|The Beast of Yucca Flats|
A theatrical film poster for The Beast of Yucca Flats
|Directed by||Coleman Francis|
|Produced by||Anthony Cardoza|
|Written by||Coleman Francis|
|Music by||Gene Kauer|
|Edited by||Coleman Francis|
|Distributed by||Cinema Associates|
The Beast of Yucca Flats (released to television as Atomic Monster: The Beast of Yucca Flats) is a 1961 B-moviehorror film written and directed by Coleman Francis. It was produced by Anthony Cardoza, Roland Morin and Jim Oliphant.
Directed by Coleman Francis, The Beast of Yucca Flats is a B-Movie sci-fi horror film. The movie is readily available online and is a cult hit due to the low-budget nature of the film. The movie is readily available online and is a cult hit due to the low-budget nature of the film. Seedpeer.eu MST3K.The.Beast.Of.Yucca.Flats.1961.DVDRip.XviD-DOMiNO Movies Misc 13 hours torrentdownloads.me Mst3k The Beast Of Yucca Flats 1961 Dvdrip Xvid Domino 2 days torrentfunk2.com MST3K The Beast Of Yucca Flats 1961 DVDRip XviD-DOMiNO-Movies 15 hours limetorrents.cc MST3K-The-Beast-Of-Yucca-Flats-1961-DVDRip-XviD-DOMiNO Movies 15 hours.
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The film stars Swedish former wrestler Tor Johnson as 'the Beast'. It starred Anthony Cardoza, Coleman Francis and Jim Oliphant in bit parts, as well as Conrad Brooks in a very small role. Director Francis cast his two sons (Ronald and Alan Francis) in the film as the two lost boys.
The plot concerns a Soviet scientist named Joseph Jaworsky (Tor Johnson), who defects and flees to a Nevada Test Site called Yucca Flats, only to be turned into a mindless monster by atomic radiation, stalking the desert. The film has very little dialogue and most of the speech is done by omniscient narration.
Some critics have characterized the film as one of the worst science fiction horror films made, and one of the all-time worst films of any kind, even suggesting that it may be worse than Ed Wood's legendarily bad Plan 9 from Outer Space. In 1995, the television comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured The Beast of Yucca Flats, helping the film develop a cult status.
A woman (Lanell Cado) steps out of a shower and is attacked and strangled to death by a mysterious man as a clock ticks, then stops.
Later (or possibly before) in Yucca Flats, Nevada, Soviet scientist Joseph Javorsky (Johnson) has defected from the USSR and arrives in America with a briefcase carrying various military secrets, including the Soviet moon landing. Javorsky and his American contacts are suddenly attacked by a pair of KGB assassins (Cardoza and John Morrison) killing Javorsky's contacts and bodyguards. Javorsky flees into the desert, walking for a great distance, and the searing heat causes him to discard much of his clothing. When he wanders in range of an American nuclear test, the bewildered Russian is transformed by it into a mindless beast with an uncontrollable urge to kill. He proceeds to murder a couple in their car on a nearby road, prompting pursuit from police officers Jim Archer (Stafford) and Joe Dobson (Aten). Download torrent penny dreadful s03 e01.
Meanwhile, a vacationing family ventures along the same road. After stopping at a service station, the family's two young sons (Ronald and Alan Francis) wander off into the surrounding desert where they eventually encounter and escape from the mutated Javorsky. Their father (Douglas Mellor) searches for them, but is mistaken for the killer by one of the police officers, who is searching for the murderer from the air in a small plane. The officer opens fire with a high-powered rifle on the innocent man, who manages to escape.
Eventually, the family is reunited and the police shoot and mortally wound Javorsky. A jackrabbit later nuzzles his dying body, and using the last of his strength, he caresses it before dying.
