Tonight's feature is called EEGAH! You can't tell me that isn't one of the top ten greatest titles (for a film) of all time. I mean, if that isn't one of the top ten greatest film titles of all time, then this big book called The Top Ten Film Titles of All Time has totally lied to me and I wasted money (when I bought it).
Anyway, I think I saw this one when I was a tot. To be honest, it made no impression on me, because I remember nothing about it except that it concerned a caveman in the modern world. It is entirely possible it is a classic of cinema that I was too young to appreciate fully. I kind of have my doubts about that, though.
Well, we open in the desert, with someone playing the bass (on the soundtrack) then we cut to some cacti that are being rained on, and a guitar chimes in. And we pan up a tree or a rock face to the word "EEGAH" all painted on. The last two letters look like they're dripping blood! Gosh!
Now we see a mummy or something like that lying down on some jungle plants. The mummy has credits written on him: "Starring Arch Hall Jr as Tom" with a little blonde stick figure meant, I guess, to represent this "Tom" character. Even though the credits are supposed to be on these surfaces, they're actually superimposed as a puff of smoke makes clear. More credits written on mummies,. including big name Richard Kiel as the title character. The writing credits actually are on a mummy t-shirt--you can tell because they're hard to read. The music (now with organ and rudimentary drums) is almost Doors-like, but we get no credit for the composer.
And the credits over, we cut to (I think) Las Vegas. It's severely underlit for Vegas but a hotel is called the "Oasis." What more proof to you need? And then we cut to a storefront selling "International Fashions" which, um, don't look too impressive to my admittedly unfashionable eye. Some gal is leaving the store and she gets into her convertible and drives off down the road to the gas station. There she is greeted as "Roxy" by the attendant, who says that she and he have a date up by the "Club." She informs the guy (who I bet is Tom) that the date is still on, she just bought a new swimsuit and she holds up a tiny box, the kind you'd buy a pair of gloves in. With. Inside of. Whatever.
Tom expresses astonishment at the nature of such swimwear. Tom has a truly bizarre face, which seems perpetually wide-eyed and astonished. He looks sort of like James Cagney playing Jim Carrey. Yikes.
Anyway, they banter a bit. He's off work in ten minutes and will meet Roxy at the Club. Roxy drives off.
"That's my girl," Tom announces to no one in particular, though there is a rather bored person behind him. "Her father's Robert I. Miller. Writes all those adventure books. You ought to see her swim." A close up of the bored person reveals his boredom. Until Tom overfills his car's tank, though, and gas starts splashing on the ground. "Hey!" is his objection to this display of distraction on Tom's part. Tom, you goof exemplar. He apologizes and notes that this probably happened because he was thinking of Roxy. "She lives up at the Club," he offers. I hope you're finding this scintillating because I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of Tom.
Cut to Roxy driving along the night street. A-yup. And she drives some more, and we see this. And the road. And stuff. Suddenly, though, there's a caveman with a giant club, standing right in the middle of the road! Whoa! Roxy, startled, slams on the brakes and a really short running time is avoided.
The caveman stands up in front of the car and brandishes his giant club. He starts speaking Cavemandish and Roxy faints. The caveman looks the car over. He considers giving it a good ol' wallop, but doesn't. In the night, goat noises are heard. All the while, the caveman--heck, why don't we just call him Eegah, we're all friends here, right?--is muttering in Cavemandese. He picks up a dead deer that maybe Roxy hit instead of him. Roxy awakens but plays dead. Eegah decides to take a closer look at her, muttering all the while. He accidentally honks the horn, which makes him mad enough to consider clubbing the car again, and Roxy screams and faints again. The excitement just builds.
Just at that moment, Tom drives up in his sports car and Eegah runs off into the darkness. Roxy looks up at Tom's warped face and screams until he reminds her that he is Tom and not, oh, I dunno, some kinda caveman or something. Roxy does name him as Tom so I was right, wasn't I! Admit it. She takes comfort in his embrace. She tells him wha' happen and he seems skeptical.
But...no matter, as we cut to "the Club" where Tom and Roxy are chillin' with a couple of old dudes, one of whom looks an awful lot like one of those mummies from the credits. While Roxy protests the disbelief her story has engendered, this Living Mummy says, "You didn't really expect anyone to [believe you], did you, Miss Miller?" He gets a big ol' close up to say this. Maybe he helped pay for the movie? Or perhaps he's meant to make Tom seem less startling. Either way, shiver!
"A prehistoric monster is a large order to swallow," says Roxy's dad. That is a seriously great thing to say, you know. Roxy's Dad nonetheless defends Roxy, and Creepy Old Guy leaves though not without the parting wish that should the caveman appear again, he should be allowed to take some pix.
Roxy, Tom and Roxy's Dad try to figure out wha' happen. Tom got there to late to be useful, and in answer to Roxy's insistence, says, "Sure, Roxy, but I mean, giants!" Roxy points out that "giants" were mentioned in the Bible, so there. Roxy's Dad quotes (kind of) Genesis, "There were giants in the Earth In those days." Only, get this, he says, "In those days, giants walked the Earth." Crazy, man! Or...is it? You can argue these points at your next Bible club meeting. Tom suggests a search via flashlights, but Roxy's Dad says morning will be just fine for these kinds of shenanigans. "Go and take your swim before the pool closes," he advises. Tom and Roxy go off to do this very thing. "In the morning, now," Roxy says, and Roxy's Dad says, "It's a promise." Well, there you are.
