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The Beast Of Yucca Flats (1961)

A scientist is caught in a nuclear blast and is turned into a homicidal maniac. Essentially a silent film with narration.


The Beast of Yucca Flats is a B-movie horror film released in 1961. The film stars Swedish people former wrestler Tor Johnson and was both written and directed by Coleman Francis. The plot concerns a Soviet scientist (Johnson), who Defection and flees to a Nevada Test Site called Yucca Flats, only to be turned into a monster by radiation that procededs to menace the desert. The film has very little dialogue and most of the speech is done by omniscient narrator, provided by writer/director Francis.
Some critics have characterized the film as one of the worst science fiction horror films made, and list of films considered the worst, even suggesting that it may be worse than Ed Wood's legendarily bad Plan 9 from Outer Space.<></>

Synopsis

File:BeastofYuccaFlatts004.jpg scientist Joseph Javorsky}}}
After her shower, a woman (Lanell Cado) is strangled by a mysterious man.
Elsewhere in Yucca Flats, Nevada, Soviet scientist Joseph Javorsky (Tor Johnson) Defection. Javorsky is carrying a briefcase with various military secrets, including some about a Soviet moon landing. Javorsky and his American contacts are attacked by a pair of KGB assassins (Anthony Cardoza and John Morrison). Javorsky flees into the desert, walking for a great distance, and removing much of his clothing. When he wanders in range of an American nuclear test, the bewildered Russian is transformed by radiation into a mindless beast. He proceeds to kill a couple in their car on a nearby road, prompting pursuit from two police officers named Jim Archer (Bing Stafford) and Joe Dobson (Larry Aten).
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 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 Hare later nuzzles his dying body.

Production notes

The setting for the film, "Yucca Flats" is based on the real-life Yucca Flat, which has been called "the most irradiated, nuclear-blasted spot on the face of the earth."</>
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.

=Opening murder scene=

File:BeastofYuccaFlatts003.jpg
The first scene in the film is the strangling murder of a woman (Lanell Cado) who has just stepped out of a shower, by a man whose face is never shown; it is implied that the killer necrophilia. 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 by film historian Tom Weaver with the film's producer Anthony Cardoza, the scene was added after the film was complete because director Coleman Francis liked Nudity in film. Some prints (such as the one used for the List of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes#Season 6 and the print on YouTube) are edited to show the woman clothed for the duration of the scene (running 00:01:21), with the only nudity being a brief flash of breast as she towels herself in front of a mirror. The 2003 AlphaVideo DVD print has a slightly longer version of the scene (running 00:01:33), where the woman is shown naked as she puts on a pair of underwear, with both breasts visible several times before shown walking out of the room.</>
Cado had a more substantial role in a later Coleman Francis film, Red Zone Cuba (1966), also released as Night Train to Mundo Fine.

Cast


  • Bing Stafford as Jim Archer
  • Larry Aten as Joe Dobson
  • Tor Johnson as Joseph Javorsky/The Beast
  • 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 Narrator/Gas Station Attendant/Newspaper Patron
  • Marcia Knight as Jim's Woman
  • Joseph Luis Rubin as Police Officer

Reception

=Critical response=

The movie was panned by critics at the time of its release and is considered one of the worst films of all time. As of September 2014 the film has no critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes but currently holds an 8% percent on the audience rating there. It also holds a 2.5 rating at IMDb.

See also

  • List of films considered the worst
  • Yucca Flat


Category:1961 films
Category:1961 horror films
Category:1960s science fiction films
Category:American science fiction horror films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Crown International Pictures films
Category:Directorial debut films
Category:English-language films
Category:American independent films
Category:Monster movies
Category:Films featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes
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