- Tor Johnson as Joseph Javorsky/The Beast
- Bing Stafford as Jim Archer
- Larry Aten as Joe Dobson
- Douglas Mellor as Hank Radcliffe
- Barbara Francis as Lois Radcliffe
- Ronald Francis as Randy Radcliffe
- Alan Francis as Art Radcliffe
- Jim Oliphant as Vacationing Husband
- Linda Bielema as Vacationing Wife
- Anthony Cardoza as KGB Driver/Helpful Neighbor
- Bob Labansat as Javorsky's Bodyguard
- John Morrison as KGB Passenger
- Jim Miles as Javorsky's Driver
- Eric Tomlin as Motorist Run Off Road
- George Prince as Man Who Reports Murder
- Conrad Brooks as Man at Airfield
- Graham Stafford as News Boy
- Lanell Cado as Strangled Woman
- Coleman Francis as Gas Station Attendant/Newspaper Patron
- Marcia Knight as Jim's Woman
- Joseph Luis Rubin as Police Officer
The setting for the film, 'Yucca Flats,' was based on the real-life Yucca Flat, which has been called 'the most irradiated, nuclear-blasted spot on the face of the earth'. In 1970, nine years after the film was made, 86 workers were exposed to radiation during the Yucca Flat Baneberry Test. In March 2009, Time identified the accident as one of the world's worst nuclear disasters. Actual shooting locations for the film were all in California: Santa Clarita (desert scenes), Saugus (airplane scenes) and Van Nuys (opening scene interior).
The movie was filmed without a soundtrack. Narration, voice-overs and some sound effects were added in post-production. To avoid having to synchronize the audio to the picture, characters speak only when their faces are either off-screen or not clearly visible due to darkness or distance. Likewise, during scenes in which firearms are used, the muzzles of the guns are usually out of shot when the weapons are fired. During scenes of gunplay, many characters appear at first to have suffered life-threatening bullet wounds, only to appear in later scenes fully recovered with no visible signs of having been wounded. Extensive narration is used in lieu of plot points being conveyed through dialogue. Film historian Bill Warren stated 'The AFI catalog says (the film) may have been reissued in 1964 as 'Girl Madness'
The film's total budget was estimated at $34,000.
Opening murder scene
The first scene in the film is the strangulation murder of a woman (played by Lanell Cado) who has just stepped out of a shower, by a man whose face is never shown; it is implied that the killer molests her corpse. The murderer is dressed like Javorsky after the blast, but the murder is never mentioned during the actual film, nor is there any apparent place in the narrative where it could be said to occur.According to an interview with producer Cardoza by film historian Tom Weaver, the scene was added after the film was complete because director Francis liked nude scenes. Some prints (such as the one used for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode and the print on YouTube) were edited to show the woman clothed for the duration of the scene (running 81 seconds), with the only nudity being a brief flash of breast as she towels herself in front of a mirror. The 2003 Alpha VideoDVD print has a slightly longer version of the scene (running 93 seconds), where the woman is shown naked as she puts on a pair of underwear, with both breasts visible several times before she is shown walking out of the room.
The Beast of Yucca Flats was first released on DVD by Image Entertainment on September 5, 2000, followed by numerous later DVD releases. It was released by Alpha Video on November 18, 2003, and by Image Entertainment on December 30, 2003 as a part of a double feature with Mesa of Lost Women (1953). It was released as a part of a 12-disc 'Horror Classics Collection' by Digital 1 Stop on January 20, 2004. Platinum Disc released the film on June 7, 2005, and again on August 23 as a part of several multi-disc collections; Mill Creek Entertainment released the film on July 5, 2005. In 2006, it was released by Digiview Entertainment and ST Clair Vision on May 9 and October 17, respectively. ST Clair Vision re-released it on June 26, 2007. Releases by Direct Source and Mill Creek Entertainment, as part of multi-film collections, also appeared in 2007. ST Clair Vision re-released the film one more time on May 20, 2008. In 2010, The Beast of Yucca Flats was released three separate times by TNT Media Group and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment. On August 20, 2013, Mill Creek released it as part of a 3-disc, 12-film collection, The Best of the Worst Film Pack. The film was last released by Echo Bridge on September 1, 2015.
