Thursday, December 4, 2008

Arch Hall JR experiences

Tuesday Dec 2nd was Arch Hall Jr's birthday! To the majority who don't remember, Arch Hall Jr. (pictured here) was a somewhat squishy-faced young man who appeared in several low-budget independent pictures, which coincidentally were produced by his father, Arch Hall Sr. His titles include movies like "Wild Guitar", "The Nasty Rabbit", and my personal favorite "Eegah". "Eegah" starred Arch Hall as well as noted giant actor Richard Kiel, whom I met at the Monster Bash in Pennsylvania two years ago. It's an odd little film with earnest amateur acting and some reedy singing by Arch (he tends to croon to someone named "Valerie" though his girlfriend in the movie is named "Roxy"). Arch also like to say "Wowee wow wow" in this film, adding to it's charm.

The plot has to do with the discovery of a caveman (Kiel) who mysteriously has stayed alive for millennia, due to a steady intake of sulfur water from a spring in his cave (yum!). "Eegah" grunts his own language, whose most descriptive word, in my opinion, was "shtemlow". The basic stroyline is this: Roxy discovers Eegah (by almost hitting him with her car), Roxy's dad investigates and is captured by Eegah, Roxy calls on boyfriend Arch Hall Jr to search for dad, Arch and Roxy race around the desert in his dune buggy yelling "whee" for about 20 minutes. Eventually there is the standard "Beauty and the Beast" scene where Eeegah falls for Roxy, loses her to Mr. Dune Buggy, follows her to town and ends up face-down in a motel swimming pool (kind of like a cave man spring break I guess).

The movie apparently was pretty popular in the independent drive-in movie scene of the early 60's, where the fans, like Arch, were likely also funny looking and lacked for talent.

Anyway, since my birthday ALSO was December 2nd, I decided to make myself an Arch Hall Jr. T-shirt and wear it to work. Pretty much everyone liked the shirt, many laughed, but only 2 people asked who it was. One person saw the name "Arch" and thought it was a picture of "Archie Bunker". One asked who it was and then dropped the subject, and only one other asked who Arch Hall Jr. was. It's kind of a testement to my status at work that no-one actually asked WHY I was wearing a picture of Arch Hall Jr. on my chest. I didn't mind them not knowing. Telling people at your workplace that it is your birthday usually causes them to squirm uncomfortably, not knowing whether they are expected to sign a card or buy you a chocolate bar from the snack machine. So Arch and I kept our birthday secret for another year. To Arch, however, I'd just like to say: shtemlow, buddy....shtemlow!

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