|YOR - THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE
|Copyright 1983 Daimant Film
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 26 May 2003
- No credits, so I am winging the names. The main character's is the only one whose spelling I am sure of.
- Yor - A blonde caveman who beats on things with his stone axe. He does not know where he came from. This was the role that Reb Brown was born to fill.
- Kala - Rather possessive princess of a hunter-gatherer tribe.
- Pak - He is an old warrior and Kala's protector.
- Rowa - Blonde woman who is obviously from the same race as Yor. Brained with a stone weapon.
- Enna - Freedom fighter and medical specialist. She opposes the Overlord (more on him in a second).
- Ukraan - Leader of the ape men. As you might expect, they are brutal savages that raid other villages and take away women for "enjoyment." Yor kills most of them.
- Overlord - Heartless dictator who rules what is left of an advanced society. Speared with a giant barber pole, but still alive when his base explodes.
|"Yor" is one of those movies that you just know is going to be ridiculous. The name alone is a telltale sign. Combine that with the video cover, which shows Yor screaming at the skies as huge flying saucers hover near. The viewer is provided a great deal of warning about the movie.
The first thing that catches your attention (as the opening credits roll and the theme song swells) is the title character. Reb Brown is muscled and looks moderately beefy. Unfortunately, he does not appear very athletic. During the opening scenes, Yor runs across the broken landscape. The goal of this footage is to display the physical prowess of the hunter, but it does quite the opposite. Yor runs like a girl. I do not mean a tomboy or athletic female. I mean the stereotyped "priss in heels with hands held lightly out to the sides" sort of running.
Change Kala and Pak hunting. They happen upon a piglet with spikes glued onto it. Snatching the pig angers a stegaceratops (best description for the ad hock dinosaur). Yor comes to the rescue; he pounds on the beast's skull with his trusty stone axe until it stops moving. After a few polite questions, the tribe invites the blonde stranger to their celebration. Everything is going well and Yor is on his way to enjoying some stone age loving when the ape men attack. The village is razed, Yor is tossed over a cliff, and Kala is dragged away (they had almost escaped).
The ape men are something of a mystery. Ignore the fact that they slapped some dark face paint on the actors (not a good job around the eyes either), the main reason they attack Kala's tribe is to kidnap the females. There appear to be no ape women, so presumably this is how they make more little ape boys. Anyway, the night after bringing home fresh love slaves is a good one.
Hence the scene that Yor and Pak are treated to after following the ape men back to their lair. Scores of wailing women, a gleeful crowd of laughing hairy dudes, and Ukraan leering over Kala. Yor kills a huge bat with an arrow and then uses the carcass to glide into the camp! Hahahaha! Like so many other "heroic" moments in this movie, the scene is accompanied by the energetic chorus portion of the theme song. It is awesomely campy (not to get sidetracked, but I had to mention the heroic chorus segments). Taking Kala's hand, Yor breaks open a dike and floods the cave. The two of them both get away, though we can assume the other women were either drowned or left to entertain the surviving ape men.
In search of his past, the blonde caveman braves the dangers of the desert. There he meets Rowa and rescues her from a tribe that worships fire. Kala is not happy with the competition. In fact, she tries to kill Rowa, but is interrupted when Ukraan and some ape men attack. Yor kills the regressive attackers. Unfortunately, he is too late to save Rowa.
Following the blonde woman's death, the trio save a couple of people who are being attacked by a dimetrodon. The grateful natives lead Yor and his companions back to their fishing village where yet another female is offered as a mate to the mighty hunter. Kala is clearly fuming. The chief of the fishermen adds another piece to the puzzle of Yor's origin: there is an island, far from shore, that is always surrounded by storms. Also, the primitives attacked a strange man from the heavens. There was a boom and the only piece left of the "god" or his ship is a talking box. The village comes under attack by lasers and is burned.