Heading toward the pool, Roxy is still ticked that neither her dad nor Tom believe her, despite Tom's feeble assertions to the contrary. Tom swears on his "Elvis Presley LP" that he believes her. Roxy then says that she had "the funniest feeling" that Eegah wouldn't hurt her. She then tells Tom that she thought Eegah was "kinda cute." Ooo, burn, Tom! Burn!
Well, instead of the promised swim party and tiny bathing suit previously proffered, we cut instead to the next day and the harsh desert landscape. Another swell car (a Thunderbird I think!) is parked by the side of the road, and while Tom moons about the landscape, Roxy's Dad, stiff-arm-folded, still argues that it was all a dream. Roxy's having none of that, though. She saw what she saw and it wasn't any kind of other sort of thing. Suddenly Tom has found something--a footprint! A really huge one. Of course, just one...all alone. Like for one instant, Eegah leapt into the air and came crashing down hard on one foot. Then he walked normally and everything was fine around him.
At the news of this find, Roxy is jubilant. See! I WAS almost killed by a caveman! Suck on that! Etc. She gives Tom a big hug. Roxy's Dad extrapolates the giant's likely path...from this one footprint...okay, whatever. The really interesting bit is the shouted line, "Watch out for snakes!" which is said in Roxy's Dad's voice while his lips were tightly pressed together. Magic! Movie magic!
The three traipse about ten feet and Tom finds a bit of shrub from which he claims the prehistoric giant was "watching her!" Then he looks off in the distance at "Shadow Mountain" and Roxy guesses that's where Eegah lives.
"That would account for his never having been seen before," offers Roxy's Dad. Gosh, he must be a detective!
"It's too bad we didn't bring the dune buggy," Tom says. They could get pix or even bring the big lug back! But Roxy's Dad is against such stuff. Roxy points out it would be nice to toss proof in the face of the ones who laughed at her. Which I guess was just Creepy Old Guy.
Anyway, Roxy's Dad is dead set against anyone going after the caveman. Except him, with a camera. Tom asks if he's going to write a book about the giant, and Roxy's Dad affirms this. Tom says he can take him up in his dune buggy. Which is (I'm guessing) a cue for Roxy to insist on coming along. Way to go, Roxy's Dad, you stopped nothing from happening.
Well, I was wrong. Roxy's Dad wants to take this trip "in something a little bit safer." We're left to wonder about that as we hold on the three of them looking off in the distance. Then we cut to a helicopter being readied. Well, that does seem safe, especially from cavemen whom science has yet to prove had the power of FLIGHT. Okay then. In new outfits, the three approach the copter. Roxy's Dad--you know, I am tired of typing that. Now his name is Gumby. Gumby says he'll be back in three days, and the other two advise him to take caution! He will, he says. He tells Roxy to leave his credit cards alone. And he and Kruger the pilot lift off. And they fly and everyone waves to them. And we get some aerial shots of the desert, and they're pretty washed out and monochromatic but kind of pretty anyway. You know, this is awfully indulgent of Gumby. "Dad, some creepy old guy made mockery of my living caveman story." "Oh honey, I'm sorry! I'm...not sure I believe either, but I don't disbelieve, so I'll take a three day trip in the desert. This will...prove something." (Not dialogue from the film I should add.)
Anyway, Gumby and the pilot fly for a while. (Helicopters cost money to rent, you know, so you should use every bit of footage.) So they fly around some more, and we see all of it, and they land for a moment at some place. The pilot takes his shades off. "Now don't you forget," says Gumby. "I want you to meet me at the mouth of Deep Canyon tomorrow at four!" He holds up four fingers.
The pilot says nothing but smiles and puts his shades back on. Which I guess means, cool. Great. Great! And Gumby whips off his pith helmet and scans the area with his binoculars. I guess the helicopter take off and such was too expensive to show us. Or maybe it was just a bad cut, since a long shot shows Gumby nowhere near where he landed, but instead standing on a rocky cliff side, looking and looking. In a bit of repeated footage, he seems to continue seeing nothing. Wow, just like me! That's just eerie.
But we see the helicopter flying around, and then we see Eegah! He reacts in panic to this strange wingless bird and he runs off. And on the desert floor, Gumby is traipsing around, and he finds a campfire left by Eegah which is still smoldering! So he has to get a picture of that. It proves that cavemen understood fire! He tries to focus on the burning log, but he pans up too much and sees--the feet of Eegah! Eegah swings his mighty club around! "No!" pleads Gumby as he falls backwards.
Eegah is clearly considering the fun to be had braining Gumby, while Gumby himself keeps going, "No, no, no..." and so on. But then--
Well, then we cut to a California mansion! With palm trees, and the sounds of pool party fun! And we see Tom strumming an electric guitar with a giant amplifier, and singing "I love you Vicki, you know I do..." while Roxy walks up to give him refreshments or something. Dude. Seriously. "Vicki" doesn't sound much like "Roxy." Tread carefully.
