Welcome to the first entry in a series of reviews covering obscure, rare, and/or forgotten films. Some of these gems have barely survived the VHS generation. Some of them are relegated to the “cult”, “underground”, or “b” grouping. Whatever you want to call them, they’re movies that deserve watching. So grab some snacks, read these reviews, then go get yourself a copy of any of these cinematic masterpieces and fill that aching hole in your soul!
First up, if you haven’t yet guessed by the article title, is one of my absolute FAVORITES, “Yor, The Hunter from the Future”, possibly the most “metal” and “manly” film every made.
“Yor” was unleashed upon the world for a week in 1983. It was slapped together from what was, or was supposed to be (details of this are somewhat sketchy and to my knowledge proof is non-existent), a four-part mini-series on Italian tv. It did managed to pull in nearly $3mil. Soon after, it would find its way to the local Video Store in my neighborhood, and my life would be forever changed.
Yor starred only one actor of real note, Reb Brown. Reb is best known to most audiences, recently at least, for starring as Captain America/Steve Rogers himself in the two made-for-tv movies, “Captain America” and “Captain America II: Death Too Soon” which are rather special in their own rights, he gained notoriety in the late 90’s when Mystery Science Theater 3000 got a hold of his movie, “Space Mutiny”, but those are for another article all-together. Reb Brown is a definite treasure of the b-movie world. Seriously, I mean, if it weren’t for him, we’d never have this touching moment between Captain America and the Hulk!!!
The film opens with what some consider the most epic opening sequence of the early-80’s Post-Apocolyptic boom. A lone, bare-chested, blonde warrior
daintily skips runs around the same rock formations through the wastelands, searching for adventure and the thrill of the hunt, all to one of the most epic synth-rock ballads to ever grace your tender ears. Here, have a listen:
Without doing a full scene by scene breakdown, let’s hit some of the points of interest in relative chronological order that make this movie really “work”:
- Yor bursts in on a cave woman (who’s oddly attractive compared to the rest of her tribe) and her
grandfatherprotector just as they’re being attacked by a sort of stegosaurus/triceratops hybrid and slays it with his mighty axe and the wits of an expert “Hunter”.
Once dead, he screams like a maniac, drinks it’s blood that evidently “burns like fire” because “the blood of your enemy makes you strong” commands the weak old man to, “Help me cut the choice meats!”. Dialog=Classic
- While rescuing his “damsel in distress” new girlfriend from a tribe of blue cavemen, he kills a giant bat monster with one shot of a bow and arrow that look like they were made by the village pre-school class, then proceeds to use its instantly rigor-ed body to hang-glide down to save her in what may be the most awesome, manly thing EVER filmed….okay, I really didn’t want to post a lot of “spoiler” vids, but you just HAVE to see this:
(side note: The best comment on YouTube for this clip is “this is the scene that made Chuck Norris cry for the first time”)
- EVERY time Yor does something awesome, his theme song plays and your body produces testosterone.
- Yor nonchalantly commits what can be considered as genocide no less than 3 times during this movie without much as a moment of guilt, inflection, or the bat of an eyelash. Twice before the movie hits its halfway mark.
- Yor gets a flaming sword for a short time and becomes the embodiment of every D&D geek in the world. He then throws it like a spear in the most epic-manly fashion you can imagine. Yor IS the man.
- There’s a cat-fight and some marijuana allusions.
- Yor battles the poor-man’s Emperor Palpatine and his army of cut-rate Vader drones.
- You will see the single most masculine trapeze scene ever shot on film utilizing little plastic men that you totally won’t care are obviously fake and you will have sprouted some new chest hair by this point.
- Yor and his lady-friend fly through a flaming explosion in an epic space-fighter-jet-machine that he just happens to know how to pilot. Well, since he’s going to rebuild a better world using his “Superior Knowledge”, I guess that makes sense.
Honestly, “Yor, The Hunter From The Future” is not a “good” film. It’s cheesy, with very poor, obviously cheap effects, bad acting, bad voice overs, ect. But through all that, one very important point lays true, this film is FUN.
You can watch it alone, or with friends, and you will have a blast. You will laugh, you will make jokes, you will sit in awe, and you will cheer on the poor, half-brain-dead denizens of this sad, sad future. Mostly, you will cheer for Yor, as he grins like an idiot while racking up a body count that would make Rambo and the Terminator weep with pride, all while wearing an awful blonde wig and dragging around an octogenarian in a loin-cloth who’s just waiting for morning to get his senior coffee.
As if you needed more convincing, here’s two points to take note of: 1) Notice how many times I couldn’t help but use the term “epic” in this write-up. 2) Watch the trailer: