This is clearly a “memory movie” for me, but unfortunately I have no memory to add to this review. I know I saw it when it hit cable, but I have no idea when that was, and watching it last night I remembered little to nothing about it. I remember the commercials for it more than anything. According to the opening credits it’s based on a novel, and this version I’m reviewing is the shortened theatrical cut the U.S. distributed from the original Italian mini-series. That version runs 200-minutes (3 hours and 20 minutes), and to date it has never gotten any kind of U.S. release.
At first glance the movie appears to be taking place in a fabled time where dinosaurs and cavemen existed together. Yor (Reb Brown) shows up in the beginning to rescue Pag (Luciano Pigozzi) and his daughter, Kalaa (Corinne Cléry) from a rampaging stegosaurus. Kalaa ends up becoming his chick, but Yor has no idea where he comes from, or if others like him exists. He kind of stands out as a “caveman,” being all tan, taller, and muscled. He’s told about this woman who lives with the desert people, who’s supposed to be some kind of God, she wears a similar symbol around his neck that Yor does, and perhaps she can help? I’m sure the mini-series gives this chick he meets, Roa of the Sand-People, more of a well-rounded backstory. Yor also has a tendency to enter the underground lairs of his enemies and bring them all down to the ground. Kalaa is kidnapped by some nasty and hairy looking cavemen, prompting Yor and Pag to follow and rescue her, but after he gets into the cave system, fucks up as many of these dudes as he can, he breaks one of their damns and drowns the rest in a massive flood.
That happens again when he visits hot chick #2, Roa in her cave lair. At least, she gives him some vague answers, and then her people try to sacrifice him, he kicks there asses while wielding a flaming sword, and somehow triggers a collapse of the entire cave system. All die but Roa. And for a little while we have a love triangle between Yor, Roa and Kalaa to the extent that Kalaa tries to kill Roa. Roa ends up getting conked on the head by one of them cavemen Yor fought previously and gets herself killed, so looks like Kalaa wins.
At some point during Yor’s trek to find himself he comes across a clan living by the ocean. The next day lasers shoot out of nowhere and destroy the village. I’m sure the mini-series explained where that laser fire came from. It’s at this point we finally see there’s some high tech civilization on this world, ruled over by this guy who calls himself the Overlord (John Steiner). We also learn this is not the past, it’s the future after a nuclear war has destroyed mankind. But how does that explain the dinosaurs? Again, I’ll have to direct you the mini-series, which probably explained that too. The Overload lives on this island and he plans to take over the world with his androids, and Yor’s real name is Gallahad, the son of a rebel leader who opposed the Overload.
He, Kalaa and Pag are captured and subjected to the cliché acting of villain Overload, but he’ll have none of that. The three of them align themselves with the rebels, start using lasers, and take out the Overload. There’s a happy ending, but an ending that makes me wonder if the mini-series goes on longer, it felt very to-be-continued.
Watching “throwbacks” (is that caveman racist?) in loincloths using lasers and Yor wielding a flaming sword are two of the best things about this movie, not to mention how he slipped into that cave to rescue Kalaa. This entailed waiting for a giant prehistoric bat to fly over, shooting it down with an arrow, and using it’s body like a hand glider to swoop in and kick ass. But the best thing of all may be the theme song, “Yor’s World.” This felt like a nod to Flash Gordon’s (1980) theme song by Queen, and they play it at crucial parts when Yor is showing his heroic side. That tune kills me. It’s not as good as Queen’s theme, but it sure does make an impression nevertheless. It’s still stuck in my head even as I write this.
Like me, you all probably know Reb Brown more from his other roles in Uncommon Valor (1983) and those two Captain America TV movies, Captain America (1979) and Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979).
Yor, The Hunter From The Future was released on DVD-R by Sony back in 2011, and that disc is still in print. Mill Creek Entertainment’s debut blu-ray streets on January 16th, and they’re calling it a 35th Anniversary Edition! Buy it here on Amazon!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1.78:1 high definition widescreen—2.0 English LPCM stereo—English SDH subs only
I’ve never seen the Sony DVD-R, but I’m just going assume this is a much better transfer. Not a perfect one, there was some obvious print damage in one scene, but colors were good, especially the greens and clarity was excellent.
Extras included . . .
- Audio Commentary By Reb Brown
- Theatrical Trailer
- Slipcase with alternate cover art
Brown’s commentary is actually quite good. Apparently it was hell physically for him at times, due to weather (i.e. the cold) and dysentery. They filmed it all in Turkey.