His amplifier also provides female voices as accompaniment. "The first day we met, was my last day with you," he sings. Gosh that is so totally heavy. Way too heavy for me to understand it. "Vicki, oh Vicki," he sings while Roxy smiles lasers at him. Who is the real caveman again? Will this be brought up later in ironic contrast? Or what?
The song goes on and on and on, and then some more. It pretty much sucks but we get the whole thing. She frolics in the pool. He sings. The song blows. It does take running time, so perhaps there was a purpose after all.
Just then, Roxy takes a phone call. "Hello?" she asks. "Yes," she affirms. Tom goes toward her, sensing a plot development. I hope.
Well, it's been about a month since the above was written. This film is just too scintillating and it must have burned out the pleasure center in my brain. But after a loud cough, it came back. Anyway, I'm not going to rewatch it to see what happened before. We'll just roll with it.
So, Roxy was about to take a phone call. Tom goes with her to assist her with this. (Phones back in the 70's were very difficult to work. Or at least that's my guess.) She goes on: "Dad'll understand. Just one of those things." Okay. She then asks Tom if he knows where Deep Canyon is, and when he says "Yeah" she asks him if he's sure. He asserts he has been there "lots of times." She then hangs up and tells Tom (and us) that the helicopter pilot "blew a gasket" (in the helicopter, one hopes) and so he won't be able to pick Dad up. Tom natters that they'll take the dune buggy out instead. How many times has this dune buggy been mentioned? Well, wonder no more as we cut to footage of just this very thing vehicle driving along.
When they drive onto the sand, Roxy complains that "there's no road here" so Tom has to explain that this is "what the buggy was made for!" and they roar off onto the sand. We get a rockin' dune buggy tune to accompany this. And you know, Tom's dune buggy just looks like a regular car with no front or rear hood, but I'm no expert. Tom explains that his tires are filled with water so that he has more traction. They sure seem to be having fun and don't seem overly concerned with finding Gumby. Roxy in particular shrieks at the top of her lungs before noting that "come on, Dad's waiting." We then cut to the buggy sinking in a sand pit, but no matter; Tom's plan of just driving until they get out works. And they get to Deep Canyon. They note Gumby's absence but figure they might be early. Also, you know, Gumby's looking for a helicopter so there's that too.
They decide to sit it out for the long haul, as we next see them at night. "What do you suppose happened?" Roxy asks, to which Tom answers, "Nothing happened." Man, truer words were ne'er spoke. They banter for a while about why Gumby hasn't shown up yet, and Tom explains that he has bed rolls in the buggy because he always carries them. He also always takes a shotgun because of coyotes. She doesn't like the gun and the mood quickly deteriorates. Tom picks up his guitar--oh, that'll help--and starts playing.
Tom has the most magical guitar ever. He just barely brushes the strings and it sounds like a bass, xylophone, a whistle, and breathy female voices. And it's acoustic, too! Man, I guess this qualifies this film as "science fiction." Then piano and drums are added to the sound and Tom starts to sing, this time about "Valerie." We cut to Eegah walking along with his club and hearing this music. "Vitamins are good they say," Tom sings, "and so are calories; but I feel like a tiger on one kiss from Valerie." Roxy likes this song. Eegah wanders around looking for this magical thing he hears. Tom seems to put himself to sleep, though.
"Now who's Valerie," Roxy asks. "Now wouldn't you like to know," Tom rejoins. They both settle in for a night's rest in the desert. I'm not sure why. I forgot how long it takes to drive out there, and I'm not about to look it up, but it seems to me they could just go back to town and come back the next day. Oh wait, there wouldn't be a movie then. Sorry. Wait, what am I saying?
Roxy asks Tom if Gumby found the giant, or vice versa, and Tom opines how the giant probably lives up in the mountains, so "Nope" is his yawned response. They again try sleeping but Tom's radio suddenly blares out a jazzy tune. "Something's wrong with it," Tom states, slapping it to turn it off. "Sometimes a bump starts it off, and you gotta hit it again to stop it." Odd that he would choose to sleep right next to such a temperamental beast, but, heck, teenagers, right? Might need his pop fix at any hour.
Now, Eegah comes sneaking into the camp. He looks over everything, being really interested in the remains of the fire. Tom and Roxy are sound asleep. Eegah is, apparently, eating the remains of the fire. I mean, that's just what it looks like. He then hears Roxy moan (not Roxy Music) and gazes at her awhile. Then Tom's radio goes off, Eegah runs away, and Tom is instantly alert (and mad at his radio). Roxy notes that more of "the stew" has been eaten so I guess that's what Eegah was doing. Yum, campfire stew! I should make some of that, but instead I'm watching this movie.
You know, I'm just saying this so don't take my word for it, but boy is this film dull. And--yikes--we're not even a half-hour in yet!
Anyway, Roxy then sees Eegah's dropped club. The music tells us this is dramatic. Tom picks up the club and throws it about ten feet away. Roxy asks why he did that, and Tom says that if "he comes back for that club, we don't want to be anywhere around here." Uh, yeah. Ten feet away isn't anywhere near you, Tom. Just then a wolf howls. And then...
