A film notorious for being not good, yet highly entertaining, Eegah (also known as Eegah!, Eegah: The Name Written in Blood, and That movie with the caveman, you know, the Jaws guy from the James Bond movies) is ready to smack you in your doubting mouth courtesy of an astoundingly beautiful new HD restoration on Blu-ray from The Film Detective, with help from Shout! Factory and Something Weird Video. We’ve always enjoyed this goofy picture, so maybe we’re not the best judge of whether it’s one of the “worst movies of all time” or not – and we recently watched Elfette Saves Christmas so we think we know a little more about bad movies than you do.
Lovely Marilyn Manning runs into giant caveman Richard Kiel in the Palm Springs desert, and he’s so smitten by her he kidnaps first her father and then her, dragging them to his cave filled with the mummified remains of his family. He also beats up her boyfriend, Arch Hall, Jr., for her, but that doesn’t stop Arch and his band, the Archers, from warbling a few big tunes. It’s all resolved at a pool party (with Arch in a tux dancing like Jackie Gleason) by an action-packed brawl and a fake biblical quote from Arch Hall, Sr., who produced, directed, co-wrote, and co-stars in this picture, all under different pseudonyms, but we know who he is. Oh, yes, we know who he is.
Nobody in particular: "Watch out for snakes!"
A follow up to the first Hall & Son production, The Choppers, which distributors felt needed a co-feature to play the drive-in circuit (and if you’ve seen it, we assume you’re saying, “That’s not ALL The Choppers needs,” but hush). Hall, Sr. pitched a cannibal picture to Mr. Kiel, who had been bit by the acting bug, but Richard turned that one down and so Hall suggested a caveman epic instead. THAT Kiel liked, and from that acorn grew the mighty oak that is Eegah. Toss in a few musical numbers, shot in color, with an exciting dune buggy race (our definition of “exciting” has been questioned, incidentally) and you have an unforgettable low-budget cult movie, since canonized by both the book “The 50 Worst Movies of all Time” by the Medved brothers and Mystery Science Theater 3000.
If you want to see Eegah and judge for yourself, or you simply desire the 4K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative, the ultimate edition of this fan favorite is the way to go: a flawless presentation that looks impossibly beautiful, with robust sound (and we BLASTED it when Arch did one of our favorite numbers, Nobody Lives on the Brownsville Road) and stunning visuals. Extras include interviews with Mr. Hall, Jr., and MST3K’s Joel Hodgson, plus the complete MST3K version of the film.
Eegah, which can be ordered at The Film Detective, is for a niche market to be sure (it’s limited to 1,500 copies) but it is one of our favorite releases of the year.