Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS   Rewatch 
September 16, 2021 1:02 AM - Season 6, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Rewatch! Flag on the moon. How'd it get there? It's the last of the three Coleman Francis movies, every one of them a vision into the dark heart of humankind, but this one also has Tor Johnson! Francis himself doesn't act in it, but he does narrate the entire movie. Come for the musings on technology ("Push a button. Things happen. A man becomes a monster."), stay to feed soda pop to the hungry pigs. Good freaking luck. A lot of your enjoyment of this episode comes from your investment in the MST3K premise. If you sit in front of the screen with your arms folded and say, "I'm here TV. Entertain me!", you will DIE. But if you want to see just how bad a movie can be, and a person trapped in space make fun of it with his automated mocking machines, this is some fine viewin'.Previously.
posted by JHarris (6 comments total)
 
I've mentioned before that I wrote a Python Markov text generation script specifically so I could create an infinite stream of Beast Of Yucca Flats narration. Here is some of that. You're welcome.
Joseph Javorsky . Noted scientist. Now a fiend. Prowling the wastelands. A woman's purse. And footprints on the prowl. Looking for something or somebody to kill. Quench the killer's thirst.

Vacation time. People travel east. West. North or south. The Ratcliffes traveled east with two small boys. Nothing bothers some people. Not even flying saucers.

Man choked to death. A jump from a plane could land you on top.

Secret data. Pictures of the cave. One slip and a thousand feet to nowhere.

Always on the Moon.

Jim Archer, ex-paratrooper, trained to hunt down his man and destroy him. Kill or be killed. Man's first rocket to the mouth of the Moon. How did it get there?

Secret data. Pictures of the killer is up on the plateau.

Shockwaves of an a-bomb. A jump from a plane could land you on top.

The mouth of the KGB's most ruthless agents. Their orders: get the briefcase. Kill Javorsky.

Touch a button. Things happen. A trip up into the skies and jump. And a meeting with top brass at the a-bomb testing ground.

Joseph Javorsky. Respected scientist. Recently escaped from behind the iron curtain. Two of the KGB's most ruthless agents. Their orders: get the briefcase. Secret data. Never before outside the Kremlin. Man's inhumanity to man.

Always on the Moon.

The mouth of the killer. To put Jim Archer's paratroop training to good use is the only answer. A scientist becomes a beast.

But the killer's not on the plateau, kill him.

Touch a button. Things happen. A prehistoric beast in the shade, and no shade. Jim and Joe pick their way up to the plateau.

These men are also from behind the iron curtain. Two of the Moon. How did it get there?

Secret data. Pictures of the cave. One slip and a thousand feet to nowhere.

Shoot first ask questions later.

Yucca Flats. The Ratcliffes traveled east with two small boys. Nothing bothers some people. Not even flying saucers.

The pilot dropped his man. Reduced to nothing.

Joseph Javorsky. Noted scientist. Recently escaped from behind the iron curtain. Two of the killer is up on the plateau.

Jim Archer. Joe's partner. Another man caught in the wheels of justice.

Young Joe Dobson. Caught in the whirlwind of progress. Feed soda pop to the mouth of the cave one thousand feet to nowhere.

Man choked to death.
posted by JHarris at 1:07 AM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Shortly after I got into MST3k in the mid 90's (Sci Fi years. I wouldn't dip my toe into Joel episodes until a friend of a friend "circulated" some tapes my way), I got into following a cabal of bad movie review sites on the then-young Internet. One of them had a review of this film, and I read it before having seen either the film or the MST3k episode of it. Reading the descriptions of what happens, I found myself having difficulty picturing something this horrid. Oh, how young and ignorant I was...
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:36 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Ask Christian Slater?
posted by wittgenstein at 4:19 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


The shorts on this one are also quite exceptional.

The 1950s short on budgeting: The dad who looks like James Joyce. "This is my weekly feingin of interest in you son." "I have to go sit downstairs." "Ha ha ha! See you next week son." The film just perfectly encapsulates the shitty mainstream 1950s parenting attitude: Dad berates the kid about not keeping a budget but can't be bothered to spend 5 minutes teaching him how to do it.
Lucky the ghost of Ben Franklin is hovering around. "Would you have your slave press my suit?" -- that's just so wrong it kills me. "That was my darkest vision yet!"

The Puerto Rico short is an all-time favorite. Their relentless negations of the announcer's descriptions are hilarious. An American Democracy "Would be really nice."
Bilingual Schools. "Bisexual students!" Perfect delivery by Mike on that one, and the idea of advertising the abundance of bisexual students as a selling point for tourists and investors is brilliantly absurd. Blends old world charm with modern convenience. Mike: "Oh that means no hamburgers."
Speaking of Mike, he makes the "Newt Gingrich runs that one too" joke. It's been a bit weird hearing Mike do jokes about Republicans since I learned that he was a longtime conservative, even prior to starting with MST3K, I believe. Anyway.
I've only spent 2 weeks in Puerto Rico, and while it had all the good things this film advertises, I noticed this time that the short had a lot less obvious poverty. I was wondering if that was just a false perception on my part, then the film answered my question: Operation Bootstrap the "joint-venture" between the US and PR to bring American investment (for the cheap labor), and take advantage of the fifth largest market for American goods -- so, in other words, underpay them to make crap for us, then sell them our garbage back to them at a huge mark-up. Ugh. And again, Mike & the bots totally call it out in the riffs, which again brings Mike's Republicanism to mind...

Not much I can add about the film itself, which defies all logic in every aspect of its being. It's so short that they needed 2 shorts to fill out the episode, yet it still feels fucking endless. JHarris' bot-script pretty much confirms a couple of riffs by Mike and Tom: "These are all just random sentences, folks." "A think plot... Endlessly repeated."

Favorite references to personal obsessions:
"Latka Gravas attends class." (2nd Andy Kaufman reference in as many eps, I believe.)

Tom Servo singing Frank Zappa's "Cruisin' for Burgers" when the party crew shows up.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:54 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


A thing to remember about MST, and Rifftrax too, is that behind the scenes they're written by a team of writers, with diverse political opinions. In fact, I think they delight in putting those statements in Mike's mouth (and conversely, right-leaning statements in Kevin's).
posted by JHarris at 6:01 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Jeez, I just noticed the typos in my post... I feel like Coleman Francis' editor!
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:11 PM on September 21


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