Hot Picks

- First Impressions Can Kill 2017

- Talk of the Dead 2016

- Stella Maris 2017

- Erik the Conqueror 1961

- Industrial Animals 2016

- Message in a Bottle 2017

- My Little Miracle 2017

- It Lives in the Attic 2016

- Almost Amazing 2017

- The Slayer 1982

- The Last Revenants 2017

- Revelator 2017

- Hair of the Dog 2017

- Beyond Macabre 2017

- Slimed 2010

- Blaze of Gory 2017

- Shadows of a Stranger 2017

- The Ghoul 2016

- 3 2017

- Charismata 2017

- Circus Kane 2017

- The Black Cat 2017

- Beyond the Trek 2017

- Bag Lady 2017

- The Love of a Woman 1953

- Happy Endings Are a Rarity 2017

- The Night Monica Came Back 2017

- Hell's Half Acre 2017

- The Basement 2017

- Ghost House 2017

- The Dead Next Door 1989

- Wrath City 2017

- Is This Now 2017

- The Ice Cream Truck 2017

- Re-Animator 1985

- Fate 2017

- Terror in a Texas Town 1958

- Effects 1980

- The Son, the Father... 2017

- Vesper 2017

- Evil Ed 1995

- Mondo Shock 2017

- Biting Off More Than You Can Chew 2014

- Art of Obsession 2017

- Lake Alice 2017

- American Virus 2017

- A Killer Conversation 2014

- Out of My Skin 2016

- Star Crash 1979

- Strangler of the Swamp 1946

Arch Hall jr - A Biography

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2007

Films starring Arch Hall jr on (re)Search my Trash

 

Quick Links

Abbott & Costello

Alice in Wonderland

Batman

Bigfoot

Black Emanuelle

Bomba the Jungle Boy

Bowery Boys

Bulldog Drummond

Captain America

Charlie Chan

Cinderella

Dick Tracy

Dr. Mabuse

Dr. Orloff

Doctor Who

Dracula

Elizabeth Bathory

Emmanuelle

Fantomas

Flash Gordon

Frankenstein

Frankie & Annette Beach Party movies

Freddy Krueger

Fu Manchu

Fuzzy

Gamera

Godzilla

Hercules

El Hombre Lobo

Incredible Hulk

Jack the Ripper

James Bond

Jekyll and Hyde

Jerry Cotton

Jungle Jim

Justine

Kekko Kamen

King Kong

Lemmy Caution

Lobo

Lone Wolf and Cub

Maciste

Marx Brothers

Miss Marple

Mr. Moto

Mister Wong

Mothra

Nick Carter

OSS 117

Phantom of the Opera

Quatermass

Robin Hood

Santa Claus

El Santo

Schoolgirl Report

The Shadow

Sherlock Holmes

Spider-Man

Star Trek

Sukeban Deka

Superman

Tarzan

Three Mesquiteers

Three Musketeers

Winnetou

Wizard of Oz

Wolf Man

Wonder Woman

Yojimbo

Zatoichi

Zorro

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
search
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Arch Hall jr
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Arch Hall jr here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Arch Hall jr at adultvideouniverse.com

Quite probably, Arch Hall jr is more of a star noe (at least in certain circles) than he ever was in his day. As the teen idol his father, actor Arch Hall sr tried to launch him, he was a rather unlikely choice, he was rather short, a little plucky, he had the perfect soft face of a mamma's boy, and he had big, almost enormous hair, which made him instantly recognizable. His singing and guitar-playing wasn't too bad, but as a matter of fact, he only ever released two singles during his short-lived Rock'n'Roll career in the 1960's - and it wasn't until the mid-2000's that a compilation album with songs from his films and a few live-cuts was released, as a tribute first and foremost.

Arch only ever starred in 6 films, but despite the small number, his filmography seems richer than that of most other actors, as his films range from hilariously bad to grossly underrated to incredibly wacky, and back again ... but let's not get ahead of ourselves and start at the beginning.

 

Ironically, Arch Hall jr's story starts years before his birth, with his father, Arch Hall sr, who entered the movie business in the late 1930's, playing small roles in serials and B pictures, mainly for Republic (e.g. Dick Tracy Returns [1938, John English, William Witney], Overland Stage Raiders [1938, George Sherman]) and PRC (e.g. Lone Rider in Ghost Town [1941, Sam Newfield], His Brother's Ghost [1945, Sam Newfield]) [PRC history - click here]. In 1943, his only son, Arch Hall jr, was born to him and his wife Addalyn Pollitt - who would later have small roles in some of her husband's productions - in Van Nuys, California.

 

In circa the mid-1940's, Arch Hall quit the film business and enlisted in the army - and because he, born in 1908, was already too old to be sent into the war (remember, World War II was still going on if winding down), he joined a program that trained pilots that were too old for combat ...

In later years, Bill Bowers, who served with Hall, wrote a screenplay about Arch Hall sr's time with the army that was turned into a movie comedy in 1961 by Jack Webb - The Last Time I Saw Archie - with Robert Mitchum starring as Arch Hall sr and Webb himself as Bill Bowers. Hall was less than amused and sued Bowers for intrusion of privacy. Eventually the case was settled out of court.

