Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MST3K: Episode 506 - Eegah

I'm watching all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes in order. More about that here and here.

Episode 506: Eegah

First aired: Comedy Central on 28 August 1993
Availability: iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon DVD, Rhino (Solo DVD/out of print)

It's pronounced like it's spelled.
This is one of those movies that's better than it is.

Okay, let me explain.

It's a bad movie. A really bad movie. But, as bad as it is, it has some things that aren't bad. Not entirely bad, that is.

Richard Kiel, who also starred in Episode 420: The Human Duplicators, is once again the title character who's a bad guy that isn't really a bad guy. He plays that a lot. He's not a metal-toothed villain after a British super spy. He's a cave man. Not a Teenage Cave Man; the movie postulates that Eegah is hundreds of years old. But a cave man nonetheless.

Arch Hall, Jr.
Kiel's Eegah is a likable enough character -- until he shoves the heroine to the ground in a fit of fear. But, that's the writing. Kiel is his usual self, playing the soft-hearted big guy whose villainy is either misunderstood or awaiting the opportunity to be the hero.

Arch Hall, Jr., who plays the heroine's boyfriend -- and is son to writer/director/producer Arch Hall -- was the intended star of this piece of cinema. The junior Hall actually gained some attention for his role in The Sadist. In that movie, he showed some talent. This movie? Not so much.

What about this movie?

They left the light on for Eegah, before putting his lights out.
A girl named Roxy driving through the desert at night runs across a cave man wandering the highway, which isn't normal for her, so she tells her father the writer, who decides to go get a photographs of the cave man, but disappears while trekking through the desert, so the daughter and her filling station attendent boyfriend take a dune buggy to the desert but break down, causing Roxy to be captured by the cave man and made to shake hands with the cave man's dead relatives. Girl and dad escape with help from the boyfriend, only to be tracked back to town by the cave man who proceeds to get shot and fall in a hotel swimming pool. The end.

What made this a bad film? Besides the writing? And the acting? And the film sound? And...

Okay, pretty much everything.

Eegah like Roxy.
If you've never seen this episode, but are familiar with the "Watch out for snakes!" line that Joel/Mike & the Bots would sometimes throw in on MST3K, this is the episode that it came from.

Early on, when Dad, Roxy, and Boyfriend go to look for Eegah, the Dad warns the others to "watch out for snakes." Only, they didn't film Dad (Arch Hall) saying the line. They just dubbed it in. In a scene where Dad is plainly visible and clearly not speaking. As Crow asked, "Who said that?"

There are plenty of production errors like that throughout the film. Still, I have a soft spot for this outing, mostly because of Kiel -- except for the scene where he throws the girl to the ground.

I didn't see this one when it aired on Comedy Central. I own the VHS and DVD, however, as well as the digital download. Yes, I like it.

It's a Sampo!
Oh, J&tB have lots of fun with Arch Hall, Jr. And not nice fun. Mean fun. They have a field day with his hair, his nose, and his general appearance.

True, he doesn't have leading man good looks. But, his looks served him well in The Sadist. The junior Hall didn't make a lot of movies. Eegah is one of a half-dozen films make up his film career.

Oh, and there's a bit of unfinished business from Season Four.

Back in Episode 422: The Day the Earth Froze, J&tB asked, "What's a Sampo?"

They got their answer when a viewer sent in a photo of a TV with MST3K showing on the screen. The brand? Sampo.

No word on if the TV also makes gold and salt.

I like this episode.

1 comment:

  1. "Watch out for snakes"

    Ah... one of the best classic MST3K lines.


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