If you’ve ever seen “Planet Of The Apes” on video, you’ll probably wonder what all the fuss is about with the big twist at the end, seeing as how it was revealed on the poster / front cover. This movie tries to go one step further by actually revealing the twist in its own title – at every moment of this rather oddly paced movie, you’ll be thinking to yourself “when is this bloke going to hurry up and get to the future?”
Part of this problem may be explained by Yor’s provenance – this 90 minute movie is edited down from a 4-part miniseries on Italian TV. So, people will pop up and be villains, for about 20 minutes or so, before disappearing, getting summarily dispatched, or whatever; and Yor gets himself into a number of romantic scrapes that resolve themselves remarkably quickly. As it’s co-financed by Turkey, you get to see a lot of locations which fans of bad movie gold like “Turkish Star Wars” will remember very well too, and when a movie is this difficult to explain, it’s almost guaranteed to be some fun.
Yor is Reb Brown, bad movie royalty from his roles in “Space Mutiny”, “The Sword And The Sorceror” and the original awful “Captain America”, and he appears to just be strolling through the Stone Age wilderness when he rescues a tribe from a rampaging Triceratops. Pag (Luciano Pigozzi, Italian “That Guy” actor) is the “protector” of Ka-Laa (Corinne Clery), who likes what she sees when she sees Yor. Some guys with blue-ish skin attack the village, and our three heroes, after the barest minimum of resistance, just run off and leave their friends and family to die. Hurrah!
Yor, Pag and Ka-Laa make friends, enemies and see some of the truly beautiful and unusual sights of Turkey, and they find someone who has the same weird medallion thing as Yor, which sort-of sparks the quest to find out who he really is. Then, with the movie about two-thirds done, the sci-fi stuff kicks in and the plot, not so much as hinted at to this point, kicks in. Blame it all on nuclear destruction, although where the dinosaurs popped up from is anyone’s guess, and this ends up with Yor heading off to the island where all the technology still is. Will he stop the bad fella’s quest for world domination? How little self-respect does Ka-Laa have?
It’s certainly an unusual movie – although I’m sure there’s backstory in the TV series that would have made all this make a little more sense, the impression that the people making this were very worried about their audience getting bored is strong. Although…the sheer amount of stuff does become tiring, partly because it’s so samey. He rescues some villagers from a monster! He meets a lady! Ka-Laa is jealous of the lady! He walks through some caves! I was a little disappointed that one of these ladies, the staggeringly beautiful Marina Rocchi (as Tarita, who avoids getting blown up by lasers near the end) didn’t have a bigger role, and indeed had a career that didn’t go much of anywhere.
By the time the albino-looking people and their Darth Vader-ripoff adversaries have shown up, the excitement that should be there from having a movie with stone age stuff suddenly go full sci-fi has been worn down a bit. The last section is, dare I say it, a bit boring even?
I think “Yor” has been helped by its reputation, much like “Plan Nine From Outer Space” (which isn’t really one of the worst thousand films ever made, much less right at the bottom). It won a few of the early Razzie Awards, it’s got a wacky title, it’s got Reb Brown doing that weird shouting thing he does…it’s a fun story more than a particularly fun movie. Cast your eyes over the ISCFC’s other sword and sorcery reviews for something a bit more exciting.
Rating: thumbs down