 

But I digress.

Let's return to Arch Hall jr, whose story begins for real in the mid 1950's, when he was about 11 years old and started to play the guitar. It wasn't long before he got bitten by the Rock'n'Roll bug (remember, these were the 1950's), and by the early 1960's he had formed a rock'n'roll combo, Arch Hall jr and The Archers, with high school buddy Alan O'Day - who in the 1970's became a successful songwriter (e.g. Train of Thought by Cher, Rock'n'Roll Heaven by the Righteous Brothers and Angie Baby by Helen Reddy) and even singer (Undercover Angel, Skinny Girl) in his own right.

 

It was in the late 1950's that Arch Hall jr's father returned to the film business and tried to get a production company of his own, Fairway International, off the ground, which was to produce cheaply shot drive-in fare - something that would quickly make its money back. However, he did not get his started until 1961 with 2 films, Magic Spectacles (Bob Wehling) - a nudie comedy which is in some sources credited to have been written by Arch Hall jr - and The Choppers (Leigh Jason), which was based on a script by Arch Hall sr himself - which he has been trying to sell since the late 1950's.

 


The Choppers is a film about a bunch of teenagers who, out of parental neglect, have started to make a business out of stripping other people's cars of all they are worth and selling the spare parts to crooked garage owner Bruno VeSota. And since Arch Hall jr was at the time trying to get a foothold in showbusiness and was just the right age, who better to cast as the leader of our teenage hoodlums - at least that's what Arch Hall sr thought ...

Incidently, around the same time as The Choppers was released, Arch Hall jr and the Archers also released their first single, Konga Joe - which Arch also gets a chance to sing in the movie.

Actually, The Choppers wasn't too bad a movie, it was typical low-budget drive-in fare but nothing to be ashamed of, and Arch Hall jr's performance isn't too bad either, he plays his character in a poor man's James Dean sort of way, as many young actors played their juvenile delinquent roles these days ... and take it from me, there were far worse actors out there. Only his pompadour made him stand out of the crowd actually. As for Arch's singing and playing the guitar: He certainly was no undiscovered genius, but in his own way, he was almost good ...

 


For Arch Hall jr's next two films though, his image was more pushed into the direction of a teenage heartthrob à la Frankie Avalon, with not quite as satisfactory results.

The first of the two films was the infamous, notorious and notoriously infamous Eegah! (1962), directed by Arch Hall sr himself based on his own story (screenplay by Bob Wehling, by the way).

Eegah! is the story of a caveman (Richard Kiel [Richard Kiel profile - click here]) who is inexplicably (and unexplained) alive in modern times and falls for a young girl (Marilyn Manning) - who is of course the girlfriend of our teenage lead, Arch Hall jr, and when the caveman kidnaps the girl and her father (Arch Hall sr) and takes them to his cave, it's up to Arch to save them ... but of course, when our caveman finds his girl gone again, he goes to the big city to retaliate. This might all sound (unintentionally) hilarious, unfortunately the finished film is far from it, the laughs are few and far between while the whole film was apparently shot on such a low budget that all the effects that a story of this kind would have demanded are totally absent, leaving behind an uneven mixture of teenage lovestory, science fiction, comedy and drama - and rather surprisingly, the film did incredibly well at the drive in circuit and was since reissued on tape and DVD numerous times - though one really wonders why.

As for Arch Hall jr: he is not really good in this one, actually he is pretty bad - but in all fairness, his role was bad as it is, he was not cut out to be a teenage heartthrob, and he had to fight an awful script - and was defeated.

 



Again, Arch was allowed to sing a few songs in Eegah!, but that was nothing compared to his next film, Wild Guitar (1962, Ray Dennis Steckler), in which he played a singer and had thus to sing by default.

Wild Guitar - a melodram about a hick songwriter (Arch Hall jr) who comes to Hollywood to make it big only to fall prey to a crooked producer (Arch Hall sr) - was the first film directed by cinematic weirdo Ray Dennis Steckler whose heritage to wacky cinema would come to include The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964), The Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monsters (1965) and Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966). It is safe to say that Wild Guitar, a typical music biz melodram scripted by Arch Hall sr and Bob Wehling, is one of Steckler's most normal films, even if his genuine wackiness is shining through in this one as well - especially in the character of Arch Hall sr's psychotic PA, a role Steckler chose to play himself.

By and large, Wild Guitar is not a great film, but it's a definite improvement over Eegah!, with Arch Hall jr getting a better grip on the role - even if he still fails to totally convince as teenage heartthrob.

By the way, to promote Wild Guitar, Arch also released another single (his second and last one so far) and went on tour with his band.

 


After both Eegah! and Wild Guitar tried to establish Arch Hall as teenage heartthrob though, his next movie saw a complete change of pace (and not just because Arch did not sing in it): In The Sadist (1963), directed by the much underrated B-movie auteur James Landis, young Arch plays a total psychopath who relishes in torturing and killing - and in the course of the (approx) 90 minutes movie, which is shot in real time, he kills no less than 5 people before meeting his end in a snake pit. The Sadist is and extremely tight thriller shot entirely in and around a derelict service station/salvage yard and is directed as a game of cat-and-mouse between young Arch and his girlfriend (Marilyn Manning) and a trio of teachers (Richard Alden, Don Russell, Helen Hovey, the last actually being Arch's cousin).

