The Ponderosa Stomp's Clandestine Celluloid Film Series started today, and Saturday features a trio of early 1960s cult classics starring Arch Hall Jr., who also performs at the Stomp Saturday night with members of his former band Arch and the Archers. Hall's father, Arch Hall Sr., produced and directed six small-budget, independent films, all featuring his son. The three screening Saturday are Wild Guitar (1962), Eegah (1962) and The Sadist (1963). You'll easily recognize Richard Kiel in the clip above. This was his first feature film and he went on to star as Jaws in the James Bond series. The series and the Arch Hall films are previewed here. Of the three, I liked Eegah the most, for it's odd mix of cultural sensitivity and monster film, beauty and the beast lurid appeal. The Sadist was a more remarkable film because its profile of a depraved killer was ahead of its time for non-grindhouse releases. And Hall Jr. doesn't play a musician, instead stretching his acting talents to depict the murderous psychopath prowling California highways.
After working on the films with his father from 1959 to 1965, Hall got interested in aviation and became a pilot for a global carrier service, eventually bought by FedEx. He largely stopped playing music and acting. But he did write an erotic novel, Aspera Jet, published under the name Nicholas Merriweather, a name that both Hall junior and senior sometimes used as a performing alias, though with different spellings.
Hall will be at the screenings and answer questions after each one.