausibly survived into the 1960s (you’d think that even in California he might’ve been noticed before then). Kiel’s inchoate baritone grunting (actually dubbed by Hall père) not only amounts to the best dialogue in the film, it makes the most sense of anything in it, certainly more than the slightly odd relationship between the girlfriend and her father (Hall père under another false name). I mean, that shaving scene? *shudder* Lover boy spends much of the film wandering the canyon where Robot Monster was filmed trying to rescue the other two from Richard Kiel, who eventually goes on a rampage through Palm Springs to terrorise them at the pool party they escape to. Eegah reportedly cost a whopping $15,000, about ten or fifteen of which must’ve been spent on the sound recording (and most of the remainder on paying off the Fender company as an apology for featuring their products in the film), it craps on (literally) for a fairly agonising 90 minutes and makes me wish I could still drink alcohol in enough quantity to find this sort of thing a bit more easily bearable.

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