Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's "Yor, The Hunter From Future"s World And You're Just Living In It!

Greetings and salutations, movie lovers.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the holiday hustle and bustle? Is your brain about to explode from the constant blaring of all those Christmas carols? Have you lost the feeling in your legs and feet from standing in endless check-out lines? Are you tired of sales people trying to sign you up for credit cards and dubious store promotions? Do you need a break from the crowds at the mall, the crowds at the grocery stores, the crowds on the streets and highways?

If so, then set yourself down, pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy our featured flick, "Yor, The Hunter From the Future" (1983)!

Made as a four-part series for Italian television and shot on location in...I kid you not...Turkey, "Yor" is a sci/fi/fantasy/quasi-remake of Roger Corman's classic "I Was A Teenage Cave Man", starring "Space Mutiny" heart-throb Reb Brown. It also features everything EVERYTHING! a Junk Cinema lover could possibly want: Cave people! Robots! Papier mache' dinosaurs! Horrible dialogue! Cheap F/X! And a bonkers theme song warbled by a group called...I kid you not...Oliver Onions, who's last big chart-buster was titled...I kid you not..."Come With Me for Fun in My Buggy." Author's Note: Oliver Onions is actually the "pen name" for brothers Guido and Maurizio de Angelis, who are describes as "prolific Italian musicians" who produced music under a variety of monikers to "avoid saturating the market." Many thanks to Wikipedia for this info.

The fun in "Yor", meanwhile, begins with its opening title sequence. While Yor, clad in only a leather jock strap and furry Ugg boots, jogs around the rocky, barren landscape he calls home, Oliver Onions bleats out the film's theme song, which goes like this:

"Yor's world! He-e-e-es the man!/Lost in the world of past/with echo of an ancient blast!/There is a man from future/a man of mystery! Yor's world! No trails to lead the way/In his search for a yesterday..."

This is Yor (Reb Brown). This is Yor's world. He's the man.

This is by far the nuttiest theme song I have EVER heard, even topping the haunting "A Terminal Madness", which was the love theme from a horror movie titled (what else?) "A Terminal Madness", that my late brother fished out of a 99 cent rental bin way back when.

Anyway, while Yor is jogging around, a group of cave people are giving thanks to their god for guiding them to a really swell camp ground. Then they are commanded to go hunt for vittles for their nightly pot-luck. This is where viewers are introduced to Ka-Laa (Corrine Clery), a chick in a leather bikini, and Pag (Luciano Pigozzi), her elderly guardian in a Fred Flinstone tunic.

While these two attempt to snare a pig in an armadillo costume, the first of several large papier mache' dinos are rolled on screen. Ka-Laa screams like a dental drill, which alerts Yor to their distress. He promptly springs into action, hitting the bogus beastie with his hatchet and gouging its eyes out for good measure. Then he slurps up a handful of its blood, proclaiming, "Drinking the blood of your enemy makes you strong!"(Dick Cheney, are you listening?) A grateful Pag invites Yor to their tribe's pot-luck and the guest of honor exclaims, "Come! Let us divide the choice meats!"

As Yor and the villagers happily chow down on dino burgers, the women folk put on a floor show where they twirl around in hoop skirts made of twigs. Ka-Laa, hoping to impress Yor, joins the kick line, swiveling her hips in time to the music, all the while giving Yor knowing glances throughout. Yor, meanwhile, grins the goofy grin of a dude who knows INSTINCTIVELY that he's going to get laid in the very near future.

The festivities come to an unexpected halt, however, when some other cave men with bad teeth and blue skin skin attack. Coming to the aid of his new friends, Yor inadvertently sets off a brush fire that torches all their huts and causes all sorts of damage. Although Yor, Pag and Ka-Laa manage to escape, the rest of the villagers aren't so lucky: the men and the oldsters are killed, while the children are carted off to be sacrificed and the women to be assaulted. Through some nutty plot contrivance, Ka-Laa is eventually nabbed by the blue (cave) man group. This means Yor and Pag must save her, but how?

"We didn't start the fire...Yor did!" Yor, Ka-Laa and Pag must find a way to escape the brush fire Yor created to save them from the evil blue cave men.

Simple: Yor will use the giant papier mache' bat he recently killed as a hang glider and swoop down into the baddies' cave! They'll never expect that, will they? And, for an extra touch of daring-do, Yor's theme song will blast from out of nowhere as he makes his flying entrance! Put them all together and you have one kick-ass daring rescue scene, right?

