I can hear you now — “Sam, you’ve already reviewed Yor, Hunter from the Future.” Or said something like, “Sam, you’ve cornered me at a party and talked to me for an hour about this stupid Italian-Turkish co-production about a barbarian in the future with the 70’s Captain America in it and I just can’t take any more.” To this I say, “Too bad.”
That’s because I’ve achieved one of my Holy Grails — I hold in my sweaty hands the uncut 4 hour Italian TV version of Yor’s World. It’s impossible to find. Well, nit that impossible. I found it. But it has taken me years. Now, I will pass the magic off to you.
The transfer on this DVD is blobby and washed out and nothing pleases me more. The first strain of Oliver Onions’ “Yor’s World” theme start to play and I catch the goofy grin of Yor as he just runs like a goof down a mountain and all of the stress of the week just melts away, like Calgon soap water draining from my tub.
Then, Yor’s World becomes a demented mondo travelogue, telling us of the indigenous people of the past. Or the future. Or whenever the fuck this is:
“In the time in which our story begins, nature, with her laws, dominates earth in opposition. Nomad tribes run from one continent to another searching for food or to escape the numerous dangers that threaten their survival. They live, essentially hunting and fishing, nourishing themselves with berries and roots. When they reach hospitable areas, in close proximity to rivers, where the forest offers better opportunities to find food. They are, however, more predisposed to attacks from ferocious predators. And, following their victims, they multiply in the same places. So they try to organize their settlements with the possibility of defending themselves from those dangerous incursions. They build homes that are more comfortable than caves and less precarious than the first huts. They learn to light fire and preserve it with large coals. New horizons open for some of these tribes. The sense of precariousness that was at the foundations of their existence, slowly, almost miraculously. But it’s only the beginning…And thanks to the marvelous gifts of intelligence, they will become masters of the world. They still have too many enemies who will always threaten their existence, ignoring the teachings of history.”
While this long intro is read, we see the cave people cooking, cleaning, eating and reminding us that this is an Italian movie, so a real animal must be cleaned for our viewing displeasure. The same sequence of the children being held to the sky from Yor, Hunter from the Future happens, followed by Kala and Pag hunting in the jungle.
As they play around with a small dinosaur, a larger one attacks. Yor comes to their rescue, flashing a knowing smile at Kala before going into battle. The fight seems to last a lot longer — and we see more of Yor’s ass — than I remember.
Yor’s fighting style can best be described as, “Yeah, I can jump and tumble over that.” Think Captain Kirk with a loin cloth. Finally, with a mighty yell and a slice of his axe, Yor is sipping blood out of the dino’s head. The dialogue here is word for word the same as the original movie — I had always imagined that they were saying much deeper things than the English translation.
What’s missing? My favorite line in all of Yor! “Help me cut the choice meats.” My sadness is palpable.
We head to the village of the cave people — look, I know I reviewed this movie before, but I’m reveling in the joy of getting more Yor, so you have to deal with my mania. Yor yells “HA!” so many times at the dancing girls that Kala gets upset and twerks just for him. They bring him a drink that keeps sadness away that has honey in it, which seems pretty cool of them. It causes our hero to burp, which everyone seems to get a huge kick out of.
Up in the hills, a lone sentry is attacked by a hairier caveman, who demands, “Kill them all.” They make their way to the encampment, choking out everyone who gets in their way while watching the women dance. Yor also reveals that his elders once told him. “You’re the son of fire that’s fallen from the sky.”
NOTE: I always thought that the heroine’s name was Kala, but the translation on this DVD calls her Ka-Laa.
The blue skin cavemen attack and Yor valiantly fights, even using fire to help himself, while also jumping all over the place like some kind of maniac. The leader of the blue skins wants him alive and demands that his men follow Yor and his friends. Thanks to some subterfuge — and tearing off some of Kala’s clothes — our heroes make their escape as the blue cavemen are caught in quicksand.
Escaping into the cave where Yor spent most of his childhood, he and Kala discuss how he has no idea who he is — a god or mortal. Meanwhile, Pag heads off to the village, where he sees the elder die, but not before he tells him that he had a vision of Yor on an island. The blue cavemen start to hunt Pag down before he hides in a volcano. The scene is a nice mix of Bava-esque lighting and B-roll volcano footage with some decent set design, feeling a lot more expansive than the small budget would suggest.
In a scene that is not in the U.S. version, Yor and Kala are then attacked by a swamp monster that has one giant eye and plenty of tentacles. Yor’s axe comes in handy here, as he chops off every one of them with terrific sprays of good old fashioned Italian horrorshow blood. After the defeat of the creature, Yor and Kala embrace and kiss — also missing from the film!
Pag hides in the hills as Ukan, the leader of the blue cavemen screams at his men for allowing an old man, a woman and one man to defeat them. Pag sees Yor and Kala returning to find him, just as they are attacked by the blue skins. This helps fix an issue I’ve always had with Yor, Hunter from the Future. Yor seems to lose almost every fight he’s in. It seems to be whomever edited the film I know cut out all of the wins and just showed the times he’s screwed up. I mean, he still screws up a lot, but the percentages are different now. I mean, Yor is still going to get tossed off a cliff. But he’s going to get some enhancement talent wins against swamp monsters along the way.
Ukan’s men toss Yor off that cliff — see, I told you it was coming — as the leader takes his medallion and Kala. Pag tries to save him but fails as our hero gets tossed down the hillside. Now, it’s time to climb back up and reunite with Pag.
Pag tells him that the law states that Kala belongs to Ukan. Yor exlaims that he doesn’t recognize the law and roll credits! We have our first episode of Yor’s World in the books!
I cannot tell you how excited I am by this film. I may have already yelled a ton of lines at the screen and have been reading all the subtitles aloud! YOR IS THE MAN ALL OVER AGAIN!