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Beast of Yucca Flats

57 customer reviews

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Douglas Mellor, Barbara Francis, Bing Statfford
  • Directors: Coleman Francis
  • Writers: Coleman Francis
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2008
  • Run Time: 54 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00176VJQ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,722 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beast of Yucca Flats" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gregorio on November 6, 2009
Format: DVD
It seems a lot of people feel that this is a bad film. Perhaps it is, but I prefer to think of it as a "different" film. It's certainly different from most American films of its time in that director Coleman Francis took a European approach, making what is essentially a silent film and adding minimal dialog with ADR. The film cheerfully throws logic and plot away from the very first scene and instead, serves up one of the most surreal and curious experiences in cinematic history. As lost "city boys feed sodapop to thirsty pigs" and a gunman randomly shoots down an innocent man from an airplane, Tor Johnson as Joseph Javorsky (noted scientist) is turned into a beast with terrible skin problems by a nuclear bomb explosion. There is a coyote, a cute bunny rabbit, some cowboy cops, KGB agents and a surly gas station attendant. There is a flag on the moon (where did it come from?) and there is a young married couple (unaware of scientific progress). And don't forget the NUDE (yes a fully nude in 1961) strangulation scene that starts the picture. What it all might add up to I couldn't venture to guess but I'm certain that it is a weirdly entertaining hour of bizzare images and rather gorgeous black and white cinematography. This edition from the incredible folks at Alpha video is the definitive DVD release. Unlike some of the previous releases, this one is unedited and contains the full nude scene. Alpha has also included the original theatrical trailer for the film as well as an extensive catalog art gallery. The cover art for this release is the best of any of the editions I've seen. The print has some minor damage but in most scenes it is near prestine. Certainly this film won't appeal to many people but it is a great example of leftover 50's paranoia, showcasing some of the fears from that generation that often made them seem so exceptionally stupid. If you are into genuinely odd films, this one is a prime example.
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful By icemachine on August 12, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cool title, neat cover, Tor, looks like a winner, right? Don't be fooled. I love Robot Monster, Kronos, Colossal Man (BTW, why is this not on DVD?), etc., and truly believe that Ed Wood Jr. is a far superior filmmaker to Lucas, Speilberg, et al., but even for a fan of this kind of thing, this one is excruciating. By all means buy it for the cover so friends will think you're outre hip or whatever, but do not actually watch it or you will hate yourself. I'm writing this to help people. Ignore at your own risk!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Rivers VINE VOICE on February 19, 2005
Format: DVD
The theatrical trailer proclaims that this 1961 schlock-fest was "filmed ENTIRELY on location in Yucca Flats!" How's that for an endorsement? Actually, the trailer is far superior to this dreary attempt at Z-grade science-fiction, with no synchronized dialogue but more voiceover narration than any movie in history. "The Beast of Yucca Flats" does not belong in the "so bad it's funny" category - it's just plain bad. Recommended only to fans of Tor Johnson.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 18, 2007
Format: DVD
I am unsure of why I gave this movie two stars instead of one. I think it might have been Tor Johnson's riveting performance. Well, maybe it was the scene where the sheriff shoots a guy running down the road because, (1) the guy was running down the road and (2) he could. Something about this movie just begs for a remake. Maybe they could use Tor Johnson again. Just because Johnson has been dead for more than 35 years would hardly be noticeable if the remake was anything like this movie.

The really bad thing about this movie is that the opening scene is the best scene in the entire movie. The movie goes down hill from there. Tor Johnson is supposedly a scientist defecting to the U.S. I suppose the people chasing after Johnson are supposed to be KGB or spies. Regardless, the protection he got from his bodyguards was pitiful, but did give Johnson an excuse to wander off into the nearby desert, which also happens to be where nuclear testing regularly occurred.

Now, you might wonder why this particular nuclear testing site was open to tourists. I am going to have to let you speculate on that one, because I have no good answers. The really unfortunate thing for Tor Johnson is that he missed the souvenir stand at the entrance to the site. You know, the one with the two-headed lizards and the replica giant Gila monsters known to have been created by nuclear radiation. I digress.

The radiation turns Tor/the Soviet scientist into a mindless killing machine. Tor then stumbles about the desert silently. As it turns out, director Francis Coleman made the movie very silently because he filmed none of the movie with a soundtrack.
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Format: DVD
According to film lore, THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS was filmed without sound and dialogue was dubbed in postproduction. In order to accomodate this effect, the camera usually photographs characters in long shot; cuts off their heads; shows a character listening in a reaction shot; or has the so-called actors cover their mouths at strategic moments. The effect is very obvious and even so there are quite a few moments where characters are clearly speaking but no sound is coming out.

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
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