Sunday, June 25, 2006

Beast of the Yucca Flats

Today's movie is "The Beast of the Yucca Flats", starring Tor Johnson. This is a classic movie, full of Tor Johnson, the desert, a couple of policemen... some coyotes.

OK, so its a little sparse.

But it has Tor Johnson. So you have to watch it.

Tor plays a Russian scientist, defecting to the U.S. when an atomic blast turns him into: Tor Johnson, with some ripped clothes and a couple of small radiation burns. I think the picture on the left is actually touched up a bit, as Tor's make-up job is no where near this good in the actual movie.

One thing of note, this movie was filmed entirely without sound. The sound was dubbed in after filming, which would account for two incredibly obvious things. Number one is the lack of dialogue. The actors almost never have to speak aloud. This movie has less dialogue than a Rambo flick.

The second thing is the narration. You might think this was a nature movie from all the voice over work, but its not. Its an extreme low budget horror movie.

Now, to give you a taste of how the narration adds flavor to this flick, let me run off a few quotes for you.

"A man runs, someone shoots at him." -Narrator

"Touch a button. Things happen. A scientist becomes a beast." -Narrator

"Boys from the city. Not yet caught by the whirlwind of Progress. Feed soda pop to the thirsty pigs. " -Narrator

"Always on the prowl. Looking for something or somebody to kill. Quench the killer's thirst." -Narrator

See the pattern? With the exception of the first quote, which is a one-liner (Probably because its an action sequence and there wasn't need for more), each of these is a three sentence statement. You'd figure that with a movie lacking any real dialogue to move the story along, that the narrator might want to flesh things out a bit.

You know, with words.

But no, he keeps it short, concise. Kind of like Hemingway looking for the perfect sentence. As a matter of fact, I like it so much, I'm going to write the rest of this review in Beast of the Yucca Flats narration style (get ready for some pain, kids).

A movie. Someone moves onscreen. And something happens.

Tor Johnson. He's in a movie. And its not a good one.

The Beast. He kills people. By choking them.

Some random girl at home. She takes a shower. Nipple in the mirror.

Don't shower in a horror movie. Bad things happen. You get choked to death by Tor Johnson before you ever get a speaking line.

The Sheriff and his war buddy. Not too smart. Also probably gay.

Get in a plane. Look for a killer in the desert. With no ID and no clues.

Some guy with his wife and kids driving in the desert. Kids get out and run off. Leave them there.

Guy goes to look for his kids. Not what I would have done. Gets shot at by some guy in a plane.

See Tor walk. See Tor sleep. See Tor angry.

Tor finds a stick. Tor walks with a stick. Tor still angry.

So do you feel it? Feel the pain? The pain of this movie?

Can I stop now? Stop typing like this? Can I stop at all? Ever? Ha, fooled you. OK, so it loses a little in translation without moving pictures. But, given this ham handed editing job, you've got to hand it to Tor for making the movie watchable. Because he's the only reason it is.


Mycroft Holmes said...

That stick is camouflage. His predatory instincts inspired him to pick it up, as it would make him completely undetectable to anyone stupid enough to get themselves involved in a movie with Tor in it.

I think this might be the first crappy American movie ripped off from an obscure Japanese horror film. My evidence:

1) obsession with the extended effects of nuclear weapons;

2) the narrator's style sounds vaguely like a translated haiku;

3) Tor is the size of Godzilla;

4) this idea is funny, and I said so.

Spored_to_Death said...

Did you read the tagline for this movie? "Commies made him an atomic mutant!". Did I mention that he was a communist in the movie? Does that mean he did it to himself? Or do the two most un-Russian looking Russain assassination squad shooting at him make the atomic bomb go off in the distance?

I think it was us. The U.S. Us! It's our own fault that this atomic monster is punishing us for our sins. Tor must contain the souls of American soldiers who died during WW2 who are angry at us for putting the war behind us.

No, wait. That is Godzilla.