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Film / Beast of the Yellow Night

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Beast of the Yellow Night is a 1971 Filipino-American horror film.

In 1946 Joseph Langdon, Army deserter and murderer, was fleeing pursuit in the jungles of Southeast Asia when a sardonic voice made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

In 1971, Phillip Rogers dies unexpectedly in the hospital. When his grieving wife is allowed to see him, all the onlookers are astonished to find the supposedly dead man blinking and moving around...

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This film provides examples of:

  • Agony Beam: The first time Langdon tries to assert himself, Satan causes him to double over in pain as a warning.
  • Anti-Villain: Langdon was a murderer, rapist and thief in life, and spent 25 years doing the Devil's work, but he's grown weary of it, and tries to change.
  • Back from the Dead: Phillip Rogers comes back to life after Langdon Body Surfs into him.
  • Blind Seer: It's unclear quite what Nan's deal is, but he demonstrates remarkable insight into Langdon's situation.
  • Body Surf: Every times a body Langdon's in dies, Satan puts him into a new one.
  • Brown Note: The shock of seeing Langdon-as-Rogers come back to life, with a perfect new face, kills his doctor on sight.
  • The Corrupter: Langdon's job for Satan is to hop from body to body and awaken the latent evil in people he comes into contact with.
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  • Deal with the Devil: Langdon makes one in 1946.
  • Death Seeker: Langdon's tired of the life he's leading.
  • Detect Evil: Langdon appears to have the ability to sense a person's sins, as he's able to tell Julia cheated on Rogers and that Earl coveted her.
  • The Eeyore: In life, Rogers was apparently a deeply depressed person who didn't care about Julia or anything else.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Satan's all condescending charm and friendly encouragement...until you disagree with him.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Langdon made his in World War II, when, as a POW, he collaborated and joined the Japanese in torturing his former compatriots.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Satan gives Langdon his face back for the heck of it, and is extremely disappointed when Langdon starts thinking of himself as a person again.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Zigzagged. After getting shot with rifles to no effect several times, Langdon's beast form is done in by a single pistol shot.
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  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Langdon's first bestial transformation is triggered when he tries to enter a church.
  • Heroic BSoD: Julia slips into one after seeing Langdon/Rogers transform in front of her.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In the opening scene, Satan tells the starving Langdon that his accomplice died before she could bring him supplies...but she could still feed him. And then he pours out a bag full of meat. Langdon's first reaction is horror, but soon enough he's wolfing it down with gusto.
  • Invisible to Normals: Satan and Langdon when he's between forms.
  • Loss of Identity: Satan wants Langdon to abandon all thoughts of individuality or personhood and see himself as a corrupting force instead.
  • Love Redeems: Langdon's developing feelings for Julia are part of the impetus for rejecting Satan.
  • Mercy Kill: Death was the only way out for Langdon.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Getting his own face back causes Langdon to reassert his own personal identity...something Satan doesn't want.
  • Morphic Resonance: Thanks to Satan's intervention, Rogers' face is transformed into Langdon's.
  • Nightmare Face: Averted. Rogers' face was mangled in an industrial accident, but we never get to see what it looked like before as it's Langdon's face now. It's pretty scary to Rogers' doctor, though, giving the poor man a heart attack.
  • No-Sell: Someone runs up to Langdon and stabs him in the gut several times, but knife comes out clean and he doesn't have a scratch.
  • Ominous Fog: The jungle in which Langdon sells his soul is covered in the stuff. So are the credits.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: After trying to assert his own personality and rebel, Langdon is cursed by Satan to periodically transform into a savage beast and kill for him instead.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Averted. Langdon doesn't particularly try to act like Phillip Rogers, and people notice, but chalk his strange behavior up to the terrible experiences he's suffered.
  • Poison Mushroom: The opening scene, a desperate Langdon grabs some strange berries and devours them. Satan tells him that they were incredibly poisonous and Langdon would be dead by now if not for his intervention.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Langdon (in beast form) prays for the dying Nan, finally renouncing Satan entirely, and then gets shot.
  • Rousing Speech: Satan points out that Langdon's heart doesn't really seem to be in it and tries to encourage him to be truly evil.
  • Stripperiffic: When Satan first appears, he's wearing a loincloth and headband and little else. Pot-bellied and balding isn't a very good look for the Great Tempter.
  • Super Strength: Langdon's beast form can bend iron bars with its bare hands.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Rogers' doctor notes that there was no reason for him to die. (It's diabolic intervention.)
  • Undying Loyalty: Even after the man she thinks is her dead husband undergoes a drastic personality change, becomes a murder suspect and clearly has some sort of supernatural thing going on, Julia stays loyally by his side. It comes off as more strange and co-dependent than sweet.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Langdon running around in a bloody shirt while there's a murderer on the loose elicits little more than mild curiosity from the people he runs into.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The movie takes place somewhere in Southeast Asia.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: After his last body dies, all Langdon wants to do is lie in his grave and rest, but duty calls...
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • The funeral scene seems to imply that Langdon had possessed the decedent's body and had an affair, presumably in order to corrupt the lover into adultery and the family into jealousy and wrath.
    • Langdon-as-Rogers tries to manipulate Rogers' brother Earl and wife Julia into hooking up. Neither is receptive, though Earl is clearly tempted.
    • Julia herself picked up an airplane pilot for a one-night stand a few months before the movie, and has been beating herself up ever since.
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