I’m the hunter of the future? No, Yor are! Thinking back on the 80s, it amazed me that I saw a commercial for this movie on television back then. Then again, I also saw an ad for The Evil Dead, which was sort of cool. With direct to DVD, those days are gone. At first glance it looks like yet another caveman movie about a guy named Yor, with a stone axe and a fur loincloth– but this time the producer had a bunch of Star Wars ripoff costumes left over from another project, so he became a Hunter from the FUTURE.
Reb Brown plays Yor. Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans will remember him from Space Mutiny, a delightfully horrible space opera with lasers, screaming, and a frightening lack of railings. Before he went on to such great things, Reb began humbly here as Yor, and previously in another lost ’80s turd called The Sword and the Sorcerer, also known as “that movie with the three-bladed sword that shoots blades at the bad dudes.” Reb began his career in the snake horror flick Ssssss! and peaked as Captain America in the TV movies in the ’70s. As Yor, he looks like a surfer dude who washed up in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and we meet him as he gingerly traipses down the mountainside. For a moment I thought he was one of the gay cavemen from Ringo Starr’s Caveman.
Nearby, an old man named Pag and a hot brunette in a fur bikini called Kala are hunting dinosaur babies, and run into their prey’s angry momma. Luckily for them, Yor the fiercely blond warrior just happens to be tiptoeing through the pterodactyls in the area, and beats the beast to a bloody pulp with his stone axe. He immediately begins drinking the blood of the fallen creature, to gain its strength, and he is good enough to share. Like Ralph Wiggum, Kala explains that its blood tastes like burning. They ask Yor where he hales from, and all he can say is “um, up that mountain?” For he knows not from whence he came.
They go back to their village to feast on bronto burgers, where the primitive screwheads all marvel at Yor’s magnificent mop of blond hair, and his studly medallion. The leader tells him that he knows of another like him, a queen worshipped by the people of Fire. And before Yor can leave to go seek his destiny, they are attacked by a tribe of dusky ape-men. Kala and all the women are captured, so it is up to Yor to free them, lest they be subjected to ape-nookie. Pag grabs a crude bow and proves his mettle- that dinosaur blood must be like Viagra- by shooting many of the hairy interlopers. Yor ingeniously kills a giant bat– and uses its wings as a fucking hang glider– to invade the cave of the apemen. If the rest of the movie was that good, we’d have a cult classic like The Beastmaster on our hands. But alas, it never reaches that peak again. Once inside the villainous tribe’s cave, Yor rescues Kala and escapes by pulling rocks out of a dam inside, flooding out the apemen and probably killing all the other captured women. Oops!
Poor Kala never gets a chance to thank him for saving her, despite her insistence. When they cross the desert to find the Queen of the Fire People, whose tribe looks like mummies rolled in dirt with giant marshmallow skewers as weapons, he’d rather get it on with his fellow Aryan, Roa. She’s quite the hottie, and they both have swingin’ ’70s medallions! But her people turn on her when he arrives, and he has to fight his way out with a flaming sword! Actually that was kind of cool. Kala is not pleased with this predicament, and tries to kill her. But the apemen show up again, and they kill Roa to save her the trouble. Before she dies, she tells him to go across the desert to the sea, to continue the quest of finding their origins.
This time they trek to the hippie village, where once again Yor ingratiates himself by saving their asses from a dinosaur. They gift him with yet another cavegirl, this time an Asian girl. Come to think of it, Yor may actually be a porn movie with all the sex scenes removed for TV. The villagers show him a secret cave where they “killed a god from the sky” and the only remains are a headlight from an ’82 Chrysler. About five seconds later, some lasers come out of nowhere and blow up the village, causing Yor to smash the headlight- which is some sort of walkie talkie- and howl, “Stupid talking box! You are the cause of all this!”
The survivors tell him of a mysterious island “always hidden by storms” from where the god from the sky and his “flying bird” may have come. So you guessed it, time to hop a boat and find the island. The island looks like the rest of Yor’s world, except as he’s sneaking around, he’s suddenly surrounded by black robots that look a lot like Darth Vader. He smashes one’s head off with a rock, but gets surrounded- which is not easy when the robots never actually move- and they shoot him with stun rays, and bring him to their leader, in their secret lair.
The androids are led by an evil bearded man in a cape named Overlord. Through him we learn that yes, they are on Earth, and they blew it up, you maniacs, damn you all to hell. Yor truly is a hunter from the future, and was one of the Rebels (sensing a pattern here?) who crashed while trying to overthrow Overlord, only to get convenient amnesia. All the other rebels are blond, too. For one time in history, the blond blue-eyed people aren’t trying to take over the planet! Needless to say, Yor kicks Overlord’s ass with some handy trapeze work and by stabbing him with what looks like a barber’s pole.
Yor, The Hunter from the Future was one of many Italian low-budget movies in the ’80s that somehow made it to the American market. Another favorite of mine is The Warriors of the Wasteland, which was a Road Warrior ripoff, with exploding arrows and annoying kid. There’s always a kid in those movies; at least the Feral Child from Mad Max was unable to speak. He only communicated by throwing razor sharp boomerangs. Another good one is Super Fuzz with Terence Hill- the guy from the Trinity spaghetti westerns, and Ernest Borgnine as cops. Unfortunately, Yor is not up to that level. I can’t really give you any reason to watch it; it is completely devoid of boobies, and once the FUTURE shows up, it’s pretty lame. If they boobed it up and made it full of scenes like using severed giant bat wings as hang glider, we might have had something.
Beers Required to Enjoy: 3
Could it be remade today? I would love to see it.
Quotability Rating: Zero
Cheese Factor: Stinky Provolone
High Points: Batwing hang-glider, ahoy!
Low Point: the FUTURE!
Gratuitous Boobies: Devoid of boobie