The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)

General Information

Director: Coleman Francis

Writer: Coleman Francis

Cast: Douglas Mellor, Barbara Francis, Bing Stafford, Larry Aten, Linda Bielema, Ronald and Alan Francis, Tony Cardoza, Bob Labansat, Jim Oliphant, John Morrison, Eric Tomlin, Jim Miles, George Principe, Conrad Brooks, Graham Stafford, and Tor Johnson

Composers: Irwin Nafshun and Al Remington

Release Date: 5/2/1961

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

 

Overview

While defecting from Russia, noted scientist Joseph Javorsky (Tor Johnson) stumbles into a nuclear testing area. Stripped of his humanity by an atomic blast, Javorsky wanders the Nevada desert searching for people to kill.

The Beast of Yucca Flats is an abysmal effort from Coleman Francis—possibly the most incompetent filmmaker of all time. Especially worth mentioning are the The Beast of Yucca Flatsdull performances, gross editing mistakes, and incoherent subplots that plague this production from beginning to end.

 

Pros

Though frequently obscured by awkward staging, the actors appear to remain straight-faced while delivering their lines—an achievement worthy of the utmost commendation.

 

Cons

Despite its running time of only fifty-four minutes, The Beast of Yucca Flats is drawn out to the point of tediousness—likely a consequence of the fact thatThe Beast of Yucca Flats two police officers, now in pursuit of the mutated Javorsky, spend an inordinate amount of time tracking down and shooting at the wrong suspect.

Also deserving of criticism is the insufferable narration provided by Francis—the director of this so-called film. Specifically, Francis makes a number of pretentious, if not thoroughly nonsensical, statements throughout the story, adding more confusion to a heavily disjointed narrative. Bizarre highlights include references to flying saucers, the whirlwind of progress, and a flag on the Moon—none of which seem relevant to the correlating onscreen action.

 

Analysis

The Beast of Yucca FlatsAs opposed to the Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s creature, and every other half-way decent movie monster, the titular beast lacks a sympathetic, well-developed personality with which the audience could easily relate. Rather, the formerly kind and noble attributes of Javorsky are reinforced only by the ponderous, repetitive commentary of Francis, severely weakening the main character’s position as a tragic figure.

 

Concluding Comments

Creature feature buffs, science fiction lovers, and horror enthusiasts would be wise to avoid The Beast of Yucca Flats, which earns its reputation as the worst movie ever made. The acting of Tor Johnson—known for his collaborations with director Ed Wood—may, however, entertain fans of Z-grade cinema.

 

Overall Quality: 1/10

 

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