Yor, the Hunter from the Future
He is from a future world. Trapped in prehistoric times. Searching for his past. A hunter of incredible power and strength. In his quest for his origin, he and the woman he loves must fight hostile tribes. Battle deadly beasts. And try to survive the violent forces of a newly born Earth.
Year of Release: 1983
Running Time: 88 minutes (1:28)
Director: Antonio Margheriti
Reb Brown ... Yor
Corinne Clery ... Kalaa
Luciano Pigozzi ... Pag
Ayshe Gul ... Roa of the Sand-People
Carole Andre ... Ena
Marina Rocchi ... Tarita
Sergio Nicolai ... Kay
John Steiner ... Overlord
Aytekin Akkaya ... Ukan
In a primitive land of huge, lumbering reptiles, fierce cave-dwellers and ancient mystery, Yor, the mighty warrior, sets out on a quest to learn the truth of his own identity. This spectacular fantasy-adventure takes place in a time warp where the past and the future mysteriously collide, blending stone-age brawn with dazzling technology! Yor has mastered his primitive planet, but somehow he knows he does not belong. The only clue to his fleeting memories of another time and place is his gold medallion: a burnished bronze symbol of heaven's fire. Roa, the priestess in the "forbidden land," tells Yor that his answers lie in a floating island across the sea - a land where time and technology are paradoxically reversed! There, the secret of Yor's ancestry - and the future of the planet - awaits!
Yor, the Hunter from the Future, remindin' us that "drinking the blood of your enemies makes you stronger." Unless your enemy happens to be Charlie Sheen, in which case it just gives you HIV an a hell of a hangover the next mornin'. Course, Reb Brown mighta known that if Reagan hadn't been keepin' the whole AIDS things under wraps like a midget hooker in a linen closet. That's why there're no vampires in San Francisco, by the way. See, they don't tell you this stuff in Fangoria, so it's a good thing I'm here to keep everybody up to speed on the nuances of modern culture.
An speakin' of people lackin' in journalistic integrity, I'd like to set the record straight regardin' that story the Chickawalka Talka published this past Monday titled: "Trash of the Titans." First thing I'd like to make perfectly clear is that the assault with a deadly weapon charge is completely bogus. It was only a hubcap for cripes sake. Actually, maybe I aughta back up for a second. See, ever since Billy Hilliard an I accidentally burned that crop circle into the lawn last year with a kiddie pool fulla turpentine tryin' to get rid of that hornet's nest, I been needin' a new one to keep Apollo cool durin' the summer. So since Billy needed a coupla chair legs an a replacement wheelbarrow tire, he decided to come out to the dump with me to do some browsin'. Cleave Furguson went too, but he was over in the "kitchen leavins" section huntin' for seagulls mosta the time. Anyway, Billy an I'd just about polished off our shoppin' lists, when Billy spotted this coffee table that was in perfect condition other'n havin' all its glass surfaces busted out, an so he decided he wanted it for his bathroom. I guess he was gonna nail a chunka plywood where the glass used to go so he could use it to play solitaire when business was a little slow, if you know what I mean. Anyway, these two guys wander over from the appliance section an try callin' "dibs" after Billy'd already done so (an I'll testify to that in court if need be). So outta nowhere, the first guy hauls off an chop blocks Billy's knee out from under 'im while he's got this table up on his shoulder, which then promptly falls onto the guy's torso an breaks about three of his ribs. Ended up bein' eight of his ribs after I jumped on the table to make sure he wouldn't get up again, but pretty quick the other guy's tryin' to pole me in the pancreas with an old tent leg until I managed to grab up an Oldsmobile Delta hubcap an... well, the guy might wanna think about chargin' an advertisin' fee at this point, cause it's been three days an the logo dent still hasn't come outta his forehead yet. Cleave eventually heard the noise an pulled Billy off the guy who'd chopped 'im before he could twist the guy's head off like a Snapple cap, but I think there's pretty clear legal precedence in place regardin' this situation, as my attorney, Cletus Rubenstein, pointed out in the case of "Finders v. Keepers." Skunky Hernandez hadda come bail us out yesterday cause we're scheduled to work the Grime Time Drive-In this Friday, but I just want everyone readin' to understand somethin', and that's the fact that THEY STARTED IT. Billy an I're gonna fight this thing to the end to restore our good names an personal dignity, but Cletus says I can't say anymore about it or else it might compromise our legal defense.
