So, yeah, Eegah! I know you've seen it. I know you've seen it on MST3K. Yes, I just wrote MST3K. Let's not waste valuable typing when we all know what it is that I'm talking about because we are all NERDS. I know nothing I could possibly write about one of the best worst movies ever made could compete with that stellar episode of MST3K. But still, I'm gonna give it a go. Because I watched Eegah! last night for the first time without Crow and Tom Servo and for the first time since college, and it still holds up. If by 'holds up' I mean is ridiculously bad and has a home movie feel but still manages to be hi-larious. Yes, then that's what I mean.
For the uninitiated, Eegah! (1962) is the tale of an unrequited romance between a caveman who may or may not be named Eegah and a socialite named Roxy. It all begins one night as Roxy leaves a department store, new bikini in hand, and heads out on a race with her boyfriend, Tom (the so-ugly-he-might-be-kinda-cute Arch Hall, Jr.), and happens to hit a caveman carrying a live goat out on the highway. Tom, ever the dumbass as we will see in a moment, arrives just a hair too late, and misses said caveman as he trudges off into the darkness.
Roxy, although passed out during most of her encounter with said caveman, adamantly swears she knows what she saw, going as far as to blab her mouth all over her country club to daddy and his friends. She even uses this fair piece of evidence in her argument, 'There were giants. The Bible says so.' I can't argue with that evidence, Roxy, but no one else believes you. I'm gonna use that one on everything from here on out. Next time I'm (ill) advised not to have a fifth shot of tequila or to hit on that hot lead singer, I'm just gonna pull out 'The Bible says so.' End of story.
But Daddy's placating enough and takes the teens out to the scene (hey, that rhymes) of the supposed giant sighting the next day. An ominous off-camera voice weirdly tells the trio to 'Watch out for snakes' as they heads into the desert. Seeing footprints, Daddy immediately decides he must pen a tome about this prehistoric man based on Tom's suggestion and heads back to town to charter a helicopter. Just like that. Before leaving, he discloses the location of his credit cards to Roxy and Tom yet orders them not to touch them and flies off. Pilot Kruger drops Daddy off alone with only binoculars, a camera, and small briefcase type bag to his name. We don't have to wait long until Daddy is face to face with his giant, the titular Eegah (Richard Kiel of James Bond movie fame), as if there's any other Eegah.
Back at the country club, Roxy struts around quite deliciously in her bikini and takes a swim while Tom serenades her with a song about a woman named Vicki. Not seeming to mind that the song is about another woman, Roxy is all smiles and splashes until she receives a phone call from Pilot Kruger. Seems his helicopter is broken and he won't be able to pick up Daddy. Well, never fear, Arch Hall, Jr. and his jalopy dune buggy that he won't shut up about is about to come to the rescue. The teens set off for Deep Canyon (that's original) and some sweet dune buggy actions ensues. Someone keeps shouting Whee! over and over and it's hard to tell if it's Roxy doing the shouting or Arch Hall. I'd like to think it's AH and it does sort of sound like him, all whiny and ridiculous, but who knows. It's probably dubbed.
Being that Deep Canyon is completely enormous being a canyon and all, the kids get worried when they don't see Daddy right away. Or at least Roxy does. In what will soon become typical Tom fashion, he dismisses everything Roxy says as nonsense, telling her not to worry about anything. The start fighting, Tom sings another song to Roxy about a different woman named Valerie, and they drift quickly off to sleep. Eegah then takes this moment to appear and gawk at sleeping Roxy and eat up all their stew they were saving for Daddy, until Tom's radio mysteriously turns on, frightening the giant away, although he leaves his club so they know he was there. A calling card perhaps? Or just stupidity?
The next day, they find Daddy's broken, abandoned camera. Tom tells Roxy not to jump to conclusions, it's probably not even Daddy's camera, and that they should check out the ravine. Such a man, he grabs a shotgun and Roxy gets up to accompany him. 'Women!' he guffaws. He wants her to stay with the stupid dune buggy while he goes out looking for stock footage of rattlers and coyotes. Well, his stupid mistake because while he's gone, Eegah takes this as his chance to nab Roxy. Tom returns to the scene moments later and in his efforts to rescue his lady love, he yells her name over and over, occasionally throwing a 'where are you?' in there for effect. Yes, Tom, very effective.
So back Eegah's place, which you guessed it, is a cave, he's got Daddy held hostage, as well as a tribunal of his dead ancestors, whom he introduces to Roxy. Seems he's set his sights on the little lady, even though Daddy already admonished him with the line 'She's mine, she's mine.' But that doesn't stop our giant from sniffing her hair profusely, smelling her skin, and checking her for lice. 'Tell him you're hungry,' Daddy says. 'But I'm not,' Roxy protests. 'Well, then there's the alternative.' I'd think I'd eat even if I wasn't hungry if the alternative was getting raped in front of my father by a cro-mag non man in a cave. Roxy's a sensible gal and decides to eat some meat off an enormous bone, quite literally.
