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Beast of Yucca Flats

2.6 out of 5 stars 59 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
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2008
  • Run Time: 54 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00176VJQ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,434 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beast of Yucca Flats" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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
The first time I saw BYF was when it was given treatment by the gang on MST3K. It was such a hoot and I enjoyed it so much I thought about buying the movie alone.

I recently picked it up as part of the 50 Horror Classics Collection, which I highly recommend, and watched the movie all by itself. I'm so glad I never plopped down the twenty or so bucks to buy this stinker!! Without the comic relief provided by Mike and the Bots, this movie is virtually unwatchable. I love cheesy B movies, but this thing is off the Richter scale! Where do I begin? From no soundtrack to a plot that moves along slower than molasses going uphill in February! Plus I've never seen such a collection of homely, unattractive people in a single movie in my life. From the mother of the "Lost Boys" to the cop that jumps from the airplane to the "Cutie-pie" in the baby doll, you'd think that Coleman Francis must have picked them up standing in line at the DMV. I think you could force confessions out of hardened crimnals by forcing them to watch this thing over and over again!

Finally, I just have a question to ponder. After Tor killed that guy fixing his VW by the side of the road, how did he manage to get into the backseat to strangle his wife without her knowing it? Tor couldn't even fit into backseat of a Volkswagen! Well, that just goes to show what a joke BYF is? Watch at your own risk!!
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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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