The first scene raised many questions: Who was the girl? How did Javorsky kill her before he mutated? Was it an unmentioned scene in the middle of the film? According to Tom Weaver's interview with producer Anthony Cardoza, the scene was shot after the movie was completed, and Coleman Francis put it there because he liked nude scenes.
The setting for the film, "Yucca Flats," was based on the real-life Yucca Flat, which has been called "the most irradiated, nuclear-blasted spot on the face of the earth," but actual shooting locations for the film were all in California: Santa Clarita (desert scenes), Saugus (airplane scenes) and Van Nuys (opening scene interior). In 1970, nine years after the film was made, 86 workers were exposed to radiation during the Yucca Flat Baneberry Test in the actual Yucca Flats. In March 2009, Time identified the accident as one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.
Since no audio was recorded during principal photography, during scenes in which firearms are used, the muzzles of the guns are usually out of shot when the weapons are fired. Also, in scenes of gunplay, many characters appear at first to have suffered life-threatening bullet wounds, only to appear in later scenes fully recovered with no visible signs of having been wounded.
The Beast of Yucca Flats was first released on DVD by Image Entertainment on September 5, 2000, followed by numerous later DVD releases. It was released by Alpha Video on November 18, 2003, and by Image Entertainment on December 30, 2003 as a part of a double feature with Mesa of Lost Women (1953). It was released as a part of a 12-disc "Horror Classics Collection" by Digital 1 Stop on January 20, 2004. Platinum Disc released the film on June 7, 2005, and again on August 23 as a part of several multi-disc collections; Mill Creek Entertainment released the film on July 5, 2005. In 2006, it was released by Digiview Entertainment and ST Clair Vision on May 9 and October 17, respectively. ST Clair Vision re-released it on June 26, 2007. Releases by Direct Source and Mill Creek Entertainment, as part of multi-film collections, also appeared in 2007. ST Clair Vision re-released the film one more time on May 20, 2008. In 2010, The Beast of Yucca Flats was released three separate times by TNT Media Group and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment. On August 20, 2013, Mill Creek released it as part of a 3-disc, 12-filn collection, The Best of the Worst Film Pack. The film was last released by Echo Bridge on September 1, 2015.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The first scene in the film is the strangulation murder of a woman (played by Lanell Cado) who has just stepped out of a shower, by a man whose face is never shown; it is implied that the killer molests her corpse. The murderer is dressed like Javorsky (Tor Johnson) after the blast, but the murder is never mentioned during the actual film, nor is there any apparent place in the narrative where it could be said to occur. (Javorsky as The Beast has burns on the backs of his hands, but the pre-credits strangler does not.) According to an interview with producer Cardoza by film historian Tom Weaver, the scene was added after the film was complete because director Francis liked nude scenes. In fact, Francis reportedly acted as Tor's stand in for that scene. Some prints (such as the one used for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode and the print on YouTube) were edited to show the woman clothed for the duration of the scene (running 81 seconds), with the only nudity being a brief flash of breast as she towels herself in front of a mirror. The 2003 Alpha Video DVD print has a slightly longer version of the scene (running 93 seconds), where the woman is shown naked as she puts on a pair of underwear, with both breasts visible several times before she is shown walking out of the room.