Eegah the movie is disgusting, repulsive, off-putting, and unpleasant.
Eegah the episode? God-tier.
I think the episode succeeds because it slams down HARD against the movie: the dad being an absolute goober and a capitulator, Eegah being a big ol’ creep, and Tom and Roxy being the King and Queen of the Unappealing Irritant Dance.
Like… compare with The Magic Voyage of Sinbad, the previous episode. It’s a top-ten installment in my book, but it doesn’t feel like they hated that movie. The fun came from the riffs trying to out-outlandish an outlandish movie (and that’s a LOT of outlandishness).
With Eegah, it’s different. That movie is a towering pile of yeesh, blech, and oof all across the board. Here, you NEED the guys to rail against all the unlikable elements of the movies. The dumbass songs? The SOL crew hangs tight in adding their own lyrics, pointing out the stupidity of the lyrics that ARE these, distracting you from the song by landing other observational blows, or just chiming in with a half-hearted and resigned “Tequila.”
The characters/actors? Absolutely taken to task for their questionable deliveries and screen presence, with gold comments about Tom being a “Cabbage Patch Elvis” and “a cyst with teeth and hair,” Roxy getting roasted for whiny lines (Crow’s “It’s a big difference” as Roxy as me howling), the dad taking a drubbing for being “a victim of his own fashion sense” and being a generally awful guy in the cave, and Eegah’s… well, Eegahness (love Joel’s “I won’t do THAT again!” as Tom runs under Eegah’s legs).
Nothing escapes unsavaged: not the cinematography, not the periphery characters, not the laughable action, not the stock footage, not the oven in the living room, not the Rick Astley-looking jerk who tries to steal Roxy from Tom, not even the “WTF WAS THAT” post-production decision to include the offscreen warning “WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES!”
(Can I just say how I love that “WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES” became a rallying cry and a running gag to the point that an entire MST3K live tour was named after that line?)
The point is, there’s a catharsis factor at work with the guys clobbering this movie, and it feels like the intersection of the MST3K cleverness and the writing team’s willingness to lash out at this movie is a hilarious one.
I’ve seen this episode a bunch of times, and I still get a kick out of the gang kicking this movie. Eegah the movie is not a pleasant or relaxing experience by any means of the imagination, but Eegah the episode is something that’s perfect for kicking back.
Brilliant and cathartic. We honk because we love Eegah as an episode, certainly not as a movie.