Anyway, that's prolly not why you're all here. You wanna hear about Yor, an who could blame ya, what with it bein' one of the greatest Italian/Turkish sword an sorcery flicks ever made to feature a man hang-glidin' on the wings of a dead pterodactyl into a den fulla Planet of the Apes extras. They just don't make 'em like this anymore, an to commemorate the occassion, I've plucked a few of the things you'll needa know if you intend to survive in a dystopian future that looks like the dystopian past. First, havin' your theme music playin' while you beat the tar outta meatloaf-faced extras can increase your battle prowess by as much as 20%. Second, the skull of a blonde is armored much like a dragon's scales. Which means that they can take a stalactite to the cranium an walk it off in seconds, but if somebody finds the chink in the armor, all it takes is a precision strike with a pitiful little rounded river rock. An third, all command consoles of the future include braille for the visually impaired. But what I wanna know, an this's bugged me for a long time; how come the bad guy always picks the featured actress to be his personal concubine/sacrifice/laundry folder? I mean, specially in these sword an sorcery deals, you'll have an entire village of scantily clad cavebabes with prefab hooters an immaculately groomed Paul Mitchell hairdos, but the head mean guy always goes for the girl he thinks is gonna get the slab of beef the most P.O.'d. Don't matter if she's the ugliest one in the whole bunch, he still wants 'er. Seriously, what's the appeal of gettin' Conan/Ator/Deathstalker's sloppy seconds? Just once I wanna see what happens when the oily refrigerator goes "meh" an just lets the villain keep 'er. You'd prolly get this primordial version of Married with Children where the snarling evil Genghis Khan composite creep comes home everyday to a nasty broad with soup cans in 'er hair, no bra, melons saggin' down to 'er belly button, cigarette danglin' out of 'er mouth, Phil Donahue on the TV, an Attila the Hun coverin' his eyes demandin' she either get the heck outta there or tuck those things into 'er sweat pants. Then she'd prolly say somethin' like "oh but you sure showed that Yor, didn't you honey? Yeah, he's off bangin' my sister right now, all your flunkies snatched up the best Maybelline caked floozies for themselves, an you've got me for the rest of your life cause if you even think about divorce I'm takin' the fortress an half your gold hoard. Oh, and by the way, Yor's schlonker was at least twice the size of that Twizzler you call a rod." An now that I think about it, how come none of these Beastmaster guys don't just start hidin' their women in amongst the herd an pretend to be datin' some old crone just to see if Emperor Chowmein'll go for 'er groceries to try hackin' 'im off? These barbarian types really needa do a little peer reviewin' with each other to find out what they're doin' wrong, maybe compare notes an quit makin' the same mistakes. At least they finally figured out how not to chug a mickey after watchin' Hercules get drugged every single time he goes to a party.
The movie begins with Big McLargeHuge (Reb Brown) runnin' outta the ruins of a castle wearin' nothin' but his immaculate surfer hair an pronghorn thong speedo, until he runs into the cast of Caveman who're all raisin' their children up into the air like they're about to start singin' "Circle of Life." Then Reb hasta save Barney Rubble's father (Pag) an some cave cookie (Kalaa) from this Atleastyoutried-ceratops after Pag tries kidnappin' a basset hound with a baby dinosaur costume strapped to its back. Pag's tribe is pretty impressed, so they invite Reb over for dinner where the old prophet man who looks like Billy Barty in Willow inspects his neck bling an tells 'im that he's seen a piece of costume jewelry like it once before on some chick out in the desert, an that she aughta be easy to find since they obviously go to the same hairstylist. So everybody's chewin' on their Dinty Moore dino-stew an watchin' the cave-ladies shake their stone-age sweater puppies to prehistoric renaissance festival music, only while Reb's pawin' around in his buckskin britches for some dollar bills, these Planet of the Apes extras crash the party an Reb hasta start Jose Canseco'in 'em with his axe