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The Beast of Yucca Flats

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621 - The Beast of Yucca Flats
0621
Air Date January 21, 1995
MST3K Director Jim Mallon
AKA Girl Madness
The Atomic Monster: The Beast of Yucca Flats
Movie Director Coleman Francis
Year 1961
Cast Douglas Mellor
Barbara Francis
Tor Johnson
Bing Stafford
Short Money Talks!
Short Progress Island U.S.A.
Preceded by 620 - Danger!! Death Ray
Followed by 622 - Angels Revenge


Flag on the Moon... How'd it get there?
  — Narrator


This movie stops at nothing...and stays there!
  — Tom Servo


The Shorts

Synopses

621s1

Money Talks! Having trouble saving money, a kid gets advice from Ben Franklin himself.

Progress Island, U.S.A. Modern Puerto Rico has a lot to offer.

Memorable Quotes

[Scene where Benjamin Franklin first visits William.]
Ben Franklin: You must learn how to manage your money.
William: What money?
Mike [As Ben Franklin]: Don't smart mouth me BOY!
621s2
[Benjamin Franklin looks over William's floor plans.]
Ben Franklin: Judging from these drawings, you'd like to be an architect someday.
Servo [As Ben Franklin]: Forget it "Soda Jerk!"
[William writes down what Benjamin Franklin is teaching him.]
William: ...Plan...My...Savings...
Servo [As William's "mother."]: William! What are you doing in there? You're not talking to 'The Founding Fathers' again are you!?
William: That's important! To keep a budget "flexible."
Crow [As William]: "Like Gumby."

The Movie

Synopsis

Beastmovie

Tor Johnson in The Beast of Yucca Flats

A clock ticks. A beautiful girl. A hidden killer. The clock stops. There is no connection.

The vast desert. A plane lands. Joseph Javorski, noted scientist, has the fate of the world in his briefcase. The Kremlin's best make him a target. The wheels of progress grind on.

A chase. Bullets. Murder. Flag on the moon...how did it get there? A bomb. More progress. Touch a button, something happens. A scientist becomes a beast.

Figures in a landscape. Who knows how long we really have? A woman's purse. Joe and Jim, desert patrolmen. They guard freedom and democracy in this bleak landscape. A beast is on the loose. Joseph Javorski, once a noted scientist, now...nothing.
Beastgirl

The Beast of Yucca Flats

There is no progress in the desert. Yet its effects are everywhere. Man's progress. Quench the killer's thirst. A family stops for a rest. The beast appears. A terrible mistake. Policemen with quick guns and the minds of swine. An innocent man dies. Who cares? Two boys feed soda pop to thirsty pigs. It's progress, you know.

Confrontation. A fight that is not a fight. A gun with no bullets fires. Joseph Javorski, noted scientist, becomes rabbit food. The wheels of progress grind on. End. [1]

Information

  • This movie was mentioned during the first host segment of 513, The Brain That Wouldn't Die, as part of Mike's training in the art of riffing. Strangely, given their extremely despairing reactions in this episode, there it was claimed to be a "cake walk" compared to the movies they usually watch.
    • Although it's possible that Servo and Crow chose not to watch it when training Mike or they were not aware that it was another Coleman Francis movie
  • The two boys, Randy and Art, are played by Coleman Francis’ sons Ronald and Alan.
  • Tor got paid $300 for starring in this movie. That’s a dollar a pound.
  • The movie took a year to film on weekends. Tony Cardoza filmed his scenes as an agent early on. By the end, after hanging out with Tor for a year, he had gained 60lbs and is actually in the chase scene again at the end as a "fat" guy.
  • According to Tony Cardoza, even though Coleman Francis is credited as editing the film, Coleman never edited anything. Cardoza, Lee Strosnider and Austin McKinney did all the editing.
  • As is pointed out by Mike and the Bots, no one ever talks on camera throughout the whole movie. The closest that happens are characters talking while looking away, hiding their face, or being too far away from the camera.  The movie was filmed without a soundtrack, and all sound (dialogue, music, sound effects, and narration) was added in post-production.
  • Just as in Red Zone Cuba and The Skydivers, there is a strange amount of attention paid to a scene (and plot point) involving an extrajudicial killing.
  • Cast and crew roundup:

The Episode

Host Segments

SOLPaintingParty

Mike & the Bots wallpaper the SOL

Prologue: Mike and the Bots are wallpapering the SOL. The patterns aren't matched up, mostly because they're not the same pattern. Gypsy does not react as expected.

