Coleman Francis was the writer and director of THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS, which starred Tor Johnson and was released in 1961, two years after Johnson appeared in Ed Wood’s PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. The former film and its creator are put forward by some as challengers to the latter film and its respective creator. More specifically, there are those who say that Francis was a worse director than Ed Wood and that THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS is a worse film than PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. I say, them’s fightin’ words! But there’s no denying the wonderful low-quality unsophisticatedness (according to my spellcheck, that actually is a real word) of Francis’s work.
Tragically, Francis’s death in 1973 appears to have been a suicide, though it was not ruled as such. According to Tony Cardoza, a producer on THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS, Francis was found in a car with “a plastic bag over his head and a tube going into his mouth…” My fellow Ed Wood scholar and online friend Angel Scott recently reported that this scenario is eerily similar to one Ed Wood wrote about in “Hollywood Rat Race” about the attempted suicide of a Hollywood director.