Well, it depends.

See, when Yor does swoop in, you can clearly see the wires operating his "giant bat" hang glider. This makes Yor look like he's trying out a home made zip line, rather than orchestrating the daring rescue of his lady love.

Another problem is what Yor does after he rescues Ka-Laa. While running away from the blue (skinned) meanies, our hero notices the make-shift dam they have built. Using his brute strength, Yor pries the dam open. This causes water to come gushing in, which drowns all the evil cave well as the innocent women and children Yor forgot about while he was saving Ka-Laa!

Safe and sound for the moment, Yor, Ka-Laa and Pag stumble around for a while. Why? Because Yor needs to find himself. See, he wears a special Sarah Coventry medallion around his neck and he doesn't know why. Later, he learns that a gal who lives in the desert has a necklace just like his. Hmmmm. What could that mean? Are they members of a lost tribe? Brother and sister? First cousins? Facebook Friends? Yor must seek this chick out because she holds the key to his past...and might even be hot enough to make out with.

  Rea (Ayshe Gul): The key to Yor's past or just another hot date?

Yor does indeed find Rea (Ayshe Gul), a blond chick with the same medallion and Groucho Marx's eyebrows. She's worshipped by desert dwelling Sand Mummies who wield flaming cocktail wienie forks as deadly weapons. These Sand Mummies hate outsiders and they plan on killing Yor. Poor Rea doesn't know how to handle this dilemma. Should she save Yor or betray the Sand Mummies? Luckily, Yor takes control of the situation by punching out a few Sand Mummies, setting a few more of them on fire and then causing their underground temple to collapse. Naturally, Yor and Rea escape unscathed, while the hapless Sand Mummies are toast.

If you are keeping score, Yor has thus far destroyed three encampments and left dozens of Sand Mummies, cave men, women and children dead and/or homeless.

Yep, he's the man!

When Ka-Laa gets a gander at Rea, she's not too happy. After she spies Rea and Yor having sex by a water fall, she's fit to be tied. So the first chance she gets, Ka-Laa pulls a knife on Rea and prepares to off her. Then, out of nowhere, those pesky blue skinned cave men pop back into the picture. Ka-Laa screams for Yor; yet another clumsy fight scene with Styrofoam boulders and crotch kicks takes place. The bad cave men are defeated, which is good. Poor Rea, however, is conked on the noggin by a rock and dies of her injuries, which is bad, at least for her. Ka-Laa is honest enough to be conflicted about Rea's passing. Yor, on the other hand, still has a bimbo to make out with, so he mourns Rea rather quickly.

Eventually, our traveling trio make it to the ocean. They frolic in the waves, hunt for sea shells, catch fish and enjoy a Surf-n-Turf dinner courtesy of Pag. This beachy interlude, alas, is interrupted by piercing screams. Sure enough, the gang finds a group of tweens cornered by yet another papier mache' beastie. Through the combined efforts of Pag and Yor, the thoroughly fake critter is soon oozing fake blood.

The oldest of the kids is called Tarita, and she obviously digs Yor. Inviting the group back to their beach-side village, Tarita's grateful pa Ky offers to give his underage daughter to Yor as a "thank you" present. For the first and only time in the flick, Yor does the mature, responsible (and legal thing) and declines, explaining that he "already has a woman" (Ka-Laa).

"Open your mouth and say 'ahh'" : Yor saves a group of tweens from a toothy, papier mache' dino.        

As the flick has made unflinchingly clear, inviting Yor back to your village/settlement is the surest way to inflict death and destruction on your people. And, yes, you can bet your sweet bippy that these pre-historic Tahitians are all set to become the latest victims of Yor's "assistance".

It goes like this: the villagers are happily breaking bread when lasers--yes, LASERS--start shooting out of an abandoned head light left lying on the sand (don't ask). While people scream and scatter, the lasers set their bamboo huts on fire and kill a considerable percentage of the population at large. This includes Ky, the villages' de-facto leader. When the smoke clears, and Yor surveys the wanton destruction of people and property, he yells, "Damn talking box!"

About now, you might be tempted to interject, "But Auntie Beth! Yor isn't responsible for this catastrophe!"

Au contrare. See, "the damn talking box" is also a video camera of some kind. Once Yor showed up on screen, the order was given to start shooting. Therefore, Yor is indeed the catalyst for this latest round of mayhem.