Well, I guess it's the next day, because they're driving the dune buggy again. Soon, they find Gumby's camera! "Are you sure?" asks Tom. "Well, I've borrowed it enough," Roxy insists. Despite the fact that they had a nocturnal visit, Tom thinks that Gumby dropped the camera, thus breaking it, and didn't pick it up because "it's broken, it's no good to him." Tom, you'll make detective in no time! But Roxy notes that the camera was insured, so that dashes your theory, Tom. "Let's try that extra V," Tom says. Um, sure. Teenagers and their lingo, I guess. They drive off.
They come to a fork in the road and Tom is going to climb the mountain. Roxy insists on coming with, to which Tom says, "Oh...women!" Tom persuades her to stay--using logic I can't quite follow (he can't take the buggy up the mountain, but if he hollers for her, she can drive it up there to meet him), he takes the gun and hikes up the mountain. Tom wanders. We see footage of a rattlesnake. Ooo. Roxy uses the buggy's mirror to comb her hair. Tom wanders. He hears the wind and looks up into the sky. A giant hand touches Roxy's shoulder, she screams briefly then faints. Tom wanders. As Eegah removes Roxy from the buggy, her head hits the horn and it blasts briefly, sending Tom back down the mountain. Too late, of course; she's gone.
We watch Eegah laboriously picking his steps up the mountain to his cave, where he deposits the fainted Roxy next to the injured Gumby. Eegah has a painting of a buffalo or something on the wall. As he moves the big stone door back into place, Gumby awakens and, noting his daughter, says, "Roxy" about a dozen times. She finally comes out of her stupor, they chatter a bit (turns out Gumby has a broken collar bone), then Eegah comes over to take a look. Gumby is quite insistent that Roxy is "mine" but Eegah seems to think ill of this arrangement. Eegah relents, but starts pawing her hair. She doesn't like this and recoils.
"Take it easy," Gumby says, "don't do anything to scare him."
"Me scare him?" Roxy reacts in disbelief. Ha ha ha, it's comedy you see. I think. Smells like someone tried it, anyway.
Gumby advises Roxy to smile, which she does. Turns out Eegah likes her perfume, so she tells him "smell all you want." Gumby asks, "What became of the others?" "What others?" "Keep smiling." They establish that Tom is still searching. Eegah starts searching for lice in Roxy's hair, which she doesn't like at all. Gumby tells Roxy that Eegah won't hurt her; Roxy points out that Eegah hurt Gumby, and Gumby asserts that he (Gumby) did that himself when he fell down on his own camera. She tells Gumby she's about to scream, and Gumby tells her to tell Eegah that she is hungry, even though she is not. So they mime this kind of stuff and Eegah gets the message that food is wanted. He nods that he understands and we get quick cuts of various mummified corpses, which made me think Eegah was a cannibal, but Gumby sets us all straight when he says that the corpses are Eegah's relatives. So it's like a burial ground and not a bar-b-q restaurant.
After a quick pan across the bodies--which have nice t-shirts, by the way--Roxy announces, "They're dead!" Wow, she's another detective! Gumby agrees, noting that they have been "for some time." He's a scientist, after all. Roxy wants to make a break for it, but it is Gumby, the scientist, who points out the scientific fact that there is a large rock blocking the entrance. "We'll think of something," he says to comfort her. He then says that Eegah is telling the corpses about Roxy. "He told them about me last night," he adds.
"Think how lonely he must be," Roxy states.
"I know whatever he is, he's a human being," Gumby says. Can you believe I typed that before I heard it? It's true! I have magical powers like that.
Eegah grunts and gestures at Roxy for the corpses' benefit. He then brings her closer, and she greets them in turn. "Well, that one looked like a very important ancestor," Gumby says about a corpse that still has wisps of gray hair. "Shake hands with him, Roxy!" And we cut to a skeletal hand. "Oh dad!"
She does greet them, though. "Pleased to meet you. And how are you feeling today? Oh, that's fine!" Eegah then chuckles and offers Roxy the bone he was burning in the fire. She's not sure about how tasty this will be. She bites into it, though, and he is pleased. Yay.
Back to Tom, he is wandering around. He sees a coyote nosing around and he...uh, wait, he doesn't see it, and it goes away. Wow, was that thrilling or what? Yeah, I'm thinking "or what" myself.
Back in the cave, Roxy is having a hard time choking down the meat on the bone that Eegah gave her. Gumby tells us that "Eegah" is the caveman's name. Gumby suggests to Eegah that maybe Roxy needs a drink...from the smoky fountain in the cave. Roxy thanks Gumby ironically as Eegah gets a bowl of smoky stuff for her to drink. "He won't hurt you if you're doing something," Gumby theorizes.
"A prehistoric gentleman, huh!" Roxy says, not sounding entirely convinced. Suddenly there's the sound of uncontrolled yawning but no one reacts to it, because it came from me and I'm not in the movie. I hope.
Roxy drinks the water and grimaces, saying, "This water won't make you strong, you have to be strong to drink it in the first place!" She downs it and signals to Eegah that she'd like to see the cave drawings. The show a guy with a deer, and another one shows a flying pig. Roxy, though, identifies as a drawing of her in her car. The music thinks this is important.
We cut briefly outside to see Tom yelling for Roxy. Then we cut back inside. Oh good. Roxy and Gumby speculate on the sulfur in the water and in the cave. Roxy complains about the taste, Gumby says it might be good for you, and speculates that all this sulfur is what has allowed Eegah to survive to the present day. There's a brief comparison of Eegah's chalk drawings to the caves in Lascaux, France, which is totally wrong but whatever. Whatever! Get on with it! Gumby speculates that Eegah is the last of his kind.