until he, Pag, an Kalaa can make a break for it. Cept now Pag feels like a dystopian draft dodger, so he hauls his tapir-skin toga back to the village where everybody's been slaughtered except for the Billy Barty guy who tells 'im the Magilla guerillas took their women an killed all the kids, an that he'd appreciate it if he an Reb could go make like Cincinnati zookeepers an avenge the tribe. Reb's one step ahead an pretty P.O.'d about the whole deal, so he oils up an takes Kalaa out to find Pag so they can start scoopin' out monkey brains with his skull-carver, only they end up gettin' ambushed an Reb gets pitched off this cliff onto a pile of jagged rocks. Reb's okay, but now he's really P.O.'d about the omang-utans takin' his amulet an his woman, so he starts clawin' his way back up the hill to find ape city an stretch Roddy's McBowels from one end of it to the other. Fortunately, Pag finds 'im before he gets thrown into any more precipi, an the two of 'em storm Mighty Slow Young's cave on the wings of the snow white pterodactyl while the natives're playin' grabass with all the captive cave-broads. Once inside, Reb grabs Kalaa an starts clubbin' the entire clan right in their super monkey balls, until he pulls a big rock outta the dam that holds back the apes' sewage treatment pond an drowns the lot of 'em in their own monkey funk. Then the three of 'em head for the desert cause Reb wants to find out more about the miniature gong he's got around his neck, an pretty quick Reb's captured by a buncha Arabs dressed up like Imhotep from The Mummy who threaten to give 'im split ends with their flamin' weenie roastin' sticks if he don't go talk to the queen.
Turns out the queen (Roa) is the chick Reb's been lookin' for cause she's got the same medallion an the same bad dye job, an while she's sympathetic to his cause, there's this longstandin' rule that says the mummy-men gotta sacrifice anybody with their original skin to the fire god or else he turns their hinders into a fudge volcano. Course, when they try, Reb grabs this flamin' sword the size of a cell phone tower an starts swingin' for the fence until the place smells like all-you-can-eat rib night at the Cairomania Steakhouse. Cept in the chaos Roa ends up gettin' brained by a stalactite, an once Reb drags 'er carcass outta there Kalaa an Pag show up so Kalaa can glare at 'im with that "an who's THIS bitch" look women always get anytime you show anything but utter contempt for another female. Then they build a raft an make like Tom Sawyer til they find a nice place to camp where Roa can rock Yor's world. Kalaa is P.O.'d, an once Reb wanders off to clean up in the river she tries to shiv Roa like a prison snitch, only that gets broken up by the survivors of the assault on Apecatraz, an Reb hasta start screamin' at the damn dirty apes to get their stinkin' paws off his women an clean house. Unfortunately, Roa ends up gettin' clubbed with a rock by Dr. Slayus, an once Reb Tae Kwon Decks simian team six she tells 'im about the man in the high castle out on some island that she dreamed about after gettin' 'er brains scrambled, an how she's pretty sure that's where they're from, before goin' to the big hairdryer in the sky. Reb's pretty bummed out, but he decides to press on since he's still got Pag an his second string wife. So the three of 'em go frolic in the surf an pick syringes outta their feet until they hear somebody bein' attacked by a distant relative of Gigan, an Pag hasta shoot it fulla arrows while it's jumpin' all over Reb an lickin' his face like Dino from The Flintstones. Then they take the would-be dino dook back to their village where the father of the rescued girl (Kay) tries givin' the daughter to Reb, cept Reb's about had it with all the cave-Morman nonsense an just wants to know why everybody in town spends their spare time starin' at the sun. So Kay explains that a few days ago some asshole got drunk on Cuervo an crash landed a Cessna into their daycare center an now they're all afraid that there might be more kamikaze pilots comin' to finish the job an take out their center for the performin' arts. Next thing you know, we got the Star Wars missile defense system firin' laser blasts into the residential district an before long the place looks like Vietnam after Rambo got done with it.
