Plot: As he travels to meet up with her boyfriend, Roxy (Marilyn Manning) has a near miss and nearly runs over a pedestrian. While it was dark out, she swears the man he almost hit was a giant, some kind of caveman, based on his appearance. Of course, most of the people she tells dismiss her claims as hysterical, but her beau Tom (Arch Hall, Jr.) wants to believe her and his father Mr. Miller (Arch Hall, Sr.) thinks the situation warrants some investigation. The group ventures to the location to take a closer look and indeed, discover some mild evidence that someone, with large feet no less, is living in the wilds in the area. Mr. Miller decides he must explore deeper into the mystery and takes a helicopter into the mountains, to find and document whoever is up there. But when he doesn’t make it back, it is up to Tom and Roxy to track him down and solve the mystery of the unexplained mountain giant.
Entertainment Value: This low rent b movie is a testament to the power of cult cinema, as Eegah has remained a cult classic for decades, thanks in part to a prominent spot in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 rotation. I think the movie is a lot of fun and while beyond hokey and cheap, it has that special charm that only do it yourself movies can provide. The narrative is simple and straight forward, allowing for some light drama and some odd moments, while Arch Hall, Jr., the director’s son, is in the middle of it all to showcase his talents. The tone is light in general, but when the writing tries to lean into intentional comedic touches, it flops hard. Of course, this is to the benefit of b movie maniacs, who appreciate such outlandish dialogue and wooden performances. The more serious exchanges are still stilted, but aren’t as all out ridiculous as the awful jokes, so less fun to watch. In addition to the unintentional humor that resides in most of the scenes, we have some cool elements at work, including the trip inside Eegah’s mysterious cave. The caveman has his family’s remains set up around the cave, which is eerie and a little humorous to boot, thanks to the laughable special effects. There’s a reason Eegah has stuck around in the hearts and minds of cult cinema fans, as it remains a fun, over the top b movie that still entertains.
I could watch Arch Hall, Jr. in a movie about anything, as I think he is such a fun performer and he was involved in some odd, creative pictures over the years. He is often hilarious in Eegah, in a wooden and sometimes awkward effort, but he never fails to entertain here. The movie is more or less a vehicle for Hall, with his father as the film’s director and costar, no less. Hall is game to deliver even the most outlandish lines in sincere fashion, which is humorous enough, but then his attempts at intentional jokes are howlingly terrible. So however the material tends to lean, Hall is always fun to watch in this quirky role. He is also tasked to perform music and as usual, his songs aren’t going to light up the charts, but add some strange vibes to the movie. You can tell Hall was being pushed to be a matinee and music idol, but of course, he would instead become a cult favorite for unintended reasons. Arch Hall, Sr. has a prominent role here also and is more grounded, so not as outrageous as his son. Even so, he has some moments to shine and his presence ups the b movie vibes even more. The cast also includes Richard Kiel, Marilyn Manning, and Ray Dennis Steckler.
The Disc: The Film Detective has given Eegah the royal treatment, with a new 4k restoration sourced from the original camera negative. The movie looks terrific and much better than I’ve ever seen it on home video, with a clean print and a much more refined overall visual presence. The detail level is solid, but the real revelation has to be the widescreen presentation, which opens up the image nicely, while the colors are bright and natural here. This is simply a wonderful treatment for a cult classic that has needed such a spruce up for a long while. The extras include the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode that features Eegah, an interview with MST3K’s Joel Hodgson, and an interview with the legend himself, Arch Hall, Jr.
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