The Beast of Yucca Flats was universally panned by critics upon its release, with many considering it one of the worst films ever made.Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film one star, or 'BOMB', calling it 'one of the worst films ever made'. In his review, Maltin criticized the overuse of voiceover narration, and an opening sequence unrelated to the main story.Bruce Eder from AllMovie panned the film, criticizing the film's 'pretentious and obtuse narration' and further stating, 'The most enjoyable aspect of this movie is its remarkably short running time'.VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever awarded the film their lowest rating, calling it 'A really cheap, quasi-nuclear protest film.'On his website Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings, Dave Sindelar panned the film's 'maddening' voice-over narration, editing, and apparent lack of a real storyline.TV Guide awarded the film 1.5 out of 4 stars, writing, 'In an honest attempt to make a brief protest picture, the producers apparently didn't have enough money to accord this any sort of production value.'
- Bogue, Mike (20 July 2017). Apocalypse Then: American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951–1967. McFarland. ISBN978-1-4766-6841-3.
- Warren, Bill (12 January 2017). Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, The 21st Century Edition. McFarland. ISBN978-1-4766-2505-8.
- Willis, Donald C. (1984). Horror and Science Fiction Films III. Scarecrow Press. ISBN978-0-8108-1723-4.
- ^Warren 2017, pp. 733.
- ^Willis 1984, pp. 330.
- ^Begg, Ken. 'The Beast of Yucca Flats'. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18.
- ^Gerald H. Clarfield and William M. Wiecek (1984). Nuclear America: Military and Civilian Nuclear Power in the United States 1940–1980, Harper & Row, New York, p. 202.
- ^'The Worst Nuclear Disasters'. Time.
- ^ abWeaver, Tom. 'The Grand Tor: Anthony Cardoza recalls the Fallout from Yucca Flats'. The Astounding B Monster.
- ^ abWeaver, Tom. 'Anthony Cardoza's Tor of the Desert'. The Astounding B Monster.
- ^Warren, Bill (1986). 'Keep Watching The Skies Volume 2'. McFarland & Co., Inc. ISBN0-89950-170-2. Page 733
- ^Bogue 2017, pp. 68.
- ^The Beast of Yucca Flats (DVD). AlphaVideo. 2003.
- ^'The Beast of Yucca Flats'. Movie-Censorship.com.
- ^'The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961) - Coleman Francis'. Allmovie.com. AllMovie. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
- ^Leonard Maltin; Spencer Green; Rob Edelman (January 2010). Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide. Plume. p. 43. ISBN978-0-452-29577-3.
- ^'The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)'. AllMovie. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- ^Jim Craddock (2011). VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever. Gale/Cengage Learning. p. 116. ISBN978-1-4144-4878-7.
- ^Sindelar, Dave. 'The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)'. Fantastic Movie Musings.com. Dave Sindelar. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- ^'The Beast Of Yucca Flats Review'. TV Guide. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
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- The Beast of Yucca Flats at AllMovie
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I have watched my share of garbage-amateur-horrible-z-grade horror, but Coleman Francis's: The Beast of Yucca Flats must be the worst ever! I cannot say I wasn't warned by other user comments, but such a warning only sparked my interest. If there ever was a movie, which deserved to be rated 1/10 this must be it.
The Plot: A defecting Russian scientist (Tor Johnson) is chased into atomic testing grounds by KGB agents, and he turns into a monster after he is exposed to a nuclear blast. You can tell he has turned into a monster because his hair is now white! The monster goes on a killing rampage, and two detectives venture out to stop him.
What went wrong: Short answer: Everything!
1. Dubbing. It took a while before I noticed that you never see any of the characters when they speak, so I checked the IMDb trivia section. Apparently the movie was shot without sound and later dubbed and to avoid out of sync problems the characters had their backs to the camera when talking or the camera focused on something else It is hilarious to watch two people talk when the camera constantly shifts to the character that isn't talking. And then trying to get away with it for a whole hour
2. The 'score'. The score is so over the top dramatic that it adds to the fun. A man walks through the desert/prairie and suddenly he sees a Keep Out sign, and you are blasted backwards in your chair by the music. Judging by the music a Keep Out sign is so much scarier than getting stabbed while showering I guess it is supposed to compensate for the missing suspense/horror/action on all the other fronts!