Then Reb finds this little black box with a bicycle reflector attached to it an hears it talkin' about some "completed mission" an he's P.O.'d, so he hops in the chief's boat with Kalaa an Pag an heads for The Island of Dr. Yoreau to find out why his people're such dickheads. Unfortunately, their bamboo Bass Tracker don't hold up so well against the typhoon they run into, an pretty quick everybody gets separated an washed up on the shore of Killigan's Island where Emperor Valvoline (The Overlord) rules over the last vestige of humanity with these Darth Vader S&M robots as security guards. Reb knocks one of their heads off with a chunka cinder block, but the rest of 'em taser 'im right in his Cave Johnson an drag 'im back to this incubation chamber where an elf from Mirkwood Forest explains that his talisman's been recordin' his whole life like The Truman Show. Then she shows 'im his Dad's home videos of his first birthday party an tells 'im about how his Dad ran off to the mainland with 'im to escape the drudgery of sewin' Dracula capes in the textile factory day in an day out, only somethin' musta happened to the recorder's reel to reel at some point cause we never find out what happened to Dad. But anyway, that's when Baron Meanie Von Baritone shows up an starts revelin' in his evilness a little too much an allows Reb to sneak out an meet back up with Pag, Kalaa, an the Aryan Nation, who're explainin' how they're all that's left after humanity pretty well shit the bed an blew it all up like a buncha maniacs. If I'd been there I'da asked why it is that they think the mainland has been destroyed by radiation when everybody on it has dark hair, an *they* all look like they're there on a castin' call for a Village of the Damned sequel, but apparently that never came up in the script meeting. The bad news is, Count Sithington can see everything goin' on via Captor-Vision, which shows up in a crystal ball when you tweak its antenna just right. The good news is that the Mirkwood Elves're plottin' an insurrection against Lord Mauron, an when His Evil Cloakiness tells Reb that he's plannin' to extract his baby formula to breed a new race of super beings who'll do whatever he says even if it involves gettin' drunk an stickin' their naughty bits to a light pole in February, Reb's had enough. Next thing you know, Reb, Pag, Kalaa, an The People Under the Herrs go completely apeshit an start turnin' the place into a Stormtrooper salvage yard while the evil guy starts tryin' to find the phone number for his union negotiation attorneys. Gonna cut it off here, cause it's Yor's world, an he's the man.
Alrighty, well, you mighta picked up on the fact that this one's just a little bit on the cheesy side, and that's without providing a transcript of the lyrics to Reb Brown's theme song: "Yor's World." I'm sure everybody already knows Reb from such classics as Space Mutiny and The Howling II, which was so bad that the editor hadda loop footage of Sybil Danning rippin' off her blouse about eight times during the closing credits. This one's actually a lot more enjoyable than both of those, and I think the reason is that Reb seems to be the only one who realizes what a train wreck this movie is gonna be during production and just goes with it. It's pretty silly stuff, they'll have this really dramatic scene where somebody dies, or someone gets captured, and as soon as that scene's over Reb's got this big shin-eatin' grin on his face in the very next scene, it's pretty hilarious. And like Space Mutiny, Reb spends a lotta time screaming, but it makes a little more sense here cause he's usually tryin' to club a Tyrannosaurus to death with a rubber-tipped axe, which would prolly put even the most stoic of us on edge. The story behind this thing is kinda interesting too, because it was made by an Italian crew, shot in Turkey, dubbed by both Italian and Turkish voice actors, and originally aired on Italian TV as a four part mini-series. Once you know about the mini-series thing the movie makes a hell of a lot more sense, because it has virtually no build up towards anything. You've got the first quarter of the flick where Reb saves Kalaa and Pag from the Triceratops and hasta kung fu all the Planet of the Apes extras when they sack their tribe's camp. The second quarter where they go to the desert to find Roa and get attacked by the Arabs wrapped up in the Imhotep getups. The third quarter where Reb beats back the surviving apes and discovers another village that gets blown to bits by lasers. And the last quarter where Reb goes to the island to confront The Overlord and find out his backstory. Of course, if you don't know about that before hand, which, nobody in America in 1983 did, the movie comes off as completely ridiculous and looks as though there's a whole lot that you're not seeing. Course it's still completely ridiculous, but at least now it's ridiculous in a way that makes sense. Something else that's interesting -- and I'd be curious to know what the budget on this flick actually was -- is that it's actually fairly ambitious, if poorly executed. I mean, by 1983 standards, the two dinosaurs (which look to be pretty big even if they're not actually to scale) look like some serious effort went into their creation. Of course, if you were to compare them to say, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend from 1985, suddenly they don't look quite so good. Still, Disney had its paws in that one, so you know damn well it had a much bigger budget. Seriously though, this flick has everything you could possibly want in a bad movie, and is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyable Bad Movies Ever Made in John Wilson's book, "The Official Razzie Movie Guide." John's the guy who co-founded the original Golden Raspberry Awards back in 1981.
