Theme Song: Ubiquitous Italian soundtrack titans Oliver Onions (Guido & Maurizio De Angelis) recorded this totally absurd theme song for the movie.
“Yor’s World” basically sounds like over-the-top. post-Flash Gordon era Queen. You can shit all over the song and say it’s out of place, but you can’t deny they nailed the sound perfectly.
Interesting Dated References: Loincloths, fur boots that aren’t Uggs®, using leftover props from other movies, men wearing medallions.
Best Line: Too numerous to single any out. Much of the dialogue is lazily thought out and as a result, sounds very absurd.
Social Context: The success of the Conan franchise solidified a truth that was ubiquitous in the early 80s: If you wanted a successful action franchise you were going to need a buff guy and some type of furry cloth to cover his loins. If you had a better relationship with your father while growing up, he would have explained the concept of a loincloth to you so you wouldn’t have spent your entire childhood assuming all He-Man™-men had giant, even coats of pubic hair fully encompassing their genitals, buttocks, and hips, including Moss Man.
Summary: It’s hard to talk about Yor, the Hunter From The Future without first acknowledging that the movie, as it exists on home video formats, is an edited version of a 4-hour made-for-television Italian miniseries. To endlessly criticize and mock the heavy-handed editing and jumps in logic would be a giant waste of time.
Instead, lets just accept Yor, the Hunter From The Future for what it is, a post-Conan extravaganza of hilarious scenarios that would make the 9-year-old version of yourself shit your pants with excitement, had that 9-year-old version of yourself not already been overcome with anxiety and fear after watching selfish adults ruin each other’s lives on a daily basis.
Yor (played by Reb Brown, 70s Captain America) runs around a mythical land (Turkey) unaware of how he got there or what his purpose in life is. His main areas of expertise seem to revolve around not tripping on sharp rocks and making all women fall hopelessly in love moments after meeting him.
Watch Yor beat the shit out a papier-mâché Triceratops by repeatedly punching it in the cheekbone until it’s dead. Watch Yor fend off savages who look like a bunch of Monsters of Rock 1984 tour roadies who just woke up after binging on grain alcohol all night. Watch Yor use his fur vest to fight off mummies with flamethrowers who are covered in wheat gluten. Watch Yor shoot a giant bat out the sky with a single average-sized arrow, then use said large bat (now fully rigid) as a hang-glider with which he flies into a fucking cave to attack more Monsters of Rock roadies.
Again, if you were nine years old and not particularly picky about entertainment, this would be right up your alley. At one point Yor and his adopted tribe all sit around and eat giant blocks of meat they purchased wholesale from Arby’s. It’s fucking disgusting. Pag, the creepy old man that Yor has to repeatedly rescue, continually uses his finger to dig around in his mouth during this feast, so much so I thought he was trying to make himself projectile vomit on camera.
Eventually Yor realizes he’s from a distant, futuristic planet and the best way to get there is to make a super-tiny raft out of twine and take along Pag and Ka-Laa (a character whose sole purpose is to follow Yor around and get jealous when he talks to other women).
After the raft immediately breaks apart, Yor and company are captured by robots and taken to a futuristic land. We know the land is futuristic because there are people who look like this:
It’s nice to see that in the future everyone can still appreciate wood grain and fluorescent lighting, the pinnacle of good office design. As it turns out, Yor is a descendent of a futuristic people who are being suppressed by an overlord who is forcing all of society to live as cave people in a primitive land.
Yor has been chosen as the leader of the revolution, and so they decide to overthrow the overlord. At one point in the revolution, the filmmakers opted to use He-Man figures for some of the stunts.
Then Yor succeeds in defeating the overlord and his LED light. The movie ends with everyone getting in a spaceship and flying back to the primitive land because who the fuck needs all these computers and spaceships and shit. Most of this action transpires as the sounds of the Yor theme song blare nonstop.
– Ka-laa is played by Corrine Cléry whom you may remember as O from The Story of O, a movie you secretly rented when you were 15 because you thought it was a sexual education film but was, in fact, a boring French movie that you still think is primarily about “booty-hole stuff and gold lamé.” But that’s okay because your sex life didn’t begin for another 5 years anyway. And she was also in the James Bond movie Moonraker.
– Yor, the Hunter From The Future is largely based on the pulp comic series “Yor” that was published in the 80s, and can read more about that here.
– A very long review of the full miniseries can be found here.
– If you’re going to try to be a successful actor in the late 70s/early 80s, it is very necessary to change your name to something cool and monosyllabic like “Reb”.
– There’s a ridiculous attempt at a sequel lead-in during the end of the movie. A narrator’s voice is heard on screen and says, “Will Yor succeed? … .”
– Directed by Italian schlock-film mainstay Antonio Margheriti.
Poster and Box Art: The home video release has truthful art that does not try to mislead. Caveman, spaceship, girl. That sums it up fairly accurately. Here’s some other posters and art from the comic:
Availability: There’s a nicely cleaned-up copy available for rent on most major streaming services (Amazon, iTunes).