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  Eegah Prehistoric Rocker
Year: 1962
Director: Arch Hall Sr
Stars: Arch Hall Jr, Marilyn Manning, Richard Kiel, Arch Hall Sr, Clay Stearns, Bob Davis, Deke Lussier, Ron Shane, Addalyn Pollitt, Ray Dennis Steckler
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: It's the evening and Roxy (Marilyn Manning) is driving over to the local pool for a swim. On the way, she stops at the gas station to see her boyfriend Tom (Arch Hall Jr), who works there, and tantalises him with the promise of seeing her in her new bathing suit. She then drives off through the desert landscape until suddenly a huge figure steps out in front of her car, causing her to jam on the brakes. The mysterious figure resembles a giant caveman (Richard Kiel) and Roxy screams as he advances, then faints dead away. The caveman is intrigued, and investigates the girl and her car as Roxy awakes and pretends to be unconscious in the hope that he'll leave her alone - but this is the beginning of a very strange relationship...

Probably the towering Kiel's most famous film role until The Spy Who Loved Me offered him the opportunity to be known as Jaws the world over, Eegah was written by Bob Wehling. It is still the most famous Arch Hall Jr film, that pudgy-faced teenager whose dad, Arch Hall Sr, was determined to make him a movie star whether he wanted it or not. Hall Sr also directed, under the name Nicholas Merriwether, came up with the story and appeared as Roxy's novelist father, possibly with the dream of making himself a star as well, but on this evidence talent didn't exactly run in the family. However, bad movie fans have a special place in their hearts for the efforts of the Halls, and for Eegah especially, perhaps because of the deeply emotional reverberations it leaves in the minds of all who see it. Or maybe because it's a good laugh.

There are signs that Eegah was supposed to be funny, however. After the caveman is scared away, Roxy runs to tell her father, Mr Miller, and Tom, but they have difficulty believing her, although dad accepts that in the Bible, the book of Genesis to be precise, there are giants mentioned, so it's not impossible that she could have seen one. Despite his doubts, dad takes a helicopter ride into the middle of nowehere, with instructions to the pilot to pick him up in a few hours. Mopping his brow under his pith helmet, he commences his search for the Neanderthal, and what do you know? He finds him, and is duly kidnapped by the brute, who takes him back to his cave. When Tom and Roxy hear from the pilot that his helicopter needs repairs and can't return for Mr Miller, they set out to track him down themselves.

They do this by driving round the desert in a dilapidated-looking dune buggy, shouting "Wheeeee!" with delight (nice to see they're taking this seriously), and before they know it, night has fallen and there's still no sign of dad. There's always time for a song, mind you, as Hall Sr was also hoping that Hall Jr would be a rock star as well as making it in the motion picture industry. For some reason, although devoted to Roxy, Tom sings songs about "Vicky" and "Valerie" instead, and has an invisible band (and carried-away backing singers) to accompany him. Anyway, it's time for bed, and as they doze off, who should arrive but the caveman - Kiel is dubbed with a deep-voiced, stream-of-consciousness babble, occasionally mentioning his name, Eegah, in mid flow.

The upshot is that Roxy is kidnapped by Eegah, and is reunited with her father in the cave that the primitive calls home. It is here that Eegah takes a suprisingly sexual interest in her, running his massive hands over her in a fashion that leaves no question about what he has in store for her when she stops distracting him. She manages to shave him, i.e. he removes his fake beard and moustache, planning an escape as all the while Tom wanders around outside calling her name. The lines here sound as if they come from a sitcom, but I'm unsure of how seriously they were taking the drama - Kiel certainly throws himself in to his role. It all ends in the King Kong manner, to which Eegah is surely indebted, as the caveman follows Roxy back to civilisation to win her back (she finds a strange attraction to him, too). We never discover where Eegah came from, or why nobody noticed him for thousands of years, as he wasn't even frozen in ice, but that simply adds to the home movie atmosphere. Whatever, Eegah is just stupid enough to be entertaining. Music by Henri Price.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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