Tag Archives: metal

Movies You May Have Missed: Yor, The Hunter from the Future

Yor, The Hunter From The Future     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.

I’m thinking that the makers of this film saw a ManOWar album cover, brought it to a production meeting and said, “See this? This is the movie I’m going to make.”

“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 grandfather protector 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.
Possibly one of the single most epic fantasy posters ever made.

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:

Oh Doctor, my Doctor.

Written by: Christopher Lee

I started watching “Doctor Who” in the early 80’s when it was shown on both PBS and NJN (the local “New Jersey Network”) UHF channel (not everyone had cable back then). Although they did mix in a few of the other Doctors here and there, they mostly aired the Tom Baker/4th Doctor episodes. I was entranced. The show just had this, “something”. It was frightening and exciting and strange and wonderful, just the thing for a young geek growing up in the days when Dungeons & Dragons still held sway on the fears of parents and metal heads were all stereotyped as Satan worshipers. 

                                                                             

Ahhh…those were the days.

The point I’m making here is, just like anything you grow up with. You’re sort of indoctrinated to a preference. My preference here is for my favorite Doctor, Tom Baker.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the new series. It’s great and I’m very glad it’s finally getting the global popularity it deserves. What I am saying is, a lot of the “new Who” fans either haven’t watched or have trouble getting into the older series. This is completely understandable. They’ve grown into a preference for a different sort of “Who”. However, for those that have tried, many if not most of them will tell you that they’ve enjoyed the 4th Doctor best. That says a lot. 

I got to briefly meet Tom Baker at NYCC a few years ago. I don’t often get starstruck, but, let me say, I heard his voice before I saw his face. I just lit up, I walked over, waited til he was done speaking to someone else, he turned to me and I simply said, “Mr. Baker, thank you.” and shook his hand. I think he knew what I meant, either from hearing it from thousands of others, or just by looking in my eyes, but he put a his hand on my shoulder and said, “Nonsense. Thank YOU. It is my pleasure.” I walked away from that encounter feeling like a schoolkid who just asked his crush out on a date and she said, “Yes”. Okay, that was corny, but I think you understand.

Now to the point. While we’re all waiting to see who will make appearances in the very soon upcoming 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special, and for that matter, what it will be, someone on Youtube has tracked down something interesting. It seems Tom Baker has since donned the persona of our favorite Time Lord once more for a series of New Zealand investment commercials:

So, I want to say, “Oh man, that’s so cheezy”. However, even though it IS, I just can’t find myself not enjoying these spots! He still has it and I still love it. He is and always shall be, my Doctor.

-Chris

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Supernatural does it again!

Episode 20 of this season will be titled, “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”.

Seriously, why did it take me so long to get into this series!? If you haven’t seen it, you must give it a shot.

I think the best description I could come up with for it would go something like this; Take the first few seasons of the “X-Files”, when the show was fun and episodic, before it went all heavy-handed and linear, mash-up the Hardy Boys and the Odd Couple, then have your writers read every issue of “Weird NJ” back to back at least 5 times while drowning themselves in Mountain Dew and listening to classic metal.

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

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