Monday 10 June 2024

Yor: The Hunter from the Future (1983)

I always get excited when I see the words “directed by Antonio Margheriti” in a movie’s credits. It invariably means I’m in for a good time. I have no problems with profound movies and arty movies but sometimes you just want the cinematic equivalent of a burger and fries. Antonio Margheriti understood this and he would do you a great burger and fries and throw in a thick shake as well. I respect that.

Yor: The Hunter from the Future came out in 1983. I love the fact that we don’t get an introduction explaining what’s going on. Margheriti is confident he can entertain us enough to keep us watching and that it will be more fun to find these things out slowly.

At the beginning we don’t know if we’re on Earth or some other planet and we don’t know if we’re in the distant past or the distant future. We do know that things are pretty primitive.

We’re introduced to a tribe who are more or less at a Stone Age level of culture. They are however reasonably peaceful and friendly. They’re certainly friendly towards a mysterious stranger named Yor (Reb Brown). He’s just saved the life of Kalaa (Corinne Cléry). She’s a total babe and when he returns to her village with her and sees her dancing and sees the way she moves her hips he’s comprehensively smitten. She thinks he’s pretty nice as well. She knows a hero when she sees one and Yor is definitely a hero.

Yor has a medallion that he wears around his neck. He has no idea what it is but he’s certain that it’s important.

Disaster is however about to strike. There’s another tribe, a tribe of beast-men, and they’re not the least bit peaceful or friendly. They raid the village of Kalaa’s tribe, slaughter the men and carry off the women.

There are lots of dangers to worry about. The dinosaurs for starters. But there are worse things than dinosaurs.

There’s another tribe living out in the desert. Their queen is reputed to have magical powers. They worship her as a goddess. She’s blonde and beautiful. Yor falls for her in a big way.

Yor might be a hero but he doesn’t know too much about women. He doesn’t know enough to realise that these two chicks are going to be trying to scratch each other’s eyes out. Kalaa is a very jealous woman and as far as she’s concerned Yor is her man.

Yor has always had a feeling that there is something important he must do. There is a secret that he must unravel. He has a Destiny.

There’s yet another tribe living by the sea, and sure enough there’s another babe anxious to throw herself at Yor. And there’s a Mysterious Island, which might provide the answers for which Yor has been searching.

I’m being very vague about the plot because it’s ingenious and rather cool and it’s more fun to see it unfold gradually (although the posters give some of it away).

Suffice to say that this is not quite the prehistoric adventure movie it seemed to be at the beginning.

There are people on the island and they’re very different from the other inhabitants of this world. They’re definitely not Stone Age people. There are robots and rayguns. There’s also an insane and very twisted villain. He is Overlord. He has minions, and very nasty they are too.

This movie started life as a four-part Italian television series. It was edited down to less than half its original length for feature film release. The plot is still perfectly coherent (rather crazy but it does make sense).

This film may not have had anything like a Hollywood budget but it’s visually very impressive. Imagination and flair (which this movie has in abundance) always count for more than money. Best of all this was 1983 so there’s no CGI. The special effects are old school but they work just fine.

This film is fast-moving and action-packed. It has a big dumb but likeable hero. It has feisty sexy females. It looks terrific. It boasts some great location shooting (in Turkey). It has monsters and villains. It has crazy twists and turns as Yor figures out what’s going on. It’s lots of fun. A total blast from start to finish. Very highly recommended.

Reb Brown isn’t much of an actor but he’s energetic and has a certain naïve charm and you can’t help liking him. John Steiner oozes slimy evil menace as Overlord. Corinne Cléry is a fine heroine. She is best-known for The Story of O (1975), one of the best erotic movies ever made. She’s also in Lucio Fulci’s The Devil’s Honey (1986) which is an absolute must-see movie.

I’ve reviewed a number of Antonio Margheriti’s films including his giallo Naked You Die (1968) and his amazing science fiction films The Wild, Wild Planet (1966) and The Snow Devils (1967).


tom j jones said...

Oh, I've heard of this, but never had any idea what it was about - just heard the title, really. Thanks for the review - I'll check this out.

dfordoom said...

tom j jones said...
I'll check this out.

I think you'll enjoy it.