The Name Written in Blood!
Yes, you know my reputation. I always try to point out the very best way for you to spend your entertainment dollars. Let me introduce you to Eegah. That's him up above, portrayed by the brilliant actor Richard Kiel. Richard Kiel, you know him, he went on to play a lot of 'tall' parts. At the pinnacle of his career, he played the tall bad guy 'Jaws' in one of those James Bond movies. In Eegah!, he portrays one sweet natured heart throb of a prehistoric caveman who can't help falling in love.
I don't even know where to begin with this one. The plot? Well, you see, there's this caveman and he lives on top of Black Mountain. The professor is relatively convinced that this is probably the last cave man alive, but screw the professor, he just gets in the way of the action.
Much more important is the perky teenage girl known as Roxy, played by the semi-beautiful Marylyn Manning, who is at least forty in her starring turn as a sixteen year old air-head.. (According to my research, Marilyn may be the only actress to ever appear in a motion picture who does not have a fan site somewhere on the web. Sorry, but here's a picture of her running in terror.)
The contrast is made all the more startling by her co-star, Arch Hall Jr., who looks all of fourteen. Arch was not what you would call a rock&roll sensation in 1962, nor in any other year. His music is truly horrifying, much more so than Eegah! the Caveman. This was Hall's third portrayal of a swinging rock&riller in as many years. How could this have happened?
Perhaps it's because all three pictures were directed by Arch Hall Sr., who thought Junior was going to be the next Frankie Avalon. Are you frightened yet? (I haven't been able to verify it, but I have a very creepy feeling that Marilyn was Arch Hall Senior's wife or girl friend. How's that for adding a spot of perverse subtext to the flick).
And then there's Eegah! Big dude, that Eegah! Eegah!, who is so named because, as the professor notes, 'that's what he says the most'. Eegah! chase dune buggy. Eegah! bonk professor and put him in cave. Eegah! growl and carry big club. Eegah! kidnap girl. Eegah! get major love jones. And in one classic scene, Eegah! gets a shave. See how nice he looks once you clean him up?
Poor Eegah!, in spite of being about eight feet tall and strong enough to toss boulders, all he's able to do with Marilyn is get her blouse halfway off. And then everybody escapes and there are some more dune buggy chases. In the end, Eegah! must leave Black Mountain and track down Marilyn at a suburban pool party where the rockin combo in service is led by Arch Hall Jr. And at that point, of course, death becomes it's own reward.
©2003, M Hoback