Daddy keeps calling the giant Eegah and when Roxy asks if that's his name, Daddy says matter-of-factly, 'I think so. It's what he says most of the time.' Yeah, because we all just walk around saying our names out loud all day long for no reason and/or to describe other events and people. Like when I want a gingerale, I just say Jenn over and over and point at a can of gingerale.
After the meat bone, Roxy gets treated to some smoking sulfur water. Best to keep Eegah busy so he doesn't get all rapey. Daddy says, 'make it last as long as you can. He won't hurt you as long as you're doing something.' I guess Daddy knows from experience. Eegah then invites Roxy to look at his etchings, again, literally. This is a literal-ass movie. But damn, if I had a dollar for every time a guy invited me over to look at his etchings. I'd have like two bucks. Roxy agrees, saying 'believe it or not, Dad, I'm going to look at his etchings!' Good job, Roxy. I can see she's starting to fall in love. She even sees one that she construes to be her and her car the night she hit Eegah and his goat. It looks mostly like a circle with other circles on it, but a girl in love will believe what she wants.
So dumbass Tom is still wandering around the desert calling out Roxy's name and Eegah's got Roxy and Daddy barricaded in his cave. While Eegah's out gathering flowers for Roxy, forever the good daughter, Roxy decides to give ol'Daddy a shave. Because that's not weird or anything. To shave your father. Ew. I felt really gross just typing that. Anyway, she shaves and he instructs her and at that moment, Eegah arrives back at the casa. Ya'll know where this is going. Roxy has to then shave Eegah because he wants to look all beautiful for her, but just as Tom continues to be useless, even after his shave, Eegah continues to be ugly as hell.
After his shave, Eegah gets all animated, IYKWIM, and Roxy tries to refute him, 'tell me some more about your etchings!' He's having none of it and Daddy instructs her, 'give him something else!' Oh, Daddy! How could you! She gives him a button. Bad idea, because it makes her boobs all the more accessible and Eegah starts pawing at her maniacally. In one last ditch effort, Roxy says in reference to her father, 'he can see us - outside - you and me.' Eegah's game, he's a nature boy, so he moves the boulder and takes his beloved outside for some forced entry. He exposes her strapless bra and roughs her up a bit and Daddy comes fumbling out of the hole and a fight ensues. Dumbass arrives just a second or two too late and hits Eegah with rocks (eventually), thus rendering him powerless (for now anyway). Tom shouts, 'so long, High Pockets!' (whatever that means, seriously, what does that mean?) and they leave Eegah behind in the desert and speed off in the dune buggy.
I mean, it never would have worked out between Roxy and Eegah. They're from two different worlds. I guess it was fun while it lasted. I love when a guy introduces me to the mummified corpses of his parents, makes me drink sulfuric beverages, shows me his etchings, literally, and then tries to force sex on me. It's a date! Oh, but wait, there's still another half an hour left of this thing....
Back in civilization, Roxy gets all depressed-like and wonders what became of her giant. She feels like he's lonely, what will become of him, and blah blah. Tom tries to take her mind off the caveman by rocking out with his band and then dancing with her by the pool, that is, until Eegah shows up and wreaks havoc all over the country club. It's pretty stereotypical stuff, he eats a whole roast, growls menacingly at teens, and is eventually gunned down and falls dead into the pool. Some more Bible stuff is thrown around and FIN.
Okay, LOVE this movie. I LOVE IT. It's got just the right amount of sexist bullshit it's era is popular for (is popular the right word?) to make me LOL. Roxy is quite the stunning brunette and isn't a bad woman in peril, especially when Eegah's getting all gropey. Tom is the perfect dumbass and looks absolutely ridiculous in white short shorts. And Richard Kiel is a great caveman - his dimestore beard spectacular. Eegah's cave looks like a tent made out of garbage bags and his 'family' is papier-mache. The dialogue is banal and crude and sometimes lines come out of complete nowhere. Everything is just the right kinda bad that is blends right in to cult classic territory. And what's with all the Bible stuff? Can somebody please tell me what Chapter 4 Verse 32 is about? It's cited in the last line of the movie.
Next time a guy offers me flowers AND meat still on a giant bone AND etchings, both literally and figuratively, hehe, I'm all over it. Roxy lost out if you ask me. And she knows it. Oh, she knows it. Tom and Daddy put it best in this conversation: Daddy: You know, I think she's still worried about Eegah. Tom: Oh sure, a girl like Roxy don't get over a thing like that right away.