YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE
(Il Mondo di Yor)
Yor, The Hunter from the Future is from the heyday of Italian science-fiction/fantasy cinema in the 1980s. It was regarded as a rather silly effort when it came out but in more recent years has taken on the reputation of a bad movie classic, even being revived at midnight screenings. It was a product of the Italian exploitation industrys jumping aboard sf/fantasy trends of the 1980s copying in particular Mad Max 2 (1981) and Conan the Barbarian (1982), of which Italian directors made literally dozens of cheap copies of either. Yor starts out seeming as though it is a standard caveman film along the lines of One Million Years B.C. (1966) to which has been added a Conan-styled muscle builder hero saving beautiful women and fighting dinosaurs. Of course, everyone has seen Teenage Caveman (1958) and Planet of the Apes (1968) and from these the film has borrowed the main surprise where, after we start to see futuristic technology and then raybeams firing, we come to the realisation that we are in a post-holocaust future. In other words, what we have is a Teenage Caveman rejigged for the post-Conan/Mad Max era although by this point said twist has become a cliche. (Even then, the films poster and very title has given away that we are in the midst of a science-fiction film).
When we finally arrive at the science-fiction sections, the film jumps into cliches taken from Star Wars (1977). Or perhaps more so the Italian Star Wars copy another sub-genre that was just as prolific around this period. In particular, Antonio Margheriti has taken the costumes and props from The Humanoid (1979), a Star Wars copy for which he conducted the special effects. We get a plethora of androids and rayguns, as well as a standard evil lord in black cape. After this point though, none of the film makes much sense. The Overlords mad scheme seems to be the rather improbable idea of harvesting Yors blood to make a race of androids and something to do with him having been genetically perfected. These sections involve lots of laser beams shooting and androids exploding but not a whole lot of explanatory rationale.
There is also the cheap action of the Italian sword and sorcery film of this period. The dinosaur effects look tatty. In one of the most unintentionally funny action scenes, Reb Brown shoots down a pterodactyl and then somehow manages to use its carcass as a makeshift hang-glider to fly in on to attack a primitive camp. Everything is overrun by a disco score. One of the most hilarious camp aspects is how the film even opens with Yors own theme song and how this gets repeated in the midst of various action scenes throughout.
Reb Brown was an American footballer turned actor who played in an inordinate number of bad movies of this period including The Howling II (1985), Space Mutiny (1988) and most notably as the title character in the tv movies Captain America (1979) and Captain America II (1979). Here smiling, blonde and outfitted in loincloth, his delivery is laughably flat, looking exactly like the cliche of the jock who is all burly brawn and with only two brain cells to rub together. Mindedly, that is not entirely his problem as witness lines he is given to deliver such as Am I a son of fire with no mother or father? Lead actress Corinne Clery was a French model whose claim to fame was appearing as a Bond girl in Moonraker (1979).
Antonio Margheritis other genre films are:- the space opera Assignment Outer Space (1960), the space opera Battle of the Worlds (1961), the Gothic Castle of Blood (1964), the peplum Devil Against the Son of Hercules (1964), the peplum Hercules, Prisoner of Evil (1964), the Gothic The Long Hair of Death (1964), the Gothic The Virgin of Nuremberg (1964), the space opera War of the Planets (1965), the space opera The Wild, Wild Planet (1965), the spy film Lightning Bolt (1966), the space opera War Between the Planets (1966), the space opera The Snow Devils (1967), the giallo The Young, The Evil and the Savage (1968), the giallo The Unnaturals (1969), the invisibility comedy Mr Superinvisible (1970), the Gothic Web of the Spider (1971), the giallo Seven Dead in the Cats Eye (1973), the gonzo Western comedy Whiskey and Ghosts (1976), the cannibalistic Vietnam Vets film Cannibal Apocalypse/Cannibals in the Streets (1980), the adventure film Hunters of the Golden Cobra (1982), the adventure film The Ark of the Sun God (1984), Treasure Island in Outer Space (mini-series, 1987), the alien nasty film Alien from the Deep (1989) and the sf/action film Virtual Weapon (1997).