Anyway, time to bury a stone axe into this thing's skull and see if it's got a better brain to body ratio than the dinosaurs contained therein. The plot, because the movie was originally split up in the form of a four part mini-series, doesn't make as much sense as it needs to when you're grading it on a technical level. Much as I like the movie, we can't just go overlooking the fact that there's a lot of stuff missing in-between reels that goes unaccounted for, even though Yor's quest is pretty well established in the first section. If you wanna dig deeper and poke at the little problems, you might well question why dinosaurs re-evolved in the future, why Reb's medallion gets stolen but returns later without ever seeing how he recovered it, why Roa can take a stalactite in the coconut without incident, but later die from a little rock shot, or how come everybody in the nuked areas have normal hair when everybody in the "safe zone" looks like the kids from Village of the Damned. I mean, you could do that if you wanna be a jerk about it. But basically, it's Planet of the Apes meets Star Wars, so let's not get all high and mighty about its imperfections, okay? The acting isn't as bad as you might expect, although there're quite a few fight scenes where somebody gets clubbed and you can tell that the fist/weapon missed by a mile. Reb Brown's great in this, and I get the idea that he's allowed to be as hammy as he is because the Italian crew didn't really understand how his performance (or the whole movie for that matter) was going to play for an American audience. It's not like Space Mutiny, where the director makes him play the role deathly serious and it becomes unintentionally funny. Here, I feel like Reb was a bit more in control of what he was doing, and that his performance was a least done in a deliberate tongue-in-cheek fashion. Even if the rest of the movie is a mess due to ineptitude on the parts of various people.
Here's who matters and why: Reb Brown (Space Mutiny, The Howling II, Night Claws, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Brave New World 1980, Captain America I & II, Strange New World, Sssssss), Corinne Clery (Hitch Hike, The Humanoid), Luciano Pigozzi (Blood and Black Lace, Alien from the Deep, Zombi 3, Exterminators of the Year 3000, Private House of the SS, The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance, Evil Eye, Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks, Seven Dead in the Cat's Eye, Baron Blood, Blood Brides, Terror-Creatures from the Grave, Castle of the Living Dead, Blood and Black Lace, Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory), John Steiner (Tenebre, Beyond the Door II, Sinbad and the Seven Seas, Cut and Run, Deported Women of the SS), Carole Andre (The Price of Terror), Aytekin Akkaya (The Man Who Saves the World, Three Giant Men, The Dead Don't Talk), Nick Alexander (Phenomena, The Raiders of Atlantis, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, The Scorpion with Two Tails, Pieces, The Last Shark, Nightmare City, Cannibal Apocalypse, Contamination, Terror Express, Zombi 2, Screamers, Hitch Hike, Strip Nude for Your Killer, Deep Red), Paul Costello (Escape from the Bronx, Warriors of the Wasteland, Cannibal Apocalypse, Beyond the Door II), Larry Dolgin (Acting roles: Leviathan, The Pit and the Pendulum 1991, Robot Jox, Ghoulies II. Dubbing: Endgame: Bronx lotta finale, Cannibal Holocaust, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Cannibal Ferox, Nightmare City, Hell of the Living Dead, Contamination 1980, Zombie Holocaust, The Humanoid, Ghoulies II, Don't Torture a Duckling), Yadigar Ejder (The Man Who Saves the World, The Return of Superman), Edward Mannix (Extra Terrestrial Visitors, Endgame - Bronx lotta finale, Cannibal Holocaust, Escape from the Bronx, Exterminators of the Year 3000, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Pieces, The New York Ripper, Absurd, The House by the Cemetery, Nightmare City, Hell of the Living Dead, Cannibal Apocalypse, Contamination, Alien 2: On Earth, Zombie Holocaust, Eaten Alive 1980, The Pumaman, Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, Zombi 2, A Bay of Blood).
