506. Eegah (1962)

After surviving The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), I leapt to one of my favorite episodes. 506. Eegah (1962). Also on the shortlist of MST’s greatest offenders. Irony is this is so much a pleasure compared to Fu Manchu. Why is Eegah easier to go down compared to Manos (1966) or The Creeping Terror (1964)? Is it the genre, Richard Kiel, or the endless singing? Maybe the sitcom writing that disguises the truth? Where did you first see it and where does it rank in MST Deep Hurting?

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Eegah’s a terrible film, but a great episode. It’s got enough interesting elements to make it so-bad-it’s-good, and the riffing builds on that. The characters are bad, but at least they have some character, and Richard Kiel always has a lot of screen presence. The story is simple and you can follow it, which puts it ahead of lot of bad films. The weird stuff like the dune buggy tires, pretty much everything that happens in Eegah’s cave, the songs; it all feeds the riffing process. There’s always something happening to have fun with.

Oh, and watch out for snakes.

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sorry that I missed the Watch Out For Snakes tour…would have been nice to witness a new riff

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I honestly have a harder time watching this than Fu Manchu. The creepy, drawn-out shaving scene and creepy Dad basically offering up his own daughter to the caveman. BLECCHHH!!! Those segments by themselves feel like they drag on for a couple of hours. Junior’s mediocre singing and lack of a personality are in fact the easiest things in the film to deal with.

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One of the greatest riffs from that tour was a Creed reference. “With Arms Wide Open!!!” to this scene where Kiel’s hands are in the air.

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The film oddly feels like a bit of a precursor to After Earth, with Arch Hall Sr. being so determined to make his son a movie star that he’s thrust into a role he doesn’t fit at all and is clearly struggling with (Arch Jr. reportedly became friends with Joel after this episode aired and acknowledged he should never have tried this kind of “teen heartthrob singer” role, and indeed one of his few other acting roles is a sadistic murderer in the film The Sadist, where he comes off much better).

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I didn’t get to go to the tour, but I did order a copy of the show script to check out the new riffs!

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Eegah: From Stage to Page: Mystery Science Theater 3000 Movie Transcript, Riff & Sketch Script

Jonah sung it. I believe.

Are there Arch Hall Jr movies worth checking out? Besides Eegah (1962)? Joe Dante is a fan of The Sadist (1963). From what I hear, Arch plays a convincing psychopath.

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Just rewatched The Spy Who Loved Me. Richard Kiel is so good in that! He just had that thing, where the camera loved him!

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The X Factor. He definitely did. Whatever he emoted onscreen, the camera amplified.

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The Mads riffed another Arch Hall Jr. vehicle, The Choppers, last year. It’s currently on sale.

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Yeah, that’s just…I think we’re supposed to assume that the giant prehistoric man isn’t going to do anything untoward, that he’s kind of a lovable oath, really a sensitive sort at heart.

I mean, otherwise that whole scene is low-key horrifying.

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Kiel was also in the Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor film Silver Streak, a comedy thriller that perfectly succeeds in both genres. And funnily enough, despite this film being made before he was Jaws, you’d swear he was hired as a spoof of the role as he has horrible dental work for no reason at all.

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He might have gotten the part based on his recurring role as “Moose Moran” in the (I’m not making this up) William Shatner/Doug McClure vehicle “Barbary Coast”.

(This should probably go in the Forgotten tv Shows thread, too.)

Here we see The Shat has had just about enough of Mr. McClure’s shenanigans:

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I am torn, in my mind this show is epic, but the reality is probably far short.

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The pedigree is pretty good (writers/directors from the Twilight Zone, Maverick, Mission: Impossible, Kolchak) and it has a solid 6.8 on IMDB.

So maybe not far short.

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The enduring When Hell Started skit.

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Morphing Joel into Arch Hall Jr.

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