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“A man murdered.  A woman’s purse.”

Note: I’m watching the version without the 19 second nude scene.  The full version (if you really need to see the boobies for ‘integrity’) is available at archive.org.  The edited version is usually the one in the budget bins/collections.

The ‘making of’ this movie is a fascinating story.  This interview http://www.bmonster.com/profile37.html with Producer/Actor Anthony Cardoza (in addition to the 3 Francis films, he produced/acted in The Hellcats.) does a better job than I ever could.  Be aware, the Coleman Francis story didn’t have a happy ending.

It’s all Tor Johnson’s fault.

I was an Ed Wood fan.  Bride of the Monster, Glen or Glenda, Plan 9 From Outer Space.  Loved them, as well as the B-movies (that’s what I thought all pre-1970 scifi/horror was) on the Early Show and Late Late Show.  But I was at the video store in 1984, probably That’s Rentertainment, when I saw the VHS.  Tor Johnson in a non-Ed Wood movie?  The idea blew my mind.

I thought I knew what a b-movies were.  Thought I had seen low budget films.  Thought I knew how to define ‘cult’ movie.  The Beast of Yucca Flats changed everything.  Now I was lucky to live in a university town with a great rental story.  There was a whole new wall of choices for me.  Midget Westerns!  Jungle Capers!  Well Oiled Hercules!  Rubber Monsters!  The Cor-Man!  The Ro-Man!  Heck, they even had a 1970 movie called Bigfoot, staring John Caradine and produced by Antony Cardoza! (or maybe I have my Bigfoot movies mixed up)

But nothing else by Coleman Francis.  His name never showing up in the Monster Movie mags and Zines of my day.  The Beast was always ‘that Tor Johnson’ movie.  Hell, I probably couldn’t tell you who directed the movie.  I just assumed this was his one shot and, it didn’t go too well.  After all, who would let him make another movie?

But I was wrong, it wasn’t Tor Johnson’s film.  It wasn’t Tor Johnson that changed everything for me.  It was Coleman Francis.  I just didn’t know it yet.

Almost a decade later I finally found out.

Watchabilty: 1 of 5.  It is in the discussion for worst movie ever.  Definitely in Monster A-Go Go, The Creeping Terror range.  Never trust a movie that’s narrated (except Blade Runner).  A big movie in terms of my development as a fan.

Missing the Riffs: 3 of 5.  I like both versions, don’t make me choose.

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