Nello Pazzafini (The Blade Master, The Barbarians, Endgame: Bronx lotta finale, Ironmaster, Ator the Fighting Eagle, She, The Pumaman, Star Odyssey, The Long Hair of Death, Messalina vs. The Son of Hercules, Hercules Against Rome, Zorikan the Barbarian, Hercules and the Black Pirates, Hercules and the Masked Riders, Samson and the Slave Queen, Goliath and the Sins of Babylon, Colossus of the Stone Age, Goliath Against the Giants), Gregory Snegoff (Acting: Misery. Dubbing: Flight to Hell, The Blade Master, Godzilla 1985, Endgame: Bronx lotta finale, Cannibal Holocaust, The House by the Cemetery, Cannibal Ferox, Nightmare City, Hell of the Living Dead, Zombie Holocaust), Robert Spafford (Voice dubbing for: Killer Crocodile 2, Demonia, Alien from the Deep, Arena, Ghoulies II, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, The New York Ripper, Hell of the Living Dead, City of the Living Dead, The Gestapo's Last Orgy, SS Camp 5: Women's Hell), Susan Spafford (The Tomb, Cannibal World, The Mummy Them Park, Touch of Death, Devil Fish, I guerriera dell'anno 2072, The Raiders of Atlantis, Cannibal Holocaust, Exterminators of the Year 3000, Warriors of the Wasteland, Pieces, Absurd, Cannibal Ferox, The Last Shark, Murder Syndrome, Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper, Hell of the Living Dead, House on the Edge of the Park, City of the Living Dead, Contamination, Zombie Holocaust, Eaten Alive!, The Great Alligator, Zombi 2, Torso, Don't Torture a Duckling, Blade of the Ripper), Levent Cakir (Turkish batman and Robin, Superman 1971). As for relevant roles in movies the mainstream public found palatable; Carole Andre was Esmeralda in Death in Venice, and Corinne Clery played Corinne Dufour in the James Bond flick, Moonraker.
As for the special effects, well, ambitious though they might have been, the two dinosaurs are pretty goofy. Not as goofy as the dachshund with the baby dinosaur suit tacked to its back, but still pretty silly. Yet, you can't help but admire their moxie for trying to make creature effects of that size, cause Reb's approximately the size of a hallway, and the Triceratops completely dwarfs him. The Planet of the Apes extras on the other hand, look pretty good. I'm not sure what they're supposed to be exactly, but they're hairy as the floor at the barbershop after Willie Nelson gets a buzz cut. The mummy-men aren't too bad either, and beyond that I think all that's left are the laser beams that blow up the cave-Morman village; which, if you thought Star Wars looked okay, you'd have to say these are fine as well, because they're exactly the same. Oh, there's also the superimposed image that moves with the camera when it shakes, making it really obvious the crystal ball image isn't at all inside the ball. It wouldn't have been a problem if they'd just done another take after the cinematographer refused to let loose of the camera when he hadda sneeze, but they didn't, so that does do a little damage. In general, the effects aren't as bad as you might expect having read that plot summary. The shooting locations are hit and miss, with all the on-location outdoor scenes looking very distinct and rather attractive, while the sets look very much like sets. The fake walls are very obvious, but again, the sets are big enough, and elaborate enough, that you get the sense that this flick was intended to be something spectacular. Some really nice locations in this one though, sets aside. The shots that take place around the river for instance are amazing. And of course, we've also got lots of cheesy futuristic science fiction props inside The Overlord's lair, including command consoles with lots of pretty lights, a bizarre two person hyperbaric chamber, and the latest in projection screen technology. So basically, some of the locations are legitimately pleasant, and the rest are cheesily pleasant. The soundtrack only kicks the absurdity of the whole movie up to levels seldom witnessed outside a Troma movie, with the "Yor's World" theme song being one of the most ridiculous, endearing songs ever put to film. The audio alone is indescribable, but when you pair it with the scene where Reb hang-glides on the murdered pterodactyl wings, it's pure magic. As for the rest of the music, I didn't notice a gloomy or even downbeat track in the entire movie. No matter what happens, the music is always upbeat. Sure, you'll get some drums to add in a minor degree of seriousness during the fight scenes, but really, everything's way too happy for its own good. Overall, it's one of the best bad movies ever made. Call me crazy, but I think there're actually enough positives between the rare moments of competent filmmaking, and its likability, to warrant a passing score. Definitely check it out.