A warrior seeks his true origins in a seemingly prehistoric wasteland.
In a time where humanity is living in a stone age, a traveling hunter named Yor saves a village from a dinosaur attack. He hangs around the village until a rival group attacks. Managing to save a beautiful woman and her guardian from the bloodshed. They then go searching for a woman who wears a mysterious medallion similar to the one that Yor wears. Convinced that she may have answers about his own past, he embarks on a dangerous quest that reveals more about himself and the world itself than he could have imagined.
The first time I noticed this movie’s lead actor, Reb Brown, it was an episode of the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 series. Mike Nelson and his robot pals were riffing on a film called Space Mutiny, and they were ripping the film to shreds. The best part was whenever Reb Brown was on the screen, they kept coming up with ridiculous names for his character to reflect how much he looked like your typical meathead jock. They’d call him stuff like “Bridge LargeMeat”, “Blast Hardcheese”, and my personal favorite, “Punch Rockgroin”. It’s one of the funniest episodes of the series that I highly recommend. However, if you do before watching Yor (on the off chance to that you do decide to watch Yor, the Hunter from the Future), you may not be able to take Reb Brown seriously at all. Mainly because you’ll keep hearing all those hilarious names running through your head. It happened to me, but I personally think that just enhances the film. The thing that makes it so funny is that Reb Brown DOES look like a meathead with a constant case of “derp” face. The poor guy has one of those faces that makes him look like he gets easily confused by the simplest of things. Things like basic elementary school level math, tying his shoes, or just thinking in general. For all I know, the guy could have an IQ off the charts, but one look at his face and I just imagine that the only thought going through his head is “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh”.
Brown at least has a natural charisma that makes him likable enough as the lead. He’s not a great actor by any means, but he’s serviceable. Of course, it could be that he seems somewhat competent when everyone else in the movie is so absolutely terrible. I’m hard-pressed to think of a single performance that didn’t make me cringe. The majority of the cast showed so little ability to emote that they made brick walls seem positively beaming with personality. When you have such a lack of talent on screen, someone with barely passable acting skills like Reb Brown begins to almost look like Robert DeNiro. Well, if DeNiro had derp face, that is.
It should be no surprise that a low budget movie like Yor had crap special effects. The dinosaurs looked like rubber toys, and the makeup effects were just as dismal. The sets, especially in the last act of the movie, were laughably cheap looking. This was quite obviously a case of filmmakers just making do with what they had and trying to make the best of it. They just didn’t have the resources or skill to not make it noticeable that that’s what they’re doing.
The story itself was kind of dumb. The concept itself was kind of interesting, but it was the overall executing that hurt it. The movie tries to steal, or borrow if you feel more generous than I, from so many different movies that it’s kind of a mess. It’s part prehistoric adventure, Conan the Barbarian rip off, and Star Wars clone. It tries to meld those three into a cohesive whole and fails miserably. The screenplay by Robert D. Bailey and Antonio Margheriti (who also directed) didn’t do it any favors either. It’s filled with plot holes and logic gaps. It also had dialogue that waivers from stilted to downright groan-inducing.
With that said, you may think I hated this movie. You would be mistaken. To be honest, I ended up kind of loving it. Maybe it’s the early stages of Stockholm Syndrome setting in, but I thought this was one of those instances where all the bad things actually added to the overall charm. It shouldn’t be as enjoyable as it is, but it somehow just is. There’s also an earnestness and goofiness about the film that makes it kind of endearing. At the end of the day, I actually had a blast with this one. It’s another “So bad it’s good” flicks that I definitely think is worth checking out if you’re a fan of B-movies like I am.