Monday 9 November 2015

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 42 The Beast of Yucca Flats

The amount of monsters roaming the country side movies on this list is too damn high! Another movie that seems to function solely as a vehicle to dress some stupid moron up and have him wander about in a desert, trying to convince every poor sod who happens to watch it, that the amazing cinematography alone is worth the money. Here’s the dirty little secret: It’s not. Not now. Not ever. It’s just like taking a big fat steaming dump, wrapping it up in glittery gold paper and trying to sell it as the gift everybody wants for Christmas. If you wake up Christmas morning in about 7 weeks, and unwrap this little gem, it’s time to seriously reconsider your familial allegiances. Read on, and see why, when I take a not even that critical look at…

This was the opening scene. It had nothing to do with anything. Nothing. I don't know who the guy was, and why this lady was killed. It just happened. For no reason.

The third and, as far as I can see, last of Coleman Francis’ movies on this list clocks in at number 42. For you lazy readers out there, and by Iehova I know there are several of you, the other two were The Skydivers and Night Train to Mundo Fine at 83 and 52 respectively. Whereas Skydivers was just stupid and lame and unbelievably daft and without merit, both Night Train and now Yucca Flats were thinly veiled, and ultimately failed, attempts at riding the government sanctioned witch hunt for communists across the States during the 60s. I say failed mostly because anybody who actually watched the movies would be hard pressed finding coherence and any sort of feasible conclusion, but the cover of Yucca Flats mentions commies and how they turned somebody into a monster, and I guess that sums up the effort nicely. I didn’t see the cover until after I watched the movie, and I honestly didn’t get this whole painting a shitty picture of communist Russia until then. So yes, failed.

This is exactly how I would expect a highly trained KGB agent to hold his little crappy peashooter of a pistol.

In The Beast of Yucca Flats, a Russian scientist is defecting to the States with top secret Russian science. Exactly what isn’t explained and it’s soon clear that nobody gave a shit really. He lands in a tiny little Cessna plane, and is immediately antagonized by the two best KGB agents sent to intercept him. It’s a totally deserted airfield, and the one, presumably, US government agent sent to meet the Russian doesn’t see the car with two suspicious looking people? A car chase ensues. For some reason the US government car has a black driver in what appears to be a bell hop uniform. He is shot during the chase proving the old “black guy dies first” rule was alive and well even then. Eventually the Russian scientist bails on the car and starts running on to Yucca Flats, the military installation he was going to. No guards or anything are in sight though, and just as he does, a nuke goes off. It’s a testing facility apparently. Apparently, they blow up bombs without checking if anybody is around. Or any other security. Super impressive. The guy is mutated into a beast, whose only function becomes to kill. Makes total sense.

This seems totally sensible. Flying at a couple of hundred mph aiming at a running guy below, I'm sure the scope is steady.

Not soon after, a car with two random people drive by, because the nuke that went off not minutes before didn’t deter them in any way. The man gets out of the car to fix an engine problem in the back, and is murdered by strangulation. The woman sees nothing, and is soon strangled too. She is carried off by the beast, for reasons that aren’t explained. One cop somewhere else knows they were killed, either by divine intervention or because he’s psychic. He picks up his cop buddy and together they start prowling the desert randomly, looking for… something. They don’t really know. Of course they find the woman, who is still alive and abandoned. They decide to move her, but she dies moments later. And is never seen or mentioned again. I guess they just leave her there. She’s dead. Who cares. Now another car pulls on to the side of the road somewhere. Flat tire apparently. The dad gets out to fix it, and the two kids decide to go off exploring. They literally disappear less than 30 seconds after the car has stopped. It amazes me, in a landscape dominated by flat desert as far as the eye stretches, that they manage to completely vanish. The dad runs off looking for them. We see him running for a good ten minutes through landscape wildly varied. The cops are now airborn looking for the beast, see the dad running and just starts shooting at him with a rifle. From an airplane. With a scope. What the fuck? He falls down clutching his body twice, but isn’t shot apparently. The cops decide on a new tactic: find the beast. Good work. They eventually do, and the movie ends. Thank God.

This car chase was so lame and went on for quite a while. Also they kept adding gunshot sounds but nobody was firing any guns out the windows.

This was… incredibly stupid. I mean even for Coleman, whose track record is less than impressive, this movie was completely fucking devoid of sense and plot. It was only 53 minutes long, which was by far it’s most appealing feature. The beast’s only function was to stagger around waving a large stick in the absolutely least convincing way. The cops, who were presented as trained parajumpers, shooting a rifle with a scope at a moving target from a fucking airplane were just beyond belief. It’s a recurring theme in his movies though, as I believe I commented on before. I get the feeling that Coleman either owned an airplane or knew somebody who did and insisted on working it into his stupid movies. The beast had like 5 minutes screen time, and barely even wore make up. I mean he was a big dude, and had a little bit of stuff around the face. Besides that, he was just the same dude acting befuddled and awkward.

The beast. It really seems like they had just given up on everything at this point. Most of all he just looks like an angry drifter.

So much time was spent on the cops chasing that fucking dad. At one point he walks past a sign that says “Yucca Flats. Authorized personnel only” on it, and he looked alarmed. But the stupid thing is, he came from behind the sign and stepped out. So he already was on the military installation. Way to go, Coleman you blind moron. He ran back to his wife, told her to wait and fucking took off in the car to get help. How awesome is that? He drove to the nearest ranch and managed to recruit like 10 people to run around the desert looking for his kids. This stupid subplot isn’t touched upon again. The cops, after failing their sneaky plot of spotting the beast from above, decide to just find him by running around randomly once more. A brief fight ensues. A fight completely lacking excitement and realism. The beast faints? Or dies? And a little bunny, for some godforsaken reason, runs up and nuzzles his face a little. He grabs it briefly and then possibly dies for the final time. What the fuck is the point of this bunny? The two cops just leave him and go about their business.

He had just killed this lady's boyfriend behind the car, yet for some reason his hands kill her from inside the car. Even small things like this just doesn't make sense.

Through the whole movie, there are maybe 10 lines of dialogue from the characters. The rest is a narrator. And everything he says is mindnumbingly stupid. Talking about the kids, he goes on about how they are yet unspoiled by society. Or how the beast was once a brilliant scientist but now only has a mind for killing. Why? Why is this? It kills 2 people and then spends the rest of the time flailing a stick around like a halfwit. For fuck’s sake this movie was so fucking pointless I can’t even understand how Coleman Francis thought it was ok. Skydivers was stupid, but at least there was a motive for things happening. Night Train… well there wasn’t really a motive for much but still it felt like that movie had an intricate plot and three dimensional characters compared to this travesty. You could have showed me only the screenshots from this review, and I would’ve had a perfect grasp of what was going on. So fucking stupid. The narrator tried to give it depth and soul, but he failed miserably. Coleman died at 53 in Hollywood. I can only assume an angry cinemagoer was fed the fuck up with these wastes of screen, and strangled him. I don’t normally condone violence, but I’m not sure I’d convict that person, if I was on a jury of his peers. With a spot of luck, my calculations are correct, and I won’t have to sit through anymore Coleman from here on out. 

The cops leave the beast because fuck it, right. Walk away from that shit. Nobody knows who the guy in the background is.


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