Cult Movie Essentials

Cult Movie Essentials: The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)

Directed by Coleman Francis, The Beast of Yucca Flats follows a Soviet scientist named Joseph Jaworsky (Tor Johnson), who defects and flees to a Nevada Test Site called Yucca Flats. Before his defection we witness a woman (Lanell Cado) step out of a shower and get and strangled to death by a mysterious man as a clock ticks, then stops. Apparently the scene was added after the film was complete because director Francis liked nude scenes – it is never mentioned again nor does it link to any plot element in the film.

Upon arrival in America, Javorsky, along with a briefcase full of Soviet military secrets, travels to the American base at Yucca Flats. Javorsky and his American contacts are suddenly attacked by a pair of KGB assassins (Anthony Cardoza and John Morrison) killing Javorsky’s contacts and bodyguards.

Javorsky fears for his life and escapes into the desert, where after hours of walking in very hot temperatures he become delirious and removes much of his clothing. Unfortunately his wandering leads him into a nuclear test site where after an explosion he is transformed into a mindless beast with an uncontrollable urge to kill. He proceeds to murder a couple in their car on a nearby road, prompting pursuit from police officers Jim Archer (Bing Stafford) and Joe Dobson (Larry Aten)…



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