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YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE

     

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, March 23, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s always surprising when one of the worst movies of the 1980s earns a Blu-ray upgrade (in this case from Mill Creek Entertainment), but here’s ‘Yor, the Hunter from the Future,’ a real turkey if ever there was one. There’s apparently no accounting for the taste of nostalgic middle-agers who remember that decade fondly, and who perhaps remember this one as so bad it’s funny. Here’s my Aug. 21, 1983, Deseret News review.

I should have pegged “Yor, the Hunter from the Future” as a turkey just from the advance press information. There were certainly enough indicators. The star’s name – Reb Brown. The film’s title — Yor, the Hunter from the Future. And the location where the film was largely shot — Turkey.

But you know me. I’ll go to anything. And if you find yourself at this one, so will you.

“Yor” is stupefyingly silly, and so hokey it’s often hilarious.

In his first scene, Reb Brown, as the title character, is asked who he is. “Yor, the hunter,” he answers. I half expected Corinne Cléry, as Ka-Laa, to say, “No, you’re the hunter, but what’s your name?” This movie is so idiotic, such an exchange would have seemed quite appropriate.

Alas, the filmmakers play it straight. So, despite the vast amount of hilarity offered in “Yor,” it is all unintentional.

Yor is a long-haired, blond beefcake who wears a designer loincloth and battles dinosaurs and brutish cavemen in a prehistoric age. He looks so much like a California surfer you expect him to be on the beach. Just wait awhile; he finds one before the film is over.

     

Reb Brown, Corinne Cléry, 'Yor, the Hunter from the Future'

He meets Ka-Laa and her guardian Pag (Alan Collins) as they are about to be devoured by a giant reptile. Being an obliging sort, Yor uses his superhuman strength to battle the beast to the death. He then drinks the animal’s blood and offers some to those he has saved. “The blood of your enemies will make you strong,” he says. “I’ll stay weak,” Pag replies.

That’s an example of the better dialogue in “Yor.” Later, Ka-Laa says, “Yor, you’re so different from the other men I’ve seen.” Of course he is — all the others are hairy apes (for a second I thought she was calling him “yo-yo” — which also would have seemed appropriate). The film also turns philosophical from time to time, as when Yor says, “Dreams are only dreams.” And Pag observes that “a generous man does what his heart commands.”

Another scene has a female character dying in Yor’s arms. “Kiss me quickly, my gods are calling me,” she says. And when she is buried, Yor observes, “A part of me will always remain here.” Pag comforts him by saying, “We’ve all lost loved ones — but life goes on.”

My favorite exchange, however, comes when Yor is off with another woman as Ka-Laa is cooking a meal. “The meat is burning,” she says angrily. “Your jealousy is burning,” Pag says.

So much for dialogue.

For the first two-thirds of the film, Yor, Ka-Laa and Pag wander various locations of Turkey, searching for Yor’s mysterious tribe, which he has never known. It seems he was orphaned as a child and never knew his parents.

     

For the final third, a switch comes in as they find an underground city that is decidedly futuristic — yes, this is the dwelling of Yor’s people. And our heroic trio arrives just in time to help some rebels overthrow their evil ruler, Overlord (John Steiner), who uses Darth Vaderish robots to kill his enemies. The rebels are all dressed in white, while Overlord and his robots are all in black, lest you have trouble determining good guys from bad guys.

During all this, the outside prehistoric world is forgotten and in the end, the good guys all fly off in a TIE fighter, or something similar.

I suppose we could add that the photography is awful, especially night and cave scenes that are so dark it’s impossible to see any detail; that all the women obviously are wearing heavy eye-liner and lipstick; that everybody in even the most remote tribes speaks English; that Yor apparently invents swearing, by repeatedly saying “Damn!”; that the soundtrack score is obviously canned music, gleaned from other films – all of it stirring the wrong emotions, especially a disco “Yor” theme; and that the acting and direction are negligible.

But in a film this bad, all that is expected. The only really unique thing here is the releasing company — Columbia Pictures, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Co. It’s one thing for a major studio to fund a movie that turns out bad — but to pick one up that is this poor after it’s been completed is simply mindboggling.

Maybe they cut out the scene where Yor finds a Coke machine in the underground city and begins to sing “Coke is it!” Nothing would have surprised me in this one.