3. The Narrator. The funniest thing in the movie is the narrator (Coleman Francis himself), who speaks with a calm and intellectual voice. I don't think one word he spoke made any sense it's pseudo-intellectual dribble from the beginning to the end. We see a man lying in a hammock and the narrator goes: 'Nothing bothers some people, not even flying saucers'. I have no idea where he got flying saucers from there are none in the movie nor are they ever mentioned. We see the scientist walking into the testing grounds and the narrator says: 'Touch a button. Things happen. A scientist becomes a beast'. It's like that during the whole movie.
4. Acting and effects. If the movie was supposed to be scary it would all depend on the monster, but like I already mentioned it consists of Tor Johnson with some white stuff on his face. We see the horrible monster chase a couple of boys, but sadly the monster is so fat it cannot really run, but it can throw rocks and wave a big stick There are a couple of gunfights in the movie, but the bullets don't make holes or draw blood Now, this might all sound like it makes some kind of sense, but let me assure you that it does not! There are so many whys and WTFs in this movie!
I will join the 393 out of 527 who rated this movie 1/10, but the fun factor is a lot higher. I didn't end up hating the movie like I did with Troll 2. And hey it's only 54 minutes!
The Beast Of Yucca Flats Movie
The plot of this movie may be summarized as follows. A scientist is converted into a monster when exposed to a nuclear test. He kills an unlucky (and very unobservant) couple whose car had broken down, and then chases two young boys around while their father is trying to fix a flat tire. Two lawmen on the trail of the beast shoot, first the father of the boys, and then the beast, after which a rabbit stumbles into the scene and nuzzles the beast causing it to grab and kiss the rabbit before succumbing at last to its wounds. Actually, this is not a plot summary, but rather the shooting script, with the exception of the rabbit, which was a wild rabbit that stumbled into the scene entirely by accident, and was left in. There are no outtakes in a Coleman Francis movie.
This was the first effort by then unknown filmmaker Coleman Francis. Francis was thus unexposed when the film was shot, though in a more perfect world, the film would have been unexposed and Coleman Francis shot. In this film, Francis pays homage to Hitchcock with a scene reminiscent of the cropduster sequence in North by Northwest, and to Ed Wood, by intercutting freely between day and night during a chase scene. Francis' talent as a filmmaker really shines, however, in his decision to dispense with synchronized sound as might have been utilized by a lesser filmmaker. He does this in several clever ways, such as having dialog (and gunshots) come from off screen, or by having the actors cover their mouths or turn their faces away from the camera when they speak. In one particularly inspired sequence, he simply frames the top of the camera view to the actors' shoulders, letting the dialog crackle back and forth between the headless bodies.
Kudos must also go to the cast. Conrad Brooks, of Plan 9 fame, appears in this film, which launched him into a long and illustrious career in such beloved classics as 'Polish Vampire in Burbank,' 'Fart: the Movie,' and 'Zombiegeddon.' Tor Johnson, who had similarly appeared in Plan 9, also experienced a career advancement after this film -- he never made another movie. Despite the notable work by these two, as well as several friends and relatives of the director, special mention must be made of the rabbit, which turned in by far the best performance of the movie, displaying great charisma and screen presence, while still seeming natural and unaffected. To achieve all of this while being unexpectedly kissed by Tor Johnson is no mean feat for a first-timer.
This film shames the recently popular movie 'The Ring,' in which everyone who watches a certain video all die horrible deaths within one week of the viewing. 'The Beast of Yucca Flats' effortlessly achieves the same result in just 54 minutes.
While Tor's indescribable performance is enough to fill one bad movie, there are plenty of other 'highlights'. For one, the film was shot as a silent, with audio (including some incredibly cheesy 'suspense' music) added in post-production. The voice-overs are every bit as unconvincing as the acting. It's impossible to watch the characters interact and not picture someone sitting in front of a microphone, indifferently reading from a script.
