Saturday, January 7, 2017

THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS

The Beast of Yucca Flats Movie Review

After fleeing into the desert, a Russian scientist (Tor Johnson of Plan 9 From Outer Space fame) feels the effects of a nearby a-bomb blast. Does it kill him? No--it turns him into a savage monster. As a movie that appears on practically every worst movies ever list, I have long said I would watch this one some day (watching it on MST3K doesn't count), and that day was today. So lets get right into this--the film starts off with a woman...

Specifically, this woman

...being choked to death by a mysterious man.

Presumably, this man

This scene is worth noting for two reasons: it is never mentioned at any other point in the movie (and is not, storyline speaking, possible for the Beast to have done this), and there is actually an extended version of this scene not typically seen in most showings of the film. Inept writer/director Coleman Francis allegedly put this scene in the film after initial shooting wrapped, and did so only because he liked nude scenes. So this is the opening scene, and when edited, it is about as hard an opening as one could imagine, and, as edited as it is, fails to serve the only purpose (as thin as that purpose was) it had in the film--to serve up that cheap trick known as gratuitous nudity.

Here's a shot from the uncut version...for historical, not gratuitous, reasons, of course

And beloved readers, it only gets worse from there. The entire film was shot with no sound (it was all dubbed in during post production) and this is painfully obvious--the actors deliver their lines in shadows, off camera, behind their hands--you get the point. This is during the rare occasion there actually IS dialogue--most of the film is a narrator (Francis himself) doing a virtual play by play--picture the opening of The Twilight Zone, but uninteresting and delivered in a monotone that will put you to sleep--and it stretches the ENTIRE film. The writing is some of the worst you can imagine. Here is a direct quote: "Joseph Javorsky. Noted scientist. Dedicated his life to betterment of mankind." Would you like to play a fun drinking game? Take a shot every time the narrator speaks an incomplete sentence. You think to yourself "Maybe the action will save the film!"--and you would be wrong. The Beast, according to the narrator, "unleashes his fury". Does he do this by tearing somebody to pieces? Morphing into an unimaginable evil? Destroying furniture? No--he grunts and throws his arms in the air a couple times. The narration borders on social commentary at times, but don't picture George Orwell here--think more, I don't know, that ex-high school football star turned drunkard at the bonfire who has had a few too many. The acting--should you dare call it that--is as stiff as a board--just watch the cop as he is unloading bullets into the Beast--you get the sense he had absolutely no clue what scene they were shooting. I could go on and on about how awful this movie is (and sadly, not in a good way), but this IS called QUICK horror movie reviews, so let me get to the positives and wrap this up...Tor Johnson looks like a beast, I have a natural love for the desert, so I found many of the shots to be visually appealing, and the movie is a mere 54 minutes long...yeah, that's all I have. If you have ever wondered to yourself "Is The Beast of Yucca Flats really as bad as everybody says it is?", rest assured...it is.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 2

The Beast of Yucca Flats Movie Trailer

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