Beast of Yucca Flats, The
Reviewed by Ken Begg
Rating: 10 Beans
his film has three mighty Bad Movie characteristics. First, it stars Tor "Plan 9" Johnson. Second, it was made by writer/director Coleman Francis, who also made two other fabulous losers, the Bay of Pigs laugher Red Zone Cuba and the inane crime potboiler Skydivers. Third, like the famous killer rug movie The Creeping Terror, Beast was made without a soundtrack. Then, instead of looping in dialog later, they just hired a narrator to explain the movie's events. The cherry on the sundae is the narration itself: it's fully worthy of the master, Ed Wood, himself.
Tor is a rocket scientist (!) who's defected from the USSR. He's bringing secret shots of the first Moon landing, accomplished here by the Soviets (I assume that this was a prediction made by Tor's old co-worker Criswell). Russian assassins are after him, but their only role is to chase Tor onto a convenient Atomic Bomb testing range just as the device goes off. Tor is then changed from a brilliant scientist into a scarred, murderous brute (basically Lobo, his perennial movie role).
Tor's chief activity is to roam the desert, strangling bystanders. The female victims he then makes, uh, into his special friends (luckily, this is more hinted at rather than shown). Some Desert Patrolmen try to hunt him down, while a father searches for his lost children before Tor gets them.
Will he succeed?!
Highlights include the hysterical, utterly pretentious narration ("Touch a button. Things happen. A scientist becomes a beast." "Boys from the city. Not yet caught by the Whirlwind of Progess. Feed soda pop to hungry pigs."; the topless chick who opens the film, the only glimpse of nudity, or anything interesting for that matter, in the entire movie, leaving the remaining 59 minutes even more boring; the way the woman, upon finding a scarred Tor Johnson in her bedroom, stares up at him with no reaction, like this kind of thing happens to her every day; the mind-boggling scene where one of the heroes, spotting the boys' father wandering the desert from an airplane, assumes he's the killer and spends the next five minutes trying to shoot him down from the air (!); the total "Of Mice & Men/All Quiet on the Western Front" rip-off ending; the cheesy Yucca Flats sign, obviously made by the director's kid or something; and, of coure, Tor.
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