MST Week: Eegah (1993), or My Tires Are Filled With Water!

16 07 2009

We’re back for more MST3K today with another fondly-remembered episode! This time, we’re going into the trenches of the 60s to find one of the most god-awful pieces of shit imaginable. It’s campy and funny, but I don’t know if I could watch this one without Joel and the Bots. It’s crazy one minute, then extremely boring the next five minutes. Imagine your mother had uncovered some of her old home movies. Now imagine if your mother was a 7 foot tall caveman from prehistoric times and the movies featured her trying to get laid. My apologies if that description struck a nerve with anyone, but that’s exactly what this is like. It’s a real amateur project, full of no-name actors trying to break out and piled to the sky with filler scenes. But even if a movie is awful, the cast and crew of MST can make it entertaining as all get-out!

So, as I said, the story involves giant cavemen. But, of course, its the early 60s, which means that everything is centered around the WILD youth culture! Bouffant hairdos, swingin’ music, and dated catchphrases dot the landscape of this Eegah like the face of a plague victim. It is REALLY about the young damsel Roxy, a hip young gal who is driving home one night and nearly runs into a prehistoric giant with her car! In a shock, she tells her father, an adventure novel writer, and her boyfriend, a demon from a nightmare. To humor her shrill and annoying demands of checking it out, they go along the same stretch of road she found the giant, and there is some pretty intriguing evidence to suggest she might be telling the truth. The dad goes to investigate this on his own for inspiration for his next novel, but is almost instantly captured by a man with much less brain capacity than he (!!!). Roxy, fearing the worst after a couple of days at the pool just hangin’ out, goes to investigate with her hell-sprite boyfriend. Shortly after that, the giant captures Roxy, another advanced creature, with the power of prehistoric ingenuity (i.e. carrying a girl off and quickly running away). This leaves only the spawn of fire and hatred, Roxy’s boyfriend Tommy, to save them from the giant’s clutches. Can he do it? Or is he so dumb that they’ll have to do it themselves?

This is such a crazy episode. In the fifth season, everything was becoming more comfortable for the cast and crew. The formula was down pat, so the cast and crew focused on perfecting it from there. They were writing lines so funny, finding movies that were so nuts, and making the riffing sound so natural that I would venture to say that this is the best season for the entire damn show! And for a show like this, that’s like the product of gold and platinum having a baby out of wedlock!

And you know what might be my favorite part of the show? The references. In this season alone they reference anything from The Gun In Betty Lou’s Handbag, James Joyce, the plight of migrant workers, Mannix, Spock’s Pan Far ritual, harmful Asian stereotypes, Clutch Cargo, Nirvana, and the deep pain that comes with watching Jay Leno monologues. These guys have so much pop culture knowledge it hurts. There are riffs that defy all preconceived notions of cultural intelligence. These guys know what they’re talking about, even if they don’t always know how to pronounce people’s names right (sorry Clu Gulager…). Eegah has plenty of awesome pop culture musings, especially one segment that deals specifically with the Nuclear family inĀ  television.

The movie is campy as hell, as I’ve said. It doesn’t help that it’s a father-son tag team! The director, producer, and writer of this movie, Arch Hall Sr., created this project to promote his son, Arch Hall Jr., who plays the horrific Tommy. Daddy wanted his son to do well in the rock industry, but with songs like “Valerie”, I’m not surprised he’s not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Keep in mind, that his girlfriend’s name in this movie is ROXY! What a jerk!

The only saving grace of Eegah, for me, is the mysterious giant himself, named Eegah believe it or not. Richard Kiel plays the gentle giant thing with much pizazz. He is a big, big dude, and so while playing a giant isn’t a stretch, he takes it seriously, making his caveman presence felt far and wide. He actually has some deeper, more melancholy scenes in the film, which is a shame because his effort is burritoed by the Arch Halls dicking around all day.

So, once again, we see that bad movie=good MST. Eegah proves that just because you have a good idea for a ridiculous horror schlock piece, that doesn’t mean that even THAT will translate well to film. So while marginally more entertaining as a movie than Cave Dwellers, I feel that episode was only equal to this one because of the extremely hilarious and natural content of the riffing. I loved it, though, so while poor little gigantic Eegah gets a paltry 2 1/2 Arch Halls out of 10, the episode gets a fantastic 9 1/2 “Valeries” out of 10!

Tomorrow we finish up MST Week with one more surprise episode for you! Come back to me tomorrow to bring it all back home!!!

I leave you all with a portrait of the world’s most handsome man, Arch Hall Jr.!

Oh. My. Goodness...

Oh. My. Goodness...

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2 responses

18 07 2009
Bren

What? No “Look out for snakes!” references? WTF?

18 07 2009
Bren

OH! What about the whole weird “shaving Eegah in the cave scene?

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