Eegah (1962) (part 2 of 3)
As the sun sets, Roxy and Tom discuss Robert’s whereabouts. Tom says Robert will see their campfire and come any minute, while Roxy points out he said that two hours ago. I’m a little confused about this, as there is no fire or remains of one in sight. Tom takes out a shotgun for protection from coyotes, but Roxy demands he put it away so he doesn’t accidentally shoot Robert. (This is just as irritating as when she demanded everyone believe her story about Eegah just because she said it was the truth.) However, Tom has to do something to fend off predators, so he takes out his guitar as they bed down. Assisted once again by invisible backup singers, he sings about a girl named Valerie. There is a least one part in this song where Arch, Jr.’s lips are clearly not matching up with the lyrics. Anyway, we see Eegah coming to investigate, clearly wanting to destroy whatever is responsible for such terrible music. Once the song ends, Roxy asks about Valerie. Tom’s response? “Well, now, wouldn’t you like to know?” Amazingly, Roxy refrains from belting him. Suddenly, some loud music starts up, and Tom explains that his transistor radio sometimes turns itself on when he bumps it. Well, I recommend not sleeping with it in your pocket, then. Instead, he puts it back in his pocket and lies on top of it. Eegah finally arrives, but he’s scared off when the radio comes on again. Roxy wakes up, but somehow doesn’t see him running away. She and Tom notice his club, and Tom says that they should move out of the area in case Eegah comes back for it.
When the next scene starts, however, we see that they’ve decided to wait until daylight to find a new camping spot. We get more dune buggy footage, but this time with no music. Roxy finds Robert’s broken camera and assumes the worst. So Eegah took the camera bag (which is nowhere to be seen and we later see Robert with), but not the camera itself? Whatever. They come to a narrow pass, and Tom decides to go up the hill to see if the buggy can make it through. Roxy insists on going with him, but Tom convinces her to stay. This girl is getting on my nerves more and more in every scene. Tom asks her to toss him his shotgun, even though he’s only two feet away from it. To my disappointment, it fails to go off. As Tom searches, we get the first of many pointless shots of animals in the desert, this one of a snake. I wonder if this was put in to justify the “Watch out for snakes” line, which is the thing most people remember when they think of this movie. Anyway, Tom quickly gets on the job of looking for a way through the pass by looking straight up [?]. Meanwhile, Eegah sneaks up on Roxy, and she faints at the sight of him again, so Eegah decides to pick her up and take her away. Apparently Eegah has a thing for carrying cases, since he takes her purse with him. Somehow, the horn sounds while he drags Roxy out of the car, causing Tom to come running. Eegah and Roxy disappear, leading to the first of many shouts of “Roxy!” that will be Tom’s only lines for the next half hour or so. As long as we don’t have to hear him sing, that’s fine with me.
In a cave, we see Robert with a sling on his arm. Somehow, I think he’d be a little less hurt, since he only fell onto sand. Eegah enters, drags a stone to the far wall, and puts the unconscious Roxy next to Robert. Hilariously, all it takes is a few mentions of her name for Roxy to immediately snap into conciousness and become wide awake. She asks Robert if he’s hurt (like the sling isn’t enough of a clue). She seems to be leaning on his broken arm throughout this whole scene, yet he doesn’t say anything about it. Eegah comes over and starts “investigating” her. Roxy squeals some more while Robert urges her to submit to Eegah’s fondling so that he doesn’t kill them. When Eegah gets a little more aggressive, she falls over and has to endure the rest of his pawing while draped sensuously across her father’s lap. This whole scene is just wrong in too many ways to mention. Robert suggests she escape this unpleasantness by telling Eegah she’s hungry. When she resists the idea, he says, “Think of the alternative.” That gets her attention and she very matter-of-factly says, “I’m hungry.”
Before he makes her breakfast, Eegah introduces Roxy to the mummified corpses from the opening credits (sans titles). He babbles to them for a while and then prepares some food, which appears to be a meat-free femur. As he rolls it around in the fire, Robert tells Roxy that running won’t work, because the entrance to the cave is blocked by the big rock Eegah was dragging earlier. Okay, so wouldn’t their air run out after a while, expecially with a fire in the cave? In any event, Eegah introduces Roxy to the bodies in one of the most awkward “meeting the family” scenes ever made. She stumbles through some “How do you do”s (literally) and then Robert suggests she shake hands with one of them. The whole relationship between Roxy and Robert, starting with this scene, is just not right. After this movie was featured on the late, great Mystery Science Theater 3000, there was some speculation by MiSTies that Manning and Arch, Sr. were really off-screen lovers. All evidence on display seems to bear this out.