Eegah makes the bed for them and Gumby says "Here it comes." Eegah yawns at them to make his point. He then lies down to make a further point, while Roxy and Gumby look at each other uncomprehendingly. And we cut outside to see two horned toads mating. Man I hope that's not symbolism. Tom is asleep beneath a tree, and is awakened by the loudest bird ever. To "new day dawning" music he gets up and over to his car and drinks a bit of water. And he pours some on his head. And he stretches and stuff. Then he puts his gun away and gets in his car, and drives off.
Then Eegah emerges from his cave, while inside, Roxy and Gumby wake up. They think about escaping, but Eegah has put the rock door in place. Gumby's arm hurts, and Roxy notes, "It's got to be tied up or something, doesn't it?" Gumby tells Roxy to look for his bag, as he needs some aspirin from it. She searches for a while, finds it, and brings it to him, and gives him some ("two") aspirin and drinks water. Anent Gumby's arm, Roxy repeats, "It's got to be tied up or something, doesn't it?" She offers to give him a shave as that will make him feel better. "Okay," he says.
Good lord I'm not sure I can stand any more of these thrills.
Tom parks and runs up a hill. Back in the cave the shaving is underway. And we cut to Eegah marching along, carrying a dead bunny and some flowers. We pan back a long, long time to see Tom going in the wrong direction. At the cave entrance, Eegah is practically singing. A word about Eegah's "dialogue." He mutters and mumbles and stuff in a basso profundo almost constantly. He's like one of those drunks in the park, only taller and not as well dressed.
Inside, Roxy is shaving Gumby when they hear his approach. Gumby suggests that she leave when he distracts Eegah, before he can close the door, but Roxy says she won't leave Gumby. Eegah comes in and offers Roxy flowers. Gumby suggests that Roxy "make a production out of it," by humming or whistling. So she starts la-de-dahing as she continues the shave. Eegah is pretty interested by this. He grabs the razor-holding hand and seems to want a shave. Roxy almost pulls off Eegah's fake beard, but she starts to shave anyway (without any shaving cream. Eegah has a full, long beard. This is going to hurt). Actually, Gumby offers scissors so that will help.
Outside, Tom yells for Roxy while we see a Gila Monster. Back inside, Roxy has used shaving cream--whew.
I suppose it's churlish of me to suggest that she could cut his throat and we'd be done with the movie, but you know, boredom does things to a guy.
Eegah keeps trying to eat the shaving cream. More Tom footage, and he shoots into the air once. Back inside, Eegah is now a young and handsome clean-shaven Richard Kiel. She's even combed his hair in place. Gumby leadenly notes that she did a better job shaving Eegah than she did her own dad. (Everything Gumby says is in a flat, monotonous tone.) She shows him his reflection in a mirror and he's better looking than Tom. Roxy almost seems smitten. Eegah seems pretty smitten too, though he's mostly interested in perfume. He then rushes at her, and she says she's going to try and get him to move the rock. She smells the flowers and asks to be shown where he got them. He grabs them and tosses them aside and grabs her. "I guess you're right!" she says. Boy, nothing like a shave to bring out the old ardor, eh? She dazzles him briefly with her ring, then with a button off her shirt. When Eegah realizes the buttons come off, and moves to implement this knowledge, Roxy notes: "That was a mistake!" Eegah is getting more and more grabby until Roxy notes that her dad can see the both of them. She suggests moving the rock so they can go outside and, erm, continue this dance. He moves toward the stone...but instead picks up the club and prepares to brain Gumby! Well, Roxy doesn't like this. She eventually gets across the "outside" idea and they emerge into the sunlight. Gumby grabs his pith helmet and looks determined. Eegah manhandles Roxy against the mountain, while somewhere else, Tom looks clueless.
Eegah bares her shoulders and we cut to more of Tom looking clueless. The music is all romantic as Eegah stops groping her. He then turns to see Gumby casually strolling out of the cave. Yes, just sort of sauntering out with no attempt at hiding or stealth or whatever. Guess he figured Eegah would be too distracted raping Roxy to notice him. Eegah, enraged, flings Roxy aside and goes to Gumby, who strikes at Eegah with his travel bag. Tom hears Roxy scream and shoots at...something. Eegah notices this and stops beating on Gumby as Roxy faints again. Tom runs in the direction of...something. From how he dashes up a hill, there's no way he could see or shoot at anything from his position but whatever. He rounds the top of a hill and aims (presumably at Eegah) but lowers his gun, hesitant. What? Geez, Tom, for all you know both Roxy and Gumby are dead!
Eegah stoops over Roxy's prone form and picks up a strange jug-basket thing. Is this her purse? I don't remember it, but Eegah seems fascinated by it, as if he's never seen the like. He puts it on his arm, like a purse. Then he slings Roxy over his shoulder and goes off to, um, whatever. Tom sees that Gumby is all right, tells him the dune buggy is just down the canyon, and Gumby says. "I can do it, all right." Well, good for you then. Tom goes off to help Roxy while Gumby picks up his hat and his travel bag. We watch Tom track Eegah, but Eegah springs out from behind a rock, grabs Tom's gun and breaks it in half. Then he looms over Tom, but Tom pulls the old "Gilligan's Island" trick of dropping to all fours and running under Eegah's legs. Eegah just turns around, though. Tom punches Eegah in the stomach several times, and Eegah seems to really hate this, but then Eegah hauls off and smashes Tom in the head and Tom falls unmoving to the sand. If he's dead, maybe Eegah will kill Roxy and Gumby too and we can all go home.