Secondly, the film has plot holes so big not even Tor's supper could fill them. The opening scene, for instance, depicts someone (presumably the beast) murdering an innocent woman. But it's prior to Johnson's transformation, and the maniac never leaves Yucca Flats. So who did the deed? And why is it so easy for these characters to get so close to an atomic testing site? And why can't the rangers manage to climb a summit so non-challenging that a couple of young boys have no problem? I guess it helps not to be so inquiring.
The absolute best (or worst?) part of this film is the inane 'narration' by director Coleman Francis. With so much silence to fill, it often sounds like Francis is just making things up as he goes along, hoping to sound deep, sophisticated and poetic. An example: 'Boys from the city, not yet caught by the whirlwind of progress, feed soda pop to the thirsty pigs.' Or: 'Touch a button, things happen. A scientist becomes a beast.' But just reading such quotes don't do them justice. They really have to be heard, in Coleman's serious-toned voice, to be believed.
And what about the 'beast'? Despite the title, Johnson isn't much of one. He looks pretty much like the regular Tor Johnson, save for some 'puffy burn' makeup. I was expecting some phony-looking rubber monster. Nor does this beast really do beastly things. He just chokes (or tries to choke) people and makes caveman noises. In the personality department, he makes Frankenstein's monster look like Freddy Krueger.
What's most amazing about THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS is that it was a big screen release. People paid money to see this, and in its day, more than a few presumably had to cover their eyes at the sheer horror. The budget was said to be around $34,000, but you'd be hard-pressed to find where even that minute amount went. It looks a group of friends just got together one weekend to have some fun with their new film recorder. Consider the rabbit who hopped onto the set toward the end of filming. Francis just went with the unscripted moment as the rabbit investigated Johnson, who at that point was supposed to be dead but is revived long enough to kiss the animal (what's that about?) before again losing consciousness. It's reminiscent of your family's home videos when the camera suddenly jerks away from little Jimmy roasting marshmallows to an impromptu moment in the background: 'Look! A rabbit!'
Love it or hate it, THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS is truly unlike anything we've ever seen or will see again. Though it may take more than one viewing to fully appreciate the ineptness, its ridiculousness will stay with you. Recommended for anyone whose gut hurt after PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.
It is in the spirit of Coleman Francis' narration that I now give impressions of the film: A clock ticks. A beautiful girl. A hidden killer. The clock stops. There is no connection.
The vast desert. A plane lands. Joseph Javorski, noted scientist. Joseph Javorski, who looks like he could eat whole pigs, has the fate of the world in his briefcase. The Kremlin's best make him a target. The wheels of progress grind on.
A chase. Bullets. Murder. Flag on the Moon..how did it get there? A bomb. More progress. Touch a button, something happens. A scientist becomes a beast.
Figures in a landscape. Who knows how long we really have? Joe and Jim, desert patrolman. They guard freedom and democracy 24/7 in this landscape. A beast is on the loose. Joseph Javorski, once a noted scientist, now..nothing.
There is no progress in the desert. Yet its effects are everywhere. Man's progress. Quench the killer's thirst. A family stops for a rest. The beast appears. A terrible mistake. Policemen with quick guns and the minds of swine. An innocent man dies. Who cares? Two boys feed soda pop to thirsty pigs. It's progress, you know.
Confrontation. A fight that is not a fight. A gun with no bullets fires. Joseph Javorski, noted scientist, becomes rabbit food. The wheels of progress grind on. End.
The viewer's mind becomes nothing. What have we seen? Who believes in flying saucers? Coleman Francis. The name lingers on. The lonely cry of desert winds. I love the movies.
In this film atrocity, he plays an atomic scientist on the run! Watch how government agents empty their guns shooting at him at close range, but can't hit his huge 400 pound body! If fact people are repeatedly shot in this film without any effect whatsoever. The film is most famous for its near total lack of dialogue, as an off screen narrator tells the audience what is going on and endlessly babbles cryptic philosophical insights on the modern world. Out of nowhere the narrator says things like 'Flag on the Moon, how did get there?' 'Young boys feed soda to the thirsty pigs.'
