Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Movie Review: Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)

The Beast of Yucca Flats
So bad it's interesting - THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS

Written & Directed by Coleman Francis

Joe Dobson...Larry Aten
Jim Archer...Bing Stafford
Joseph Javorski...Tor Johnson

Rogue scientist Joseph Javorski, wanted dead by spies “from behind the iron curtain”, is en route to Yucca Flats to witness a test detonation of an Atomic bomb. In an incredibly Hulk-like turn, he’s caught in the explosion and, presumably, killed.

But wait. Who’s that strange, twisted figure creeping out from the shadows to strangle whatever hapless innocent that happens to be in reach? Could it be Joseph Javorski, A.K.A….THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS? You bet your sweet bippy. And before the Beast can even drag his poor man’s Fay Wray to his lair, Joe and Jim—your friendly neighborhood desert patrolmen—are on the case, a couple of quick little buggers to say the least. Can they destroy the Beast before he makes mincemeat out of the next family to breakdown along the road? Here’s hoping!

This film is a strange thing indeed. Clocking in at around 50-minutes, there’s no time for any sort of preamble or build-up, it’s just wham-bam, right into the tale. And yet, even then, much of the movie seems padded, showing pointless scenes of young boys sharing their soda with potbellied pigs and playing with coyotes. It’s painfully obvious that the filmmakers didn’t have the benefit of boom mikes, and so all sound was added in later. There’s practically no dialogue, and what little there is is delivered through utterly ridiculous narration: “Nothing bothers some people. Not even flying saucers.” And no, there aren’t any flying saucers in the film, which serves only to raise the ridiculousness.

The characters are thin as origami, like paper dolls blowing through the desert. And these supposed lawmen have got to be the worst officers in existence. No matter how much you try to suspend disbelief, you can’t help but wonder how they got their badges.

So yes, it’s a bad film. And not a film so bad that it’s good. It is, however, a film so bad that it’s interesting, which is a rare animal indeed. You can’t help but be intrigued by such a bizarre method of movie making and have a certain respect for the crew. I‘m sure there were a hell of a lot of problems during production, but nothing was going to stand in the way of getting this movie made!

Worth a look if you’re craving something a bit…different.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Girl Madness; The Atomic Monster; The Violent Sun

Believe it or not, I enjoyed this film enough to make a comic version of it...starring myself! 
Click HERE to take a look!

54 minutes
Black & White


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