No such luck, as Tom quickly revives and throws a rock at Eegah's stomach, which...knocks him unconscious. Wow, primitive man was sure different from us modern folk. Tom goes up to the awakening Roxy and they embrace. Tom tells her everything is all right and Gumby is waiting by the dune buggy. The run off, and we cut to where Eegah is recovering behind a boulder. His hand is all covered in blood for some reason.
Cut to Gumby, making sure that his travel bag is tied safely. He sees the other two. "Hi kids!" he waves. "Dad!" Roxy says, and she's carrying that weird purse-jug thing, so I guess it was her purse. Or she's stealing it. Anyway, Gumby's expression turns worried and he tells the two to run. They turn around and see that the circus is in town. No, actually they see Eegah in hot pursuit. If by hot pursuit one means standing on a mountain top and yelling. Then he starts running toward them.
Of course, Gumby can't start the car. Tom says "Let me!" and he gets it going. "I rigged it so no one could steal it," he explains, to which Roxy queries, "Out here?" Eegah is getting closer and closer. Instead of driving away from him, which a dune buggy should be able to do, they ride right at him and speed off over the sand. Of course, they get stuck trying to go up a couple of hillsides, but they keep changing the route. At the point where they clearly can't get up one hill, Tom tells his seated passengers, "Get in!" Um, get in what? College? Film school? All the while, natch, Eegah just keeps a-comin' and a-comin'.
He starts throwing rocks at them, grabs the back of the buggy but falls off, but they just can't seem to get away from him. He even throws a bigger rock which smashes on some even bigger rocks and causes a brief rockslide, but since the buggy is long past that area it doesn't do much except look impressive. For this film, anyway.
As they reach the highway and drive off, Eegah looks longingly at the departing Roxy...and she looks longingly back at him. Um, okay. Geez, Roxy, can you stop leading the poor troglodyte on? Stop being a tease. Really. Sorry to say this but we still have about thirty minutes to go. Crap.
Eegah sadly goes back to his cave, but these things hold no pleasures for him now. He washes his face in the sulfur water and talks to his ancestors. They offer no advice as he weeps. He picks up the perfumed scarf from earlier and offers it to the ancestors, but they can't smell it. It seems to give him a new determination, though, so after looking at the flying pig ("Oggsy" he says, which I guess is "Roxy") he stalks off into the cricket filled evening. "Eegah!" he yells over and over. He runs through the deepening desert night. For rather a while, until he finds the highway. He then runs until he find a house with a swimming pool. He drinks from it but spits it out. He doesn't like it. A dog barks at him, and he runs away, and then the dog runs away too.
A couple emerge from a house. She's angry and asks for the car keys, because he's drunk; he insists that he just had one. She pulls out the bottle he's hidden and throws it aside. Then she stalks off all angry. Sigh. He'll go for the bottle, see Eegah, and decide he'll never drink again because of this "hallucination." I'm just guessing, so let's see.
Yup, it all happened just like I thought except for the giving up booze forever bit. He goes to his wife, gives her the car keys and declares he's had enough. Then he collapses.
I think it was supposed to be funny.
Anyway, Eegah goes back to the road. This is artfully framed with bushes. He goes downtown and sees mannequins wearing dresses in a shop window. But he can't get through the glass. So he walks off. A car screeches somewhere, the film is too dark to tell where.
Back in a house, Gumby needs Roxy to tie his tie for him. She objects to the tie, specifically the color, but he reminds her that she gave him the tie. (He's wearing a white shirt so color shouldn't be an issue.) She then decides the tie is lovely. She wonders if he's well enough to go to this party, but he says that her "whole gang" will be there and she "can't avoid them forever." So her dad is going to a teenage party? Isn't that a bringdown?
Eegah finds a house and inside is a painted portrait of...Gumby! So he knows he's found the right house. Cave. Whatever. He's certainly assimilated a lot of data in a short time-span. Of course, he's thousands of years old (it is implied). On the other course, he's still a caveman after all that time.
Roxy wonders if they're doing the right thing, and Gumby thinks so. He says that if people knew there was a giant out there in the desert, a "whole army" would be out there tracking him down. (So I guess they're going to put out the story that Roxy imagined the whole thing.) There's a knock on the door, and Tom shows up, all pompadour'd up. "Hello Mr. Miller," he says politely, then turns to Roxy. "Wow de wow wow!" he salivates. Poor Gumby must wonder why his daughter is so attractive to cavemen. Roxy excuses herself. Tom asks Gumby if something is wrong.
He and Tom talk about how Roxy has to get over this thing with a caveman, how she has to get her mind off it. Gumby briefly corrects Tom's grammar ("Doesn't" for "don't"). Tom, though, mentions that tonight's "hop" will be swell, because his "combo" will be playing. And he then announces (when Roxy returns) that "I got my dad's wheels tonight!"