With her father dead, half her tribe stiffs and her hut a smoldering heap of ashes, Tarita encourages Yor to seek out a mystical island in the middle of the ocean that is constantly surrounded by fog. Right away. Now, in fact. She even gives Yor loan of her father's boat to make the journey. Just please get moving! You're burning daylight! Go, go,go!

Yor, with Ka-Laa and Pag in tow, thus sets off to the mysterious island in a wicker canoe that must have been a steal at Pier 1's annual 40% off sale. They hit high swells and rain and poor Yor is washed overboard. Once he hits dry land, Yor's movements are tracked via a large, clear, glass bubble. The person doing the tracking is a rather camp fellow named the Over Lord (John Steiner).

"We'll meet again/don't know where/don't know when..." Tween queen Tarita and what's left of her tribe wave goodbye (and good riddance) to Yor.

Now, please pay attention, because the final act of "Yor, Hunter From the Future" explains everything you need to know about our buddy Yor and his unique place in the history of mankind...and rotten movies.

Turns out (surprise, surprise) that Yor is from an advanced, technologically superior society that set off a nuclear holocaust. Protected by their ultra sophisticated aluminum siding, these folks were able to avoid the worst aspects of the catastrophe, such as dying. The planet (presumably Earth, but you never know) reverted back to prehistoric times and thus the people we have met along Yor's journey have no idea that they are living in a post-apocalyptic age.

Riding herd over the remaining members of this advanced society is the Over Lord, a bargain basement Darth Mal who declares himself boss of everything. His plan is to create a hybrid race of human/android servants who will do his bidding without question. To accomplish this goal, the Over Lord plans to use Yor's man juice and Ka-Laa eggs and womb to create these minions, thus ensuring that the resulting offspring will be dumb as posts, but easy on the eyes and totally ripped.

Luckily, not all the survivors of "the great destruction" share the Over Lord's views. These folks, who favor white blouses with huge shoulder pads, are lead by a blind, Charlie Watts-ish fellow. They have apparently been organizing a revolt for years, but things just haven't come together until recently. Anyway, these freedom fighters help Yor and Ka-Laa escape from the Over Lord's fertility clinic, and do battle with his rather cheap and chunky androids. Yor being Yor, he joins in the laser blasting fun and even sets off a nuclear device that will blow up the mysterious island, the Over Lord and his 'bots as well. While the Over Lord tries and fails to stop the blast, everybody else piles into a pod racer and flies away. Our feature presentation ends with the narrator proclaiming that Yor plans to use all his super knowledge to help his fellow citizens improve their lives "and avoid the mistakes of the past." Then the narrator leaves us hanging by asking, "But will he succeed?"

Since there was no sequel to "Yor, Hunter From the Future", the world may never know.

After experiencing a film as supremely nutty as "Yor, Hunter From the Future", one is often left to ponder a myriad of questions, such who thought this piece of junk up and how did it ever see the light of day.

A cheeky view of Yor in action.

"Yor" is supposedly based on a graphic novel of the same name and was written and directed by a bunch of Italian hacks--proof that not all Italian filmmakers are in the same league as, say, Fellini.

As our hero Yor, Reb Brown looks like a cross between Garth from those "Wayne's World" skits on "SNL" and the actor Kevin Nealon in a bad Doris Day wig. As an actor, Brown ranks somewhere between Christopher Atkins and a gravy spoon. The rest of the cast ranges from wooden to incompetent. The Sand Mummies, I can report, do throw themselves into their roles, such as they are.

Of course, the real problem with "Yor" is  Yor. He may indeed be "the man", but everywhere this guy goes, trouble and ruin follow.

By the end of the flick, Yor will have set off two brush fires; burst open a dam; collapsed an underground temple; butchered two dinos; left a group of hysterical women and children behind to drown; caused one cat fight; crashed a wicker canoe; and set off a nuclear device that blew an island to kingdom come, all without batting an eyelash.

Rather than a hero who brings peace and prosperity, Yor is a one-man demolition squad in a jock strap.

And another interesting tidbit: if you're hoping to find "Yor" on DVD, forget it. Although VHS copies are available for purchase (because VHS is NOT dead: I actually prefer it to DVDs), the only place you can get a "Yor" DVD is in...I kid you not...Germany! Yes, Germany!

So on that happy, if incredible note, I end this post. Please remember to enjoy the holidays and SAVE THE MOVIES!

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