Also known as: Eegah: The Name Written in Blood
Release Date: June 8th, 1962 (USA)
Directed by: Nicholas Merriwether
Written by: Bob Wehling, Nicholas Merriwether
Music by: André Brummer
Cast: Richard Kiel, Marilyn Manning, Arch Hall Jr., Arch Hall Sr.
Fairway International Pictures, 90 Minutes
This film is considered to be one of the worst of all-time. In fact, it was featured in Michael Medved’s book The Fifty Worst Films of All-Time. It was also featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Elvira’s Movie Macabre. But if you like Jaws from the Roger Moore era Bond films, then at least you get to see him as a caveman and much younger. Granted, I don’t really think that’s much of a selling point. No offense to the late Richard Kiel.
Eegah is awful. Honestly, it is awful to the point that a new word should be invented for it. Or maybe things that are worse than awful can just be called “eegah”.
The film is interesting, however. Mainly due to the fact that you really have to see it to digest how bad a movie can be. I wouldn’t consider it unwatchable, but that’s because it is just so bizarre and baffling that it keeps one’s interest. It’s also worth seeing, once, just to experience the scene where Marilyn Manning’s Roxy shaves Kiel’s Eegah for the first time. It is one of the strangest things ever put on film that didn’t involve weird sex acts that I can’t mention.
In the James Bond films, Richard Kiel wasn’t a great actor, by any means. However, he was able to convey a sensitive side to his monster-like presence. In the end, he became a likable character, a hero and the audience was able to relate to a hulking beast that was no longer one-dimensional. He is able to tap into that in Eegah, as well. Granted, this film was made fifteen years before he played Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (and later, Moonraker) but there are real parallels between the two characters.
It should go without saying, that the acting is horrible, the script is worse and the cinematography is clunky and ugly. But you don’t get to be considered one of the worst films of all-time, if you don’t fail at just about everything.
The worst thing of all, is Arch Hall, Jr. He was put in this film because his dad wrote, directed and produced it under the name of Nicholas Merriwether. Hall, Jr. is a weird looking maniac teen that spends most of his time singing really awful love ballads while strumming his guitar in a way that could put a crackhead to sleep.
Also, one of the most horrible things I have ever experienced in a movie is the two teens driving around the dunes while the girl continually yells “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!” That scene goes on for too long and most people would rather headbutt an ax than have to be subjected to that sequence.
Then there is the long action sequence of the dune buggy trying to outrun the caveman. Seriously, the idiot driving keeps trying to go up steep hills with the caveman in pursuit, only to have to turn around, evade the attacking caveman, and go up another steep hill. It takes ten minutes before it actually dawns on him to take the flat ground. Even then, somehow, the caveman still catches up and grabs onto the dune buggy. Then as they get away, Eegah the caveman keeps appearing, as if he can somehow teleport.
Eegah is complete shit. But if you are going to watch it, I suggest checking out the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of it, as their riffing and commentary make it a much better experience.