Antonio Margheriti’s Yor, Hunter From the Future

Today I watched Antonio Margheriti’s Yor, Hunter From the Future (1983)

yorbook.jpg

During the 80’s fantasy movie boom, two of the many subgenres that cropped up was the caveman fantasy films and Star Wars inspire space fantasy.  But why make a movie that is one of those genres when you could make one that is both?  Z-grade muscle man Reb Brown plays our titular hero, a hunter from the high mountains with a mysterious amulet and unknown past.  He swings in to save a cave woman and her father and together they face your basic caveman problems as they quest to discover Yor’s origins.  Then the robot storm troopers and future men are introduced.

While this is certainly not a great movie by any stretch, it is pretty solid considering what it’s budget must have been.  While the film opens rather poorly, it’s cheapness readily apparent and plot as basic as they come, once Yor kills a flying dinosaur and uses it’s dead body as a hang glider, the film really gets going.  Margheriti is an experienced B-movie producer and knows when and where to use what money he does have, and has some clever ideas in the places the cash has run short.

The desert sequence and space men base are particular highlights for me as they are where the production’s creativity come across strongest.  The desert people may look like some mummy costumes but the way those costumes are used in the movie is quite clever when their camouflage is actually quite practical.  These moments are also when the musical score’s strange blend of traditional fantasy film music and moodier sci-fi synths really matches the imagery, be it Cappadocian desert or the space men’s strangely ruinous environs.

Reb Brown is another big draw for this film, despite his limited acting ability.  Despite that he comes across as very genuine and consistently positive, even when the script calls for other emotions.  Still his boundless energy drives the film with a good deal of momentum and the rest of the cast seem to rally around him.  So while this film is an obviously cheap effort, there is a heart to it thanks to Reb.  For that, this film is quite recommendable, that and the excellent use of a shoestring budget.  4/5

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