May 29, 2018
Eegah (1962) (part 3 of 3)
Once they get outside, Eegah starts forcing himself on Roxy, and it’s milked for all it’s worth. Arch, Sr. just does not know when to quit, does he? Robert wanders outside, and Eegah pushes Roxy to the ground, despite his supposed fondness for her. He easily does the same to Robert, but just then Tom finally appears. Tom responds to the tableau before him by… shooting over Eegah’s head and running away [!]. Eegah carries Roxy off as Tom does a very spazzy run down a hill to rescue Robert. Tom sends Robert to the dune buggy, and Robert seems clearly glad to let Tom do all the work when it comes to rescuing Roxy.
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After Tom does some more running around, Eegah jumps out from behind a rock and breaks Tom’s gun in two. (The same shot of Tom looking scared is clearly used twice.) Tom ineffectively jabs him in the stomach a few times before Eegah easily lays him out with one punch. Tom quickly gets up and throws a rock at Eegah, which somehow makes him fall down another hill. As Tom and Roxy run for it, Eegah gets up, bleeding quite a bit more than I would have expected.
Robert is busy tying down his man-purse to the dune buggy when he notices Tom and Roxy heading his way. Suddenly he yells, “Run, kids! Run!” in a voice that has that distinct “recorded in post-production” sound to it. As Eegah runs toward them, Robert tries and fails to get the dune buggy started. Tom tinkers with the engine, explaining that he disabled the dune buggy because he didn’t want anyone stealing it. Uh, you’re in a desert. I don’t think there’s much danger of that.
Once the buggy gets started, they immediately drive towards Eegah. I’d elect to go away from him myself, but what do I know? This develops into an all-out chase scene with some extremely inappropriate sitcom music playing behind it. Eegah utilizes his Jason Voorhees Unreality Engine™ to teleport to exactly where he needs to be to fail at stopping the buggy. Near the end of the chase, he throws a rock down a cliff that doesn’t even come close to hitting them. Once they’re in the clear, Tom calls back, “So long, high pockets!” Okay, now what exactly was that line about?
This seems like a perfect place to end the movie, but as I glance at my clock I see we have another half hour to go. Eep. Eegah returns to his cave, mopes around a bit, yells at his corpse family, and heads back into town. Now we get another lame comic relief scene. Eegah drinks out of a backyard pool and spits out the chlorinated water. He’s not a very fast learner, as he does this two more times. Nearby, a rather drunk man tries to tell his wife he can drive, then he stumbles into his backyard where he sees Eegah. He goes back to his wife and promptly surrenders the keys, then does a pratfall. Man, how inappropriate is this scene in retrospect? It suddenly gets dark (as acid flashbacks of Plan 9 from Outer Space kick in) as Eegah walks into town and gets hot and bothered over a mannequin for a while. If he lived this close to town, how come he hasn’t checked it out before?
At Robert and Roxy’s apartment (which we notice has an oven in the living room), Robert is having trouble putting his tie on with one hand. Roxy says it’s ugly, and Robert reminds her that she gave it to him for Christmas. This made me laugh, but only because it’s stolen almost word for word from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. How I wish I were watching that movie right now!
Moving on, Roxy and Robert exposit about how they aren’t going to tell anyone about Eegah. Robert says the government would hunt him down. Roxy says, “No, they wouldn’t. We wouldn’t let them!” And the annoyance starts up again. Tom comes in, looks Roxy over, then says one of the most genius lines in film history: “Wow zee wow wow!” Roxy actually goes out with someone that talks like that? It’s even worse than Annie Hall‘s “La dee dah”. How I wish I were watching that movie, too! Tom says to Robert, “Is anything wrong?” I’ll say. They have a little conversation in which the camera never moves from a close-up of Tom’s face. As the trio head off to some party (where Tom’s performing with a “combo that really swings”), Robert makes a lame remark about “hip” talk and Tom growls at Roxy. By the way, it was in this scene that I first noticed Roxy doesn’t seem to have a mother. This is never explained. Very sloppy writing, Mr. Hall.
