Here we are once again Retro fiends, ready to dive into the strange cinematic world of Daniel Th1rte3n! Last time I talked about my number 10 pick, the futuristic superhero, Inframan! This time I talk about a hero from the past…who may actually be from the future after all…Confused? Read on and nothing will be made clearer, for my number 9 pick is Yor: The Hunter from the Future!
I first became aware of Yor’s world (more on that in a bit) when my parents took me to the drive-in to catch a double bill of Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone and Krull. Sandwiched between the films, in amongst invitations to have all manner of culinary wonders, was a trailer for what appeared to be the greatest film a Savage Sword reading, dinosaur loving kid could ever see! A blonde version of Conan appeared, firing laser guns, fighting dinosaurs (not to mention using them for hang gliders), and battling blue skinned cave men as well as torch bearing mummies…there was also some business involving a rocket ship and a medallion. Let me tell you, dear readers, my head nearly exploded.
For weeks after, Yor was all I could talk about. I begged to see it with such fevered abandon that my parents had no choice but to agree to take me to see it as soon as it arrived at the drive-in…except it never did. I waited patiently, checking the newspaper daily, to no avail. But one fateful Saturday morning I switched on the TV to be greeted by the stirring opening note’s of the De Angelis Brother’s Yor’s World, and for the next eighty-eight minutes I was transported to a land where anything could happen, and it often did…with no thought to rationality!
The film begins with Yor, a wandering barbarian with no memory of his past save for a strange medallion he wears, gingerly circumventing some rocks as his theme song plays, assuring us that this is Yor’s World (although as a kid I misheard the words as Yorswald…I just assumed that was his full name…). Yor soon rescues an elderly caveman named Pag and his comely charge Ka-Laa from a dinosaur that seems to be equal parts triceratops and stegosaurus. Yor is welcomed as a hero by their village, but the celebrations are cut short as a gang of murderous blue cavemen appear and steal Ka-Laa while murdering everyone in the village (save Pag and Yor who escape). Yor vows to rescue Ka-Laa which he does in the most spectacularly jaw dropping fashion imaginable…he turns a downed dinosaur/bat creature into a hang glider which he flies with pin point precision into the blue caveman’s lair (as his theme song cues up once again)!
As the story progresses, Yor encounters: a strange race of mummies, led by a blonde woman with a medallion similar to his own, a tribe of islanders whose entire village is wiped out by laser fire after an incident involving a “damn talking box!”, and a high tech facility where he learns that the prehistoric world he inhabits is in fact our Earth after being destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. We also shouldn’t forget the robots and the evil Overlord.
Now to give credit where credit is due, Yor’s disjointed quality is derived partially from the fact that the film was edited from a four hour miniseries shown on Italian television, but the film is an amazing amount of fun! If you’d like to make the journey to Yor’s World yourself, the film is available on DVD, and can be purchased here!
Next up a caving expedition goes off course and falls right into Lovecraft territory. Stay Spooky!