"Really!" Gumby yells. "Do they fit on your car?" You see, it is because of teen lingo. "Wheels" to Tom is a whole car, not just wheels, and...I need more to drink. BRB! Tom declares that Gumby is "funny" which is not the word I'd use but you know, whatever gets this real gone film gone for real, man. Bongos. As they all leave, Tom takes Roxy's hand and says, "Grrrrrr."
Outside, Eegah breaks the glass door and goes inside. He pokes around for a while, saying his own name over and over like a Pokemon, and showing fascination with the trappings of modern culture. He is baffled by a doorknob, but instead of trying to figure it out, he just bashes the door with his club. Well, that's one way isn't it. He walks into a room and is greeted by feminine screams; he walks back out and the door has a plate, "Women." Meaning, I guess, that it was a public restroom and that Eegah is not in the Gumby-Roxy private home, as I has suspected, but some other public place like a hotel...that just happens to have a portrait of Gumby on the wall. This is baffling to modern peoples as well as cavemen. Anyway, he walks on down the hall (like in that Doors song) and he peers over some cement bricks and sees some people in a restaurant, while a chef carves the roast beast. This is kind of interesting to him but not, I guess, as interesting as finding Roxy. So he keeps going down that hall. Oops, I guess he went back when none of us were looking, because he strides into the dining room, picks up the roast beast and chows down on it, much to the chagrin of the chef. The chef threatens Eegah with a forkful of meat. Which Eegah disdains, and the chef drops it. Ew, gross. As he moves toward the window, people scream, ask "What's he doing in here?" and suggest that someone "Call the police!"
Eegah walks outside and along the edge of the pool. He breaks up a couple necking, and the guy is all outraged. He asks if Eegah is from a costume party, and he acts more belligerent than a person should who is much, much shorter than Eegah. And who also, it should be noted, doesn't have a large club like Eegah does. When it is established that Eegah is "for real," Eegah throws the guy in the pool, and another guy too, while the police are called in the background. Someone laughs loudly. It might have been Eegah, who collects his club and leaves.
In a squad car, two cops listen as the radio announces that a "large man or giant" has "created [a] disturbance" so these two, after a 'Huh" type shrug, drive off to investigate.
And we cut to Tom and his combo singing a song. This time he has a sax player (in addition to a drummer and a pretty lively rhythm guitarist), but it still isn't something anyone would want to have on an iPod playlist. Even a caveman would reject these tunes. However, since the actor playing Tom is Arch Hall, Jr, and the film is directed by Arch Hall, Sr, I suspect we'll get the entire song. It seems to be called "The Empty Old House on the Brownsville Road" although it might be called anything. There's an invisible pianist somewhere. Maybe the sax player doubles on piano? Or it could be Tom's magic guitar again. The lyrics keep mentioning that no one lives on Brownsville Road, and the final line of the song is "Like, nobody lives there, dig?" I'm trying to give you the full, rich treatment of "Eegah" so you can feel its world all around you. So stop hating me for it.
Gumby sees Roxy off by herself and tells her, "No, I don't, I agree with you 100%, but perhaps we should be a little more discrete about it."
"What on earth are you talking about?" Roxy asks, acting as an audience surrogate.
"Getting as far as possible away from that music," he says, pointing at the stage. "It's a good idea, but we're guests here!"
Roxy demurs, saying that the music isn't the problem. (Speak for yourself, sister.) "I could listen to Tom sing by the hour."
"And you have," Gumby says. Sure feels that way to me, too.
Roxy says she just wanted some fresh air, "that's all" and Gumby asks, "Is it, honey?" "No," she admits. "Dad, I've got the funniest feeling," she says, and Gumby says, "What is it?" She says that she just knows something has happened to Eegah. "The giant...or whatever he is," she clarifies. Gumby declares that Roxy is getting to be more like her mom everyday, because "every living thing was her personal concern" and "she worried about them."
As Gumby ducks out of sight, Roxy admits it's more than worry, but isn't quite sure what it is. Gumby postulates that Roxy can't get Eegah out of her mind. And we see Eegah running along some more store windows. Romantic music plays.
"That's my job for about two more years," we cut to Gumby saying, "if I can hold onto you that long, Then," he continues as we cut to Tom, "it'll be up to somebody else. Maybe," he nods at the approaching Tom, "him, huh?"
Tom arrives, having wondered where Roxy was, and he mentions how he was "belting out a tune" just for Roxy. You mean the one about how no one lives on Brownsville Road? Or maybe one with another girl's name? Damn, Tom, you are a creep. Gumby says, though, that they "could hear every word. I said 'hear,' not 'understand.'" "You're funny, Mr. Miller. Really funny." He requests a dance from Roxy. A police siren wails. I'm sure everyone hides their pot. Roxy notes the sirens, but Tom suggests it was his sax player.
Eegah menaces a couple of women who leave their hotel room. But he doesn't hurt them. He menaces another guy, who says (I think) something about gold. No, it is not gold. It isn't even brass. It's more like paper mache, but not the entertaining kind. Eegah goes upstairs. The guy and the menaced ladies follow Eegah. I'm not sure why, except perhaps that their lives were dull and horrible, like the film they found themselves trapped in, and they would welcome death at the hands of a caveman.