Eegah breaks in through a window and comes into the apartment. Apparently Arch, Sr. couldn’t afford to break any glass, as there clearly isn’t any in the window. Eegah is fixated by the living room oven for a while, then he leaves. Out in the hall, he immediately wanders into the womens’ bathroom, to the shrieks of about fifty women. He manages to find his way to a buffet table, which has nothing but meat on it. He then picks up a whole slab of beef and bites it, causing the cook to offer him a forkful of a smaller piece. Well, that’s what it looks like to me. The people just a few feet away don’t notice Eegah until he’s right in their midst, at which point they do some hilariously bad acting as they react to him. Eegah then heads outside, interrupting a necking couple. The man wants to pick a fight, until the woman tells him that Eegah is “Miller’s giant.” Hmm, word sure spreads fast in this town, especially considering Robert and Roxy were agreeing in the previous scene that they weren’t going to tell anyone about Eegah. Eegah throws a couple guys in a pool, and the scene ends with an unrelated shot of a guy jumping over a fence.
Two generic cops hear a report on their radio about a “large man or giant”. After the cop who’s driving fumbles with the keys for a while, they drive off. We next find ourselves at a party, where Tom is singing again. Now, at least he does have an actual band backing him up this time, but this song is undoubtedly the most nauseating one in the movie. Robert finds Roxy standing alone, and asks her what’s wrong. She says she’s worried about “Eegah, the giant”, in case there was any confusion about which Eegah she referring to. This conversation is intercut with Eegah running through a strip mall in shots that are very reminiscent of The Third Man, which is yet another movie I wish I were watching. Tom comes over and tells Roxy he was singing something just for her. That’s rather odd, because the song didn’t mention some other girl’s name. Robert gets in another dig with “We could hear every word. I said hear, not understand.” There is absolutely no pause between the two sentences, so any comedic value is diminished somewhat. Then there’s a very distinct siren noise, which Tom attributes to the “leaky saxophone” that belongs to “Dino”. Now if there’s a guy named Dino in the band, why doesn’t Tom have a funky name himself? Oh, never mind. I gave up trying to understand this movie an hour ago.
Eegah finds himself at what is clearly a different building than the one he was at before, yet the two cops immediately know to find him there. The cops leave two old women to fend for themselves, right before Eegah immediately teleports from a balcony to right in front of the women. He walks off again. One cop tells the other, who is suddenly up on the balcony, not to shoot. I’d ask why, but like I said, I gave up.
At the party, Roxy shows off her torso to a rather lifeless version of “Tequila”. Tom, who thankfully is not singing but only playing guitar, walks out on his own song to dance with her. Another guy who apparently is just waiting in the wings takes Tom’s guitar and continues playing. Seeing this, the bass player also walks away, and some other guy takes up his part. Do all the band members have these tag team partners? Tom and Roxy dance while Robert talks with some other old guy who is (I guess) Tom’s dad. We cut to Eegah struggling to get over the wall surrounding the backyard where this party is taking place. The bass player starts dancing with Roxy, but Tom gets her back by the time the song ends. This prompts the bass player to punch Tom in the face, and the two brawl a little. Okay, I promised myself I wouldn’t use any strong language in this recap, but WHAT THE #@$%(& IS GOING ON?!?!? Maybe if there was even one iota of effort to set up a rivalry between these two guys over Roxy beforehand, this would have made sense. However, so far Tom’s biggest competitor has been Eegah. Speaking of which, Eeagh finally makes it over the wall and breaks up the fight. Everyone reacts a little too late, resulting in the bass player saying to Tom, “I’m gonna smack—” and stopping right there while continuing to fight.
Eegah shoves some random guys aside, then picks up Roxy again. The cops arrive, both wearing (unintentionally) comical hats. They shoot Eegah a few times, after which Roxy cries, “Don’t shoot!” In any event, the bullets seem to have no effect, as Eegah simply picks up the pool’s ladder [!] and begins to advance towards them. They shoot some more, and for some reason this time the bullets kill Eegah, and he falls face down in the pool, a lá the guy in Sunset Blvd. Hey, what do you know, another movie that—Well, you know the rest.
Here we’re treated to a couple more sickening close-ups of Tom’s face, then Tom tells Roxy, “Remember, I love you,” without moving his lips. Everyone looks in the pool, where Eegah has apparently vanished, leaving only his club and Roxy’s scarf. An offscreen voice asks, “Is he real?” Robert voiceovers that, yes, in fact, he was real, again citing the Bible quote from the beginning. I’d think actually seeing Eegah walking around would be enough to convince me. And on that extremely incompetent note, we end.