Yor, the Hunter from the Future [Il mondo di Yor] (1983)

It is familiar territory.  Or at least that’s how it seems.

A blonde barbarian warrior wanders through the savage lands, fighting dinosaurs, the Fire People and savage Ape men.

But just when you’re thinking, oh, yet another Conan the Barbarian ripoff, we suddenly find out that wasn’t the movie they were stealing from at all.

Actually, it is obvious right from the start.  We have a football player turned actor, with mid-length blonde hair, who runs around without a shirt on, fighting guys in strange costumes.

And if that isn’t enough to clue you in, he eventually reaches the island that is home to his mysterious people — who, naturally have rayguns, robots, flying vehicles and live in a fortress filled with machines.  All of this, mind you, to a rock score mostly composed by Oliver Onions (I guess Queen wasn’t available.  At least not at bargain-basement Italian movie prices)

The interesting thing is that, from what I can find out, the original Argentine comic, Henga el cazador, where Yor first appeared does not seem to share this apparently post-Apocalyptic future setting.  Instead it seems far more likely that Antonio Margheriti, hiding under his usual Anthony Dawson pseudonym, threw in that final, Flash Gordon-style sequence because he’d just done the special effects for The Humanoid and had a lot of props left over.

This one isn’t anywhere near as insane as Margheriti’s best film, Wild, Wild Planet, but once it reaches Yor’s original home it descends into utter sci fi chaos.

And let’s face it, that’s what we watch a Margheriti SF film for.  Robots, Rayguns and Reactors, Oh My!  He was never a particularly good director (although if you compare this one to a lesser Italian SF film like Panic you might start thinking he’s a genius), but you have to admit that the films he made often do reach a sort of dumb fun that overcomes their terrible acting, silly scripts, bad dubbing and absurd budgets.

So as bad films go, this one is pretty good.  Watchably stupid in a cheerful sort of way.  Just perfect for a bad movie night with friends.

As long as your hermetically sealed cans of pre-nuclear holocaust popcorn hold out, that is.

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