Segment One: Proposition Deep 13 proposes to speak for the Mads in the form of the feature film's overt badness. Candidate Mike Nelson responds for the SOL with a stirring speech from Tom Servo and fanfare from Crow's horn. However, the fact that the film is from Coleman Francis causes some backpedaling from Mike and the gang.
Beastcrow

Crow's film anti-preservation presentation

Segment Two: The SOL's nice quiet afternoon is interrupted by a visit from some noisy white-trash teen partiers. Crow takes them up on their offer to join the festivities.

Segment Three: Crow wants to know if it's 11:30 yet. There are many times at which it is not 11:30, as Mike constantly tells him.

Segment Four: Crow offers a plea for film anti-preservation to help bad films deteriorate more quickly. Mike disapproves, but Crow doesn't care.
CrowLunch

Crow wants to know if it's 11:30 yet

Segment Five: The Bots read letters of congratulations, and Mike gives his victory speech after defeating Proposition Deep 13. Dr. F gives his concession speech. He then slaps Frank. A lot.

Stinger: The beast is very pissed off.

Other Notes

  • Unusual credits: Dr. F can be heard repeatedly slapping Frank as the credits play.
  • The host segment in which Crow keeps asking if it's 11:30 yet is an inside joke, aimed at Frank Conniff.  He often skipped breakfast, so he'd frequently interrupt writing sessions by asking if it was time to break for lunch.

Guest Stars

Callbacks

Obscure References

  • "Proposition Deep 13"

A reference to the "Culture War" speech during the 1992 Republican National Convention, in which terms like "counter-culture" were being thrown around.

  • "Will our mystery guest enter and sign in, please?"

The phrase used on the game show What's My Line? to introduce the celebrity guest round.  

  • "Benjamin Franklin was tried in the 8th Circuit Court on stalking charges.  In a minute, the result of that trial."

A reference to the voice-over that ended every episode of "Dragnet".  

  • "Feel the glory of the Royal Scam!"

A misquoted line from the Steely Dan song "The Royal Scam".

  • "Why do I conk my hair?"

In period African-American slang, the verb "conk" refers to processing one's hair.

  • "It's the KGB Mr. Benny!!"

Referring to vintage African American comedian Eddie "Rochester" Anderson who was a regular cast member on The Jack Benny Program. The KJB were the main security and intelligence gathering agency of the former Soviet Union.

  • "Time for go to ground transportation."

A callback to the line "Time for go to bed", delivered by Tor Johnson in The Unearthly.

  • "It's Trudy."

A Local Hero reference; the protagonist named a rabbit he hit with his car "Trudy", after his ex-girlfriend.

  • "A phrenologist would have a field day with Tor's skull!"

Phrenology was a pseudoscience popular in the 19th century that held it was possible to determine a person's mental abilities by feeling the shape of their skull.

  • "Father McKenzie. Darning his socks in the night when no one is there..."

Alluding to some lyrics from The Beatles song Eleanor Rigby

  • "The Killer's in Memphis, marrying his 12 year old cousin."

Jerry Lee Lewis, aka "The Killer", did indeed marry his cousin (who was actually 13 at the time, not that that makes it any better.)

  • "They're vacationing at The Most Dangerous Game dude ranch!"

"The Most Dangerous Game" is a short story by Richard Connell, later adapted into a movie, in which a human being becomes the target of hunters (the basic premise was used by Bloodlust).

  • "Bit of a ripoff, huh?" "Coleman only steals from the very best."

The shot of the guy running from the plane piloted by someone shooting at him is almost identical to an iconic shot from Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest.

  • "He's got a high albedo."

Albedo is a measure of the reflecting power of a surface, commonly used with planets.

  • "Now the rabbit eats Tor and becomes 'The Night of the Lepus!'"

Referring to the 70's B movie Night of the Lepus which featured "large" mutated rabbits. When Mike Nelson replaced Joel on the SOL; Night of the Lepus was one of his training films.(Along with Beast of Yucca Flats.) However, unlike this current episode; the actual riffing of Night of the Lepus wouldn't be shown until many years later on RiffTrax.

Video Release

Beastyucca

MST3K DVD Cover

Commercially released on DVD by Shout Factory in July 2010 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 18, a 4-DVD set with Lost ContinentCrash of Moons, and Jack Frost.

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