The police pull into a cul-de-sac, then back up and drive away. Eegah observes this. They park near the hotel and run up the stairs, but Eegah leaps down and runs away. One cop draws a bead on Eegah, but is told, "Don't shoot, Charlie!" So he doesn't. So, if you're playing Trivial Pursuit and the question is, "What is the name of the police officer who almost shoots Eegah in the film of the same name?"
...well, you've died and gone to Hell, sorry, but at least you can answer "Charlie" now, with your head held high (above the burning pitch).
Back at the party, Roxy is dancing up a storm. Or at least a flurry. Tom and his combo are playing an instrumental. Tom hands his guitar to a surrogate who fills in. The rhythm guitarist also hands his axe to a surrogate.
"If I didn't know they were dancing, I'd swear this was a fight," Gumby notes to another old person, who asks him to repeat this bold assertion. Gumby does, and the old person says, "That boy is a good dancer." Gumby looks bemused. Old Guy gives a "let's get drunk" sign to Gumby, who agrees and they leave the area. Rhythm Guitar looks longingly at Roxy and prepares to cut in. Rhythm Guitar, you are a derp. And about to be dropped from the band.
And where the heck is Eegah? Well, just as Rhythm Guitar starts getting really familiar with Roxy, he pokes his head over the wall and observes the goings on. Rhythm Guitar announces, "I'm gonna get you!" and Tom answers, "Knock it off, she's my girl!" and fisticuffs ensue. Eegah observes this. He then decides to crash this party as the cops arrive.
Tom manfully goes to bat for Homo Sapiens, but Eegah brushes him aside. Others attempt to fight Eegah with results equally dire for our modern times, i.e., they get bonked by a caveman. "Eegah, Eegah!" Roxy yells. Predictably, he goes to her and picks her up, just when the police find the gate. "Halt or I'll fire!" they yell. Eegah dutifully puts Roxy down, and she screams "No, no!" as shots are fired.
He picks up a swimming pool ladder and attempts to attack, but the bullets take their toll and he falls into the pool. Tom looks sad. Roxy looks sad. Gumby and Old Guy looks sad, as the soundtrack sounds sad. "Poor devil," Gumby says, and everyone crowds around the pool's edge to take a look at the floating corpse.
As Roxy and Tom embrace, we hear voices. "Remember, I love you." "Where did he come from?" "Does he real?" [sic] "Who is he?"
"Yes, he was real," Gumby says in voice-over as we see the club float away, and the perfume scarf sink. "It says so, in the Book of Genesis. There were giants in the Earth, in those days. Chapter four, verse thirty-two."
And we get the "The End" card, and our cast. Arch Hall Jr as Tom, Marilyn Manning as Roxy, Richard Kiel as Eegah, and "William Watters" as Gumby. The "With" credit is Clay Stearns, Addalyn Pollitt, Bob Davis, William Lloyd, Deke Lussier, Ray Steckler, Ron Shane, Bill Rice. And some more credits, but because I am long past caring, I refuse to care. If you really want to know where this was filmed, rent this and SUFFER AS I HAVE. I mean, cough, see for yourself! Ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha ha. Ha. (Silence.)
Well, that was...something. I'm not exactly sure what. It really looked as if someone went to the trouble of renting cameras and stuff to make a movie, and got some friends together for actors, and on the first day of shooting, everyone remembered that they'd forgotten to write a script. "Oh, just make up stuff while I think up something," the director would have said, then called random numbers on the phone until Richard Kiel answered. "Hey, can you play a caveman in our movie? We can pay you in hot dogs." I'm sure Richard Kiel would have hung up on the guy, though, unless he was naturally kind-hearted and thought this would be a good deed he could put in the "Good Deeds" column.
So the director would drive up to Richard Kiel's house and bring him to the set. When they arrived, the other folks would say, "Hey, we shot some movie of a guy singing mediocre songs, and the same guy has a dune buggy we can film!" And everyone would be happy because they'd have some footage and the whole day wouldn't have been wasted. Then they'd all have hot dogs and a pool party.
Eegah, I suspect has something of a cult reputation, especially among aficionados of bad movies. Like most bad movies, it's far more entertaining to discuss the film than it is to actually watch it. While there was some "care" and "thought" taken with the concept of Eegah (particularly in the cave sequence, probably the best stuff here), a lot of the rest of the film seemed random and disorganized. Honestly and truly like they just made it up as they went along.
This doesn't seem to smack of a failure of budget, although it's clear that not a lot of money was spent on the film. "Low-budget" doesn't have to mean "bad." Look at Night of the Living Dead, or Dark Star. No, I don't think any amount of money would have helped this film to be better than it is (though the photography and sound recording might be less bland). Night of the Living Dead and Dark Star were made by people who wanted to tell a story, and used the resources they had to their best advantage. I don't think the makers of Eegah used what they had well, because they lacked any real coherent story-telling ability. There just wasn't the talent there to take these elements and turn them into a story. I don't think more money would have helped, though the hot dogs might have been better quality, and more kinds of relish maybe.
Overall, this isn't really a film to see, it's a film to make fun of. It seems to have been a popular Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode, so the pioneering has already been done. If you want to watch it, well, you can't really watch it, just sort of "last through" it to the end. Alcohol helps, though if you must drink, be kind and rewind.
So, to sum up: Eegah!