The 'plot' has Tor accidently stumbling into an atomic bomb test (funny how that happens), getting his clothes ripped up in the process, and then becoming a sort of hermit like desert cave dweller with a big stick. He likes to grab women, carry them around, and lick their hair. There are some other plot elements, but they don't make much sense. In fact, nothing in this movie makes much sense. Perhaps its all meant to be 'art' and if so, its a lot more fun than any Andy Warhol film ever was. I would love to make serious film students watch and study Beast of Yucca Flats to learn its cinematic techniques and digest its social commentary.
The long version of the movie contains a nude scene at the beginning. Yes, the film drags in places, but its a unique and unforgettable work.
Perhaps it's the magical touch of Coleman Francis. This is his 'Kane' & it shows frame by frame. The non-sensical narration, the stellar casting, the existence of the first scene in the movie (why??), the sparse landscape, the light aircraft..
All I know is, I just can't get enough of this movie. Good thing Englewood Entertainment has seen fit to release the film on DVD, although I will also keep the copy Conrad Brooks gave me a few years ago why blowing through town showing Plan 9. I only wish Englewood had released it in 'Letterbox' format with director's commentary & a documentary of the making of 'Beast'. Yes, I know Coleman's dead, but somebody somewhere had to be asking Mr. Francis WHY at the time & got it down on film or tape. At the least, I think Conrad is still around to lend some clues.
I feel an idea for a book coming on, but what I'm trying to convey with this overlong comment is that there is excellence and there is amateurish bafoonery, but with the case of this film, the distinction in my brain has been blurred. Perhaps the rating system is not a straight line, but a circle. And '0' & '10' are the same.
By the way, I love the treatment MST3K gave this stinker (along with the rest of the Coleman Francis trilogy), but even that deadens the effect. Watch that one if you must, but for the full effect buy the DVD/VHS of the standard release & watch it. Not once, but about 12 times will do it. Then you will know what I'm talking about. Judging by some of the '10' ratings out there, I may not be alone in this opinion.
It consists of no on screen dialog, a speaker-voice reads an pretensious load of crap as Tor Johnson staggers around as a confused Russian scientist harmed by a nuclear-test. Even if someone for some bizarre reason would WANT to make such an insane movie they would not have been able to come up with something like this.
Only a truly deranged mind could make such a movie. A genius in its own world of badness, competing with brilliant filmmakers like Ed Wood and others but Coleman Francis outnumbers them all!!
This is where the Last Laugh comes in. This film made money in the most ruthless & cheap part of the film business in it's time frame; & it continues to make money today. Yes, people still buy or rent it to hoot at because it's so bad; Just like we did in the sixty's when it came out (re-named & re-released several times). This classic stinker may not be part of the 'Art' of film but it sure is part of the business of film. The producer/director got both your money & the last laugh.
It's hard to watch a movie with nearly no dialogue, but it becomes even harder when the picture quality is also poor. The visuals in the movie are terrible, considering that it came out in 1961. I've seen films from the silent era with better quality, which is just pathetic. It's in 'black and white' but it really only has two colors: black and blacker. Honestly, I couldn't tell what was going on half the time. Every character resembled a black silhouette stumbling across an also black landscape.
Normally when I review a bad movie, I try to find a redeeming quality about it. Personally, I love watching bad movies and seeing what all the negativity is about, or perhaps finding that movie that is 'so bad it's good.' However, I can firmly say that I never want to re-watch this movie, and this is coming from a fan of 'Manos: The Hands of Fate.'
Tor Johnson (former wrestler known as 'The Swedish Angel', whose thespic claim to fame was playing a mindless character named Lobo in films such as 'Bride of the Monster','The Unearthly' and 'Revenge of the Dead', plus other, equally witless parts) stumbles through this mess as 'The Beast', a gentle Soviet scientist turned into a savage killer by exposure to an atomic blast. Suffice it to say, an actor he ain't. Then again, neither is anyone else in the cast. In fact, there isn't a professional of any type (unless 'buffoon' is a profession) connected with this turkey. Best thing about the flick is it's less than an hour long (although it seems a lot longer).
Print available on DVD (from the 'Wade Williams' collection) is excellent,though - crisp, clean; looks like new!! Rent or buy for your next slumber party.
