in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 6

The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)

Another crappy classic I reviewed many full moons ago, let’s revisit the heart pounding thriller that is The Beast of Yucca Flats. This frightful Tor Johnson vehicle stars Tor as famous soviet scientist (yeah right) Joseph Javorsky who has just arrived in Yucca Flats, Nevada only to be ambushed by KGB assassins. Fleeing into the desert Javorsky accidentally wanders on to a nuclear test site, don’t you hate it when that happens? This results in Javorsky turning into a mad atomic beast who seems to have a lot of trouble breathing and walking while terrorizing people near and around the desert.

This low budget and infamously terrible Coleman Francis flick even manages to top Ed Wood from time to time with plot holes as big as the grand canyon. Filmed without sound the film makes heavy use of narration. The only thing is that the narrator never tells us anything we can’t already figure out. The film is so mind numbingly simple yet still contains some huge errors. For instance our protagonists which are two cops set out after the beast with virtually no leads. They don’t know what it looks like (leading to a hilarious scene where they shoot a civilian with a rifle from a plane) they don’t know where they are going and how do they even know it’s a “Beast”? No one has any evidence in the film that the killer is not human they just automatically assume it’s a monster. I never seen characters that were so willing to believe in monsters based on absolutely nothing.

Francis was well known for his less than stellar productions of the 50s and 60s but this one tops the cake. Really it was more or less an excuse to put the intimidating Tor Johnson into the role of a monster to make a few bucks, but Tor really doesn’t do much of anything here. He was severely overweight and could barely move, it’s like watching a dying sloth. A much more accurate title for this movie would of been “Revenge of the Slow Fat Guy with Breathing Problems.”

Gaze your eyes at the most terrifying monster of all time!

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