Thursday, June 6, 2013

Yor, The Hunter From the Future (1983)

Ah, the joy of revisiting childhood favorites.  Well, joy may be too strong a term.  Actually, it's kind of like going to Vegas and playing No Limit Texas Hold 'Em poker even though your only experience with the game is that time you watched Casino Royale at two in the morning.

Today, we explore the world of Yor, The Hunter From the Future.

When I was a kid, I saw this at least a half dozen times at a friend's house, along with repeated viewings of Swamp Thing and Never Say Never Again.  Originally a four part miniseries for Italian television, this was edited down into a 90 minute version and released theatrically.

Reb Brown (the big beefy guy from Space Mutiny and Howling II) stars as Yor, a heroic barbarian type (think Conan only not as cool) who goes on a quest of self-discovery after saving a couple of cave dwellers.  Turns out we're actually in the future after things have really gone to hell, while most post-apocalyptic films go for a neo punk look, it seems here the planet has gone back to primitive times.  It's an enjoyably cheesy twist, especially when the laser battles begin.

Eventually, Yor has to save Kala (former Bond Girl Corrine Clery), a young woman he's fallen for, from the clutches of the evil Overlord (John Steiner).  Much carnage and cheesy goodness ensues including fights with dinosaurs somehow, the radiation from the war that leveled the planet also brought back the dinosaurs), Yor using a bat as a hang-glider and a lot more.

The film was directed by Italian exploitation master Antonio Margheriti (billed as Anthony Dawson) and this is probably his best work in his forty plus year career.  He handles the actors well, the clunky f/x work is fun and he keeps the film moving at a decent clip (save for one or two moments).

Most reviewers seem to regard this as one of the worst movies ever made (they should really see more movies if this is the worst they've seen) but Yor is a cheesy, utterly stupid but also utterly entertaining piece of 80's cheese.  Reb Brown does what he does best (stand around looking good and kicking ass), John Steiner gives a wonderfully hammy performance and the f/x while cheap and obvious, have a cheesy charm to them.  It's just plain old unpretentious fun that is surprisingly ambitious given the budget.  Besides, how can you not like a movie that ends with cavemen shooting laser guns at robots?

1 comment:

  1. Well done and nice to hear someone who actually likes it unironically. I can't say I'm with you there, preferring to not like it at all but it is entertaining either way. I must disagree that it's Dawson/Margheriti's best work; Cannibal Apocalypse is amazing. It took the guy years to get over seeing Deer Hunter.


About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.