After some superfluous shots of a coyote, we’re back in the cave at dinnertime. Roxy complains about the food, while somehow gaining a hint of a hick accent. Robert calls Eegah by his name for the first time, saying it might be his name because it’s the word he says most often. I’m no anthropologist, but I don’t think that’s how it works. Still, Eegah seems to respond to it, so let’s move on. Robert makes a drinking motion, and Eegah complies with a stone cup full of sulphrous water. Robert tells Roxy not to upset him, so she gags down a sip and calls Eegah a “prehistoric gentleman”. Since she says this before the scene where they figure out he’s a relic caveman, I suspect some scene swapping was done. Roxy gets out of having to drink more by pointing to drawings on the wall. She says “Believe it or not, Dad, I’m going to look at his etchings!” in a very sensual tone that just disturbs me. One wall has trees, hunters, and deer, but my eye is immediately drawn to a rather noticeable cloth-like ripple in the “stone”. On another wall with even more ripples, Roxy sees a picture of a stick figure in a car. She somehow figures out that it’s a picture of her, despite the fact that there are no facial features and only three lines behind the head to indicate long hair.
Tom, meanwhile, is out in the desert calling out for Roxy while just standing in one place. We cut back to Roxy and Robert discussing the drawings. Roxy notes their resemblance to what she saw in a cave in France once, then she chirps like a bird. (What is it with all the animal noises this girl is making?) Robert then pronounces that “from the condition of the shrouds”, Eegah’s family died one hundred years ago. When did he become Richard Leaky? Also, I think Eegah would have made a few more drawings if he’d been here that long. Eegah then lays out a bed, and tries to get Roxy to sleep with him. He does this by pointing to the bed and yawning. This idiocy goes on for a while, until Eegah finally gives up.
Here we get one of the most bizarre, superfluous, and sleazy shots ever put on film. Two lizards are going at it, and I don’t mean fighting. Meanwhile, Tom wakes up, drinks some water, and heads off in his dune buggy. This is another scene that keeps going long after its point (if any) is made. Back in the cave, Roxy is given a rude awakening by her father. Robert asks her to fetch his man-purse, and it somehow takes her more than a few seconds to find it in this small cave with no hiding places. When she finds it, Robert asks for asprin, weakly coughing a couple of times to convince us that he’s sick. They provide some “humorous” role-reversal banter, then Roxy offers to give him a shave. Yes, you read that correctly. Now I just want to warn you, this coming scene is one of the most icky, disgusting things in the history of cinema, so you might not want to read any further. Still with us? Okay.
Roxy covers Robert’s face with shaving cream (almost getting some in his eyes) and shaves away. After some foolishness with Tom running around, Eegah returns to the cave with flowers. Robert’s face goes from being almost done in one shot to just starting in the next. Also, he tells Roxy that Eegah has “had time to think about you.” Okay, a little too much information there. At Robert’s advice, Roxy starts singing Strauss. Eegah takes an interest, then seizes the razor and indicates he wants a shave, too. Arch, Sr., you will roast in hell for this. After trying to take his huge beard off with her tiny razor, Robert finally hands her some scissors and she starts in earnest. Outside, Tom continues calling for Roxy in shots intercut with stock footage of a Gila monster. Meanwhile, Eegah’s beard is now off, and Roxy’s working on the stubble. Eegah squirts his forehead with some shaving cream. Then, in the scene’s climax, Kiel proves his tongue is in proportion with the rest of his body when he licks some of the cream off. I feel like I need a shower after writing this; Imagine what actually watching it can do. (Or, rather, don’t, if you want to maintain your sanity.)
After a brief shot of Tom usefully shooting his gun in the air, we cut back to the cave, where Eegah’s face (and chest) are now totally bare. By the way, did you notice how pointless these interludes with Tom are? I get the distinct impression that Arch Sr. just wanted his son to have more screen time. Eegah looks in a compact (Robert carries one of these in his purse?) and growls at his reflection. Then, he takes Roxy aside and starts up with the fondling again. Roxy lets him smell her scarf, but he’s not going to be sent away so easily this time. Coming straight off the shaving scene, this is nothing less than sheer torture. Roxy then tells him the flowers smell good, but he throws them away, too. Somehow, I don’t think smells will work this time, Roxy. She gives him her ring, but it predictably doesn’t satisfy him, either. Robert’s advice? “Give him something else.” What a great dad, huh? Roxy pulls off one of her buttons and hands it to Eegah, which is not such a good idea, because it inspires him to start pulling off the rest. She finally gets a good idea and asks if they can do this outside, since Robert can see them if they stay in the cave. Eegah almost bashes Robert’s head in, but is stopped by Roxy saying “outside” even more sensually than how she talked about his drawings.