Yor resolves to find this mysterious island. With Pak and Kala assisting, he proves himself to be an able seaman (how he developed such skills, in the high mountains, is beyond me). However, the violent seas around the island swamp the boat. Yor is separated from his companions and zapped by black androids. Do not worry, they only used stun rays. Yor is unharmed. On a sunny and clear stretch of beach, Kala and Pak stumble away from the surf. Pieces of their boat can be seen amidst the rocks. That is what we have to settle for in the way of continuity: a couple of bundles of reeds floating in the water.
And now the plot really takes off. You see, this planet is Earth. Much of the world was destroyed by nuclear war and returned to savagery, while a small group tried to hold off the darkness with their technology. Their failing came in letting Overlord gain power. Yor's parents were among those who fled the oppressive ruler. I do not say regime, because all of Overlord's power comes from his army of killer androids.
Kala and Pak are taken in by the resistance movement (anyone human), while Yor is examined by Enna and Overlord. You know that strange gold medallion that Yor wears? It is a recording device! (Useless bit of trivia.) The dictator wishes to kill all of the other humans, but first he will use Yor and Kala's DNA to make a new group of androids. The rebels stage a daring raid to free Yor. A running battle develops as they flee the facility. Yep, Reb Brown, railings, and lasers. There is only one other movie where you can get similar entertainment.
One old freedom fighter reaches the control center and deactivates the android army, while the prodigal son plants a bomb on the nuclear reactor. Wait! If the androids are defunct, why not just hunt down Overlord? Then they could use the island, already full of wondrous technology, as a base to raise up the rest of mankind. Nobody thinks of this before the bomb goes off. Heck, Yor even mortally wounds Overlord with a striped pole. The rebels board a futuristic aircraft (it's just a model), escaping the doomed island just in time. The narrator speaks about how Yor will try to use his knowledge of mankind's past errors to protect the future.
Preventing cavemen from destroying themselves with atomic weapons sounds pretty simple. Unless a doomsday device (with a bright red button) has been left lying around, then it is not so simple.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:
- Dinosaurs became extinct because they developed osteoporosis of the skull around the same time our ancestors learned to use stone weapons.
- If you throw a trained survivalist over a cliff they will automatically catch a tree to break their fall - even if unconscious.
- In the old days "taking the booty" quite literally meant "taking the booty."
- A dead giant bat can be used as a field expedient hang glider.
- Blondes naturally like other blondes.
- Food is best enjoyed by sticking your face into it.
- Lasers sound like synthesizers.
- If your destination is the "Isle of Storms," do not be a stupid little piggy. Build your boat out of something other than reeds.
- 1 min - "Starring Reb Brown." Holy cow...
- 10 mins - Ouch.
- 25 mins - Somewhere a little Dutch boy is crying and vowing his revenge.
- 37 mins - Ah, he has a Sword+1, Flame Tongue.
- 45 mins - People are always falling off of cliffs in this movie. Somebody should install railings.
- 52 mins - Yor meets the primitive equivalent of hippies.
- 72 mins - Just in case you were wondering what Easter Island would look like if there were mirrors everywhere.
- 79 mins - Reb Brown, railings, lasers - I am having a deja vu conniption.
- 81 mins - That was pretty stupid.
- Yor: "What did your son mean when he said you were looking for the gods?"
Fisherman: "Two moons past, we killed a man who dropped from the heavens. We now fear their revenge."
Yor: "If you killed him he can't have been a god."
|Audio clips in wav format
|Starving actors speak out
|Pak: "Who are you? Where do you come from?"
Yor: "I'm Yor, the hunter. I come from the high mountains."
|Yor: "First we must find Kala. Where is she?"
Pak: "You lost her in battle. Kala now belongs to him. That is our law."
Yor: "No Pak, I don't recognize your laws."
|Pak: "Among our people, a man can have many wives. So why can't Yor have two?"
Kala: "You don't understand, Pak. That woman is of the same race as Yor and could take him away forever."
|Overlord: "I am the Overlord, ruler of my people and yours too. You are completely in my power."
| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.
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|Scenes from the movie
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|MPEG video files
|Yor waited thirty seconds after killing the giant bat before using the dead beast to hang glide into the ape men's camp. Dig the motivating music!
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