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Film / Yor: The Hunter from the Future

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Yor, the Hunter from the Future, also known as Yor's World, is a film released in 1983. It was directed by the famous Italian B-movie director Antonio Margheriti and starring Reb Brown of Space Mutiny fame. The setting is a mixture between prehistoric and futuristic, borrowing elements from numerous popular franchises of the time. It has a growing cult following.

The movie opens with Yor (Reb Brown) jogging around the stone towers of Cappadocia, Turkey while a very cheesy rock ballad plays in the background. In a nearby village, Kala, a seemingly primitive cave-woman, and her older protector Pak are hunting. Suddenly, they are attacked by a triceratops. Yor appears out of nowhere and kills the dinosaur with his axe. He is befriended by the village and together they cut the choice meats to be feasted upon in a celebration.

While Yor is there, a band of cavemen with bluish skin attack the village, and only Yor and Pak escape. Yor immediately swears to get Kala back, so Yor and Pak track the blue cavemen to their lair where Yor shoots a giant bat with his bow and arrow. He then uses the dead bat like a hang glider to storm the lair and sneak out the back with Kala before flooding the cave and drowning all the captives... yes, you read that sequence of events correctly.

Kala and Pak decide to follow Yor in his adventure to find his origins. Along the way, they find a mysterious society of sand mummies, led by a blonde woman with an amulet similar to Yor's.

Eventually, Yor (in an effort to discover his true origins), makes his way to an island surrounded by storms. There he discovers that his parents were from a small band of nuclear holocaust survivors. An evil man named the Overlord has taken control of the remaining nuclear technology with his android army.

The 90-minute movie of Yor that most viewers know of was edited from a four-episode Italian TV mini-series. Entertaining reviews by The Spoony Experiment (here) and Something Awful (here) share a general sense that when the movie is bad, it's almost insultingly stupid — but when it's good, it's fantastically stupid.

"We will need a lot more tropes before we're through.":

  • Adam and Eve Plot: The Big Bad's plan in a nutshell, pun intended. He wants Yor to sire a new race of superhumans and super-androids that said Big Bad would rule over, with Kala, being considered genetically perfect, being the Eve to his Adam.
  • After the End: A major plot twist is that, rather than in a prehistoric world, the movie is actually taking place in the future, after a nuclear war.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Yor's first adversaries are a tribe of blue-skinned cavemen.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: At the beginning, Yor kills a triceratops, a well-known herbivore that's trying to eat people, although we now know it did indulge in carnivorous behaviour once in a while. How the heck a Triceratops is around in the future, after a nuclear war, is left to the watcher to explain.
  • Attack Hello: Yor gets startled by an android guard walking up behind him and smashes its head in with a rock.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Yor's motivation is to find his destiny, whatever that is. As of the ending, it seems to be acting as the potent of a better world than the one the nukes destroyed in the past.
  • Big Bad: The Overlord, who plots world domination.
  • Blatant Lies: The theme song boldly proclaims that Yor "never sees the sun/he's always on the run" as he leisurely strolls through an incredibly sunny desert.
  • Compilation Movie: As discussed above, it's made from a cobbled-together miniseries.
  • Covers Always Lie: Well, yes and no, since while there are no aliens, the Big Bad is the head of a technologically advanced civilization that's the remnants of the world before it was destroyed by nuclear war.
  • Dull Surprise: Pak looks very disinterested about shooting robots with a laser.
  • Evil Overlord: The Big Bad is an evil scientist intent on conquering the world with his robot army. He is even called Overlord — as in, it's his name, not a title.
  • Exotic Extended Marriage: When Kala becomes jealous of Roah, Pag says that men of their tribe are allowed to marry multiple women, so she shouldn't be so upset at the possibility of Yor having two wives.
  • Expository Theme Tune: It actually gives away the entire twist of this being a future wasteland caused by a nuclear war, mixed in with some basic word salad. Well, it would spoil it if the title hadn't done the job already.
  • Future Primitive: There are primitive tribes all over the place and the story is set after an apocalyptic nuclear war.
  • Giant Flyer: In one scene, Yor shoots down a "Beast of the Night", which looks as a giant bat. He then uses its body as a Giant Hang-glider!
  • Gonna Need More X: "We will need a lot more hemp before we're through."
  • Happily Married: In the four-hour Italian version, Yor and Kala get married right before the laser attack. At this point in the story, they definitely love each other.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Overlord, impaled on an inanimate carbon rod.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Yor. Especially when shooting down the bat, but even moreso in the finale, when he proves a crack shot with a laser rifle, a weapon he never even saw before, let alone trained with.
  • Killer Robot: Overlord has an army of very slow, clunky ones.
  • Large Ham: Yor. Reb Brown is not a subtle actor.
  • Leitmotif / Theme Music Power-Up: The chanting of "Yor's World" any time something insanely awesome happens. This only happens in the American dub, though; the glider and trapeze scenes in the Italian miniseries use a more standard action score for these scenes.
  • Loincloth: Yor's outfit of choice.
  • Loophole Abuse: After Kala is taken by the blue cavemen, Pak tells Yor that Kala now belongs to them due to the laws of their village. Yor immediately reminds Pak that he's not from their village and said law doesn't apply to him. Pak instantly changes his mind and helps Yor.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: Cavemen with lasers.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Yor has a habit of destroying any civilization he comes into contact with. And we're not just talking about the ones that antagonize him, either. To be fair, he was only coincidentally present at one of them.
  • Mooks: The Overlord's robots, who are no match for Yor.
  • Mutants: The blue guys. And, presumably, the dinosaurs, given the future setting.
  • Neutral Female: Kala swings back and forth as she does attempt to put up a fight at times (and even saves Yor from the cyclops octopus in a scene not found in the 90-minute film), but Roah always plays it straight.
  • Never Trust a Title: As has been pointed out by many, Yor isn't really from the future. At most, he's in our planet's future (as are all the other characters in this story), but he never goes back in time.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Dinosaurs, robots, and cavemen using lasers.
  • Older Sidekick: The grey-haired and -bearded Pak is the youthful Yor's sidekick.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Yor starts the movie wearing a mysterious pendant. It is only when he meets another person wearing an identical pendant that he realizes it has a much deeper significance.
  • Railing Kill: This pre-dates the Trope Namer, another film starring Reb Brown.
  • The Reveal: Yor basically shares the backstory of Superman to an extent. He was born of the Overlord's civilization, with his birth name being Galahad, and him being the son of a rebel leader who fought against the Overlord.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Rock decapitates robot!
  • Rule of Cool: The only possible justification for a number of things in the film. Especially that glider.
  • Schizo Tech: Here we have cavemen armed with laser rifles shooting robots.
  • Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Enna, the only woman who isn't a caveperson, sports one.
  • Slow Laser: The laser weapons at the end.
  • Spoiler Cover: Some posters and covers spoil the reveal that the movie is actually set in the distant future. Just look at the flying saucers on the page image, for example.
  • Spoiler Title: The film seems to present as a shocking twist the idea that it is set in a post-apocalyptic future rather than the past as a great revelation after the Overlord's technological minions appear. Despite the fact that it says in the title that it's set in the future. The original Italian title, Il Mondo Di Yor, does not have this spoiler and roughly translates to "Yor's World" or "The World of Yor", although the twist is still spoiled by the theme song.
  • Take Over the World: The Overlord's ultimate plan... which leads to massive Fridge Logic regarding his army, who could have already destroyed all the other groups without even trying. Sure, his robots are clunky and not good fighters, but it's not like the cavemen have an answer to flying saucers with laser cannons. There's no need for the Overlord to use Yor and Kala to breed a better army.