The direction is very efficient in this film and helped by great cinematography (by Vilmos Zsigmond, who eventually made his way to being one of the top cinematographers in the business), but it's really (and surprisingly) Arch Hall jr's performance that makes the film worthwhile and disturbing (even if he at times hams it up a bit too much). And interestingly, Marilyn Manning, who played Arch's sweetheart in Eegah! (a role that was about as bad as all the rest of the film), plays the muse for Arch's killing spree in The Sadist - and is quite effective as well, almost as if Eegah! had never happened.

By the way, the whole film was based on the then recent killing spree by Charles Starkweather and his muse Caril Ann Fugate, but the similarities are rather fleeting.

 


The Sadist gave a taste of Arch's talent for playing more demanding roles - but with his next film, Nasty Rabbit (1964, James Landis), it was back to the land of wackiness ... even the premise sounds ludicruous, Arch plays a James Bond-style secret agent who disguises himself as a pop singer (yup, Arch sings again in this one) - or is it even the other way round ? -, who is one of an ensemble of secret agents from all over the world chasing a rabbit that carries a lethal virus. Actually, the film is more Looney Tunes than James Bond, and is at times even funny (and intentionally so), but by and large the film falls short of translating cartoon-like humour into a live action enviroment, mainly due to a very tight budget.

Arch Hall jr is of course an unlikely choice for being an international top agent in the James Bond-mold, but for a change that works for the movie (and its inherent wackiness) rather than against it.

 


In 1965, Arch made his last film (to date), Deadwood '76 (James Landis), which was once again a deviation from his usual output (if there is such a thing): Rather than another light comedy to turn him into a teenage heartthrob, Deadwood '76 is a serious Western that has Arch playing a gunman who is thought to be Billy the Kid, just because his name is Billy, he is young enough and a quick draw. Actually he just wants to be left in peace and dig for gold, but in the end he gets into more trouble than he can handle and is made the guest of honour of a necktie party held by the local lynchmob - which is maybe the most downbeat ending in Arch's short career.

Arch's performance in the film might not be great, but he is convincing enough enough as the tough, quick drawing but essentially innocent youngster to carry the movie - at least as long as his big (and un-Westernlike) pompadour doesn't get into the way. Fortunately though, this being a Western, Arch gets to wear a hat most of the time.

 

After Deadwood '76, gave up acting, which was never his greatest passion in the first place. Plus his movies, while doing ok in the drive-in circuit, weren't successful enough to make him a rich man. And when he married in the mid-1960's, he needed a real job that could support his family - so he made another one of his hobbies - aviation - his job and became a pilot, first with the Flying Tigers from 1967 to 1989, and when they were purchased by FedEx, he stayed with the company until his retirement in 2003. It is rumoured though that he is occasionally piloting for a private company even now ...

 

When young Arch quit acting, this pretty much also meant the end of Fairway International, and some sources claim Arch Hall sr was heartbroken about his son's decision - which is possible but not terribly likely since all young Arch did when quitting acting was to exactly follow his father's footsteps and become a pilot instead.

Be that as it may, Arch the older by and large retreated from the film business as well in the mid-1960's, and only took occasional film jobs, like acting in, writing and producing the talk show parody The Irv Carlson Show (1971, Anthony M.Lanza), co-writing Ted V.Mikels' The Corpse Grinders (1972) and playing a small role in Robert Altman's Thieves Like Us (1974), starring Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall. He died from a heart attack in 1978 ...

 


By and large, Arch Hall jr's career as a pilot was much more rewarding than that as an actor, and he was awarded with the Air Force Civilian Air Medal twice during his career - first for his work in the 1975 Cambodian ricelift and again in 1991 during operation Desert Storm.

After his retirement, Arch wrote an adventure novel, Apsara Jet, under the pen name Nicholas Merriweather, a hommage to his father, who was often credited under this name (although spelled slightly different) as well. Though the novel is entirley fictional, Arch Hall jr drew heavily on his aviation experiences for it.

 

In 1984, the Medved brothers included Eegah! in their highly dubious The Fifty Worst Films Ever Made, which sparked new interest in the cinematic output of Arch Hall jr, and with the introduction of video and later DVD, his work was made accessible to a whole new (and probably much broader) audience made up of trash movie enthusiasts, drive-in fanatics and collectors of cinematic obscurities. Eventually, the new-found interest in Arch culminated in the release of Wild Guitar, a album-length CD finally collecting his music from the 1960's (remember, all he released back then was 2 singles) in 2005, the year he also gave a concert at the Ponderosa Stomp festival in New Orleans.

 

Of course, with only 6 films to his credit, Arch Hall jr's output is rather meagre, and with the exception of Sadist, his films might be anything but overlooked classics, but trashmovie- and drive-in-land would be a much poorer place without him.

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.




Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
Lulu.com