I think the thing I find the most annoying about The Beast of Yucca Flats is the endless prattling by the narrator, who says inane things such as 'Push a button, something happens', etc. Huh??? This movie has even more narration than The Creeping Terror. Don't even attempt to watch this movie except maybe the MST3K version. Joel and the bots can ease your pain through it.
Set during the Cold War, 'Beast of Yucca Flats' stars Tor Johnson, that longtime veteran of studio wrestling and Ed Wood movies, as a Russian scientist--yes, a Russian scientist--who defects to the US with top secret plans. Two of the most incompetent KGB agents meet him at the airport and chase his car into the Nevada flats, where there's an atomic explosion. Yaaahh! And suddenly the former noted scientist is the Beast of Yucca Flats--simply Tor a pained expression on his face and a desire to strangle anybody he sees. The dreaded beast of Yucca Flats murders a couple passing through the area and then threatens a family of four before he is gunned down. The end. No really, that's the movie. Except it is drawn out over the course of an hour. Yes, I wouldn't recommend this movie to anybody if it was longer than that. It is pain to watch this film, but it's an enjoyable pain for movie masochists like myself. And you just might pee yourself listening to that narrator. 'Vacation time. Man and woman just passing through. Not yet caught by the wheels of progress.'
2 stars out of 4
'Flag on the moon. How did it get there?'
'Nothing bothers some people, not even flying saucers.'
'Twenty hours without rest and still no enemy.'
Huh? Did I miss something? What's that gibberish got to do with anything? As bad as Francis was as a director, he may have been even more offensive as a writer.
Call me a masochist, but I have now seen The Beast of Yucca Flats three times. Fortunately for me, I watched the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version this time. Whether it's The Beast of Yucca Flats, Red Zone Cuba, or The Skydivers, the guys and gals on MST3K did some of their best and funniest work with the Coleman Francis directed movies. Hysterical stuff and worth a 4/5 on my MST3K rating scale.
This is actually the most interesting thing about the film. The story, such as it is: a Russian scientist (Tor Johnson) has defected to the United States. Chased by Russian agents, he escapes into an atomic test area, where radiation converts him into a mindless killer. He kills a vacationing couple and local police officers pursue him. One of the police officers takes to the air, where he mistakes an innocent man for the Beast, and spends quite a lot of time shooting at him. And so on.
YUCCA FLATS has the reputation of being among the worst films ever made. The reputation is deserved. The film looks like it cost about twenty six cents to make; the cast is uninspired, to say the least; and the script (which consists largely of meaningless narration) is stupid in a very unamusing way. Some bad films are amusing to watch. YUCCA FLATS is not among them.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
'Beast' is not, however, the kind of mind-numbingly bad endurance test that one might expect from something like 'Night of Horror' or even Coleman Francis' other film, 'Red Zone Cuba'. 'Beast' might be described as a low-level workout, to help you build up to watching the really bad movies.
For one thing, it's pretty short. For another, the plot, however idiotic and threadbare, does manage to hold together, for the most part. There is also some genuine entertainment value here, in the form of the outrageously absurd lines of narration, delivered with absolute deadpan seriousness by Coleman Francis- 'Boys from the city, not yet caught by the whirlwind of Progress, feed soda pop to thirsty pigs'.
As far as the acting, I don't think we can really class it as 'acting'. It's more like 'moving about in a vague and nondescript way without saying anything' (the dialogue was added later). The best actor in the film, by far, is the bunny rabbit, who was not even a professional actor, but just happened to wander onto the set. His performance was the most moving and realistic one of the entire production. It's a pity nobody in Hollywood tried to contact the rabbit for further roles.
My god, this is funny! There's so much to laugh at: Coleman Francis's confusing and ridiculous narrating, the fake gun fights, Marcia Knight and Lanell Cado's performances as zombie-like bimbos wearing nothing, or Tor Johnson's moans and 'terrifing' groans.
But I can't rate it higher than a 5, because it really is crap, even if it's funny crap. Having already seen Coleman Francis' the Skydivers, I knew what I